Last week was hard on me. Those close to me know just how hard. I made a quick trip to the E.R. (everything is fine, thank God!) God is faithful to His promises and I had so many wonderful people praying for me – thank you!
But there’s something deeper worth sharing…
As I was being wheeled from one room to the next, all I could see were people suffering left and right. I saw people crying, whaling in pain, sick, unconscious, and some near death. Immediately, my first instinct was to pray for every person in each room that I passed. I didn’t think about how I felt and what I was going through. I also didn’t join in their despair and throw a “woe is me” party. I didn’t even think of myself, my heart went out to those who were suffering.
I’m a child of God. I have hope. I know God’s promises. I know how to speak to and hear from God. I know where to go and what to do when I need to feel His presence. Yes, I made the decision to let a professional check me out and I will always advocate to seek professional care when you’re not sure what’s going on with your body. But overall, my hope was in the Healing power of the blood of Christ and because of that, I had joy and the spiritual maturity to put someone else’s needs before mine. I was actually in such good spirits that anyone who saw me would doubt that I was in need to medical care.
What I did was display spiritual maturity. Something that I don’t see much of anymore.
Spiritual maturity is an issue that plagues Christianity. Often, as believers, we are so wrapped up in what’s going on in our lives that it never enters our first (second, or third) mind to put our needs aside and lift up someone else to God. Maybe someone was too weak to say a prayer. Maybe their faith too challenged to believe for healing. Maybe they don’t know that God is the all-powerful healer. But I do, so I lifted up my prayers on their behalf.
Spiritual maturity says that I’m not going to wait for you to ask; When I see an issue… I’ll pray, instead.
When you have given your life to God, that frees up a whole lot of space to serve others. Your time, your prayers, and your concerns should be toward others. Not focused on ourselves. Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” What is the kingdom of God? Loving your neighbor as yourself (John 13:34). Putting someone else’s needs above yours (John 15:13). Speaking to God on behalf of someone who might not have the mind to do so (Philippians 2:1-5).
As children of God we already have promises for our needs and circumstances. Now, our hearts need to be filled with love and compassion toward others. We should be ready and willing to pray for others even when we’re faced with our own crisis.
Let’s have a moment of honesty:
When people ask for prayer, do we say we’re going to pray as a courtesy or do we actually mute the television, turn off the radio, put our phones down and earnestly pray that our Father move on their behalf?
God knows the answer to that.
What would happened if we took the time to really pray for one another? I believe that the enemy knows just how strong we could be if we were unified and he keeps us distracted from doing the very thing that could change the world!
Instead of shaking our heads at the mother in the store who doesn’t have control over her children, pray for her.
Instead of mumbling under our breath at the drunk begging for money, pray for him.
Instead of making negative comments about the single couple expecting a baby, pray for them.
Don’t complain about the ambulance that’s holding up traffic, pray for the person inside that’s fighting for their life!
Let’s make prayer our first mind. Let’s make it an instinct.
There’s a story in Exodus when Joshua was fighting the army of Amalek’s. Moses was on a hilltop with Aaron and Hur watching the battle.. “As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands so his hands held steady until sunset. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle.” Exodus 17:11-13.
This is what happens when we pray for one another. Life is a daily battle; Someone lost their job, a loved one, their life’s savings. Someone is considering divorce or worse – suicide. Are we going to make the sacrifice and lift up our prayers on their behalf? Or do we say to ourselves, “I have a lot going on in my own life, they’ll figure it out!” Will be be like Moses and lift someone else up in prayer or will we sit and watch from our comfortable position.
The beautiful thing about each of us committing to a life of praying for others is that there is someone, somewhere, praying for you too!
Jesus said when we seek God’s Kingdom, our needs will be met. When we serve someone else with our time and prayers, we don’t have to worry if our needs will be met. God is just. He will send someone to be like Aaron and Hur for us! He won’t let you labor for someone else without sending someone to pray over your needs as well!
I no longer say that I don’t like people 🙂 But, I still pray for people who I wouldn’t schedule a lunch date with. When I hear of an ex, a former bad boss, or someone who I’ve struggled with in the past going through a tough time, I don’t think, “That’s what they get!” I don’t even think, “Well, they had to reap what they sow“, That’s just the “Christian” way of saying, “That’s what you get!” and we have to grow up and stop rejoicing in the pain of others. Instead, my heart swells with compassion for them and I pray. And, do you know what happens? Any negative feeling toward them is replaced with love and respect.
I hope this post encourages you. Prayer works. God hears our prayers and He cares for the things that weigh heavily on our hearts. He cares about the things that are going on in the world and the issues we face everyday.
The next time you see something despicable, pray!
Instead of complaining, pray!
When you see someone hurting or in an unfortunate situation, pray!
When someone hurts you, hop off the petty bus, and pray!
But don’t stop there. Pray for God to move on their behalf and then ask God to show you how you can help! I’m looking forward to God revealing more of how I can pray and be a blessing to others.
Not confident praying? That’s okay, you don’t have anyone to impress! Your prayers are going directly to God (regardless of who can hear you), and He already thinks you’re perfect 🙂
Here’s 4 steps to help you with any prayer:
- Thank God (Thank God for who He is and the person you’re praying for)
- Ask God (Ask God for His will to be done in the situation)
- Thank God (Thank God for hearing your prayer and for being faithful to His promises)
- Listen (Expect to hear God answer your prayer and give you direction)
The more you pray, the more it’ll come naturally.
I am one person. My impact is small but I serve a big God who is in control of it all!