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Beware in your prayers, above everything else, of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what He can do. —Andrew Murray, writer, teacher, pastor

Today we’re going to pray for other individuals God has placed in our lives.

This morning I’d like to invite you to pray for someone in your life—outside of family and close friends—who gives you trouble. Maybe it’s a colleague who makes your life difficult. Maybe it’s the person your sister is dating, about whom you have big concerns. Maybe it’s a neighbor who seems to complain about everything. Maybe it’s a committee at your child’s school that’s refusing the services your child needs.

Who comes to mind when I invite you to pray for someone who gives you trouble? Beloved, whoever this individual is and whatever the conflict is between you, God is bigger. Pray like God is actually God. He can do big things. Pray, keeping in mind what will bring Him glory, and ask for the impossible. God can do the impossible. Prayer extends an invitation for God to invade the circumstances of your everyday. Pray big. Then wait.

Watch. Be ready. God is good. When in doubt, just say that to yourself a few times and choose to think about what is right in your world. God can do all things, and He does them well. Take a moment today to think about a time when God has answered your prayers. If you can’t think of a time like that, text two or three people who love God and ask them for testimonies of answered prayer. Whether the prayer and answer were your own or belonged to a family member or friend, remembering answered prayers is encouraging. Believe that God is good and that He can answer prayer. This will give you boldness as you go to Him with your requests. No matter what may be going wrong, out of your control, or totally freaking you out, He can do the impossible.

Dear Lord, I offer to You this person in my life who gives me trouble.

Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it but not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference. —Max Lucado, writer and pastor

Your prayers make a difference, so keep going! This morning you prayed for someone who causes you grief, and this afternoon I want you to pray for someone in your life, beyond family and friends, who has blessed you. It might be someone in your life now or it might be someone who blessed you during a different season.

  • Maybe it was a coach who saw your potential.
  • Maybe it was a Sunday school teacher or youth leader who nurtured your faith.
  • Maybe it was the parent of a friend, who infused in you a passion for cooking.
  • Maybe it was a teacher who affirmed your gifts.
  • Maybe it was a neighbor or another adult who simply delighted in who you are.

These people who have blessed you are God’s good gift to you. God has used them to shape you into the person He made you to be. Give God thanks for the person who has blessed you.

Lord, help me to listen to you in prayer as much as you listen to me. Amen.

Today, have you been able to hold in your heart and mind the person who gives you grief? Or the one who has blessed you? If not, remember them now.

And this evening, let’s pray for a person in your world whom you may not always notice: someone who bags your groceries, fixes your car, mows your lawn, or attends school with your child.

  • Maybe it’s a person who is financially poor.
  • Maybe it’s a person with a disability.
  • Maybe it’s a person whose family isn’t able to love them well.
  • Maybe it’s someone without a safe place to live.
  • Maybe it’s someone who is vulnerable because she is very old or very young.
  • It may be someone you share life with, and it may be someone whose name you don’t yet know.

Hold this person in your heart and continue to lift him or her before God, asking God to meet every need. As you’re praying for others today, consider the impact that your prayers have had and can have in the lives of others.

Have your prayers ever made a difference in the life of someone you care about?

Has someone ever prayed for you and you saw it make a difference?

If so, take a moment to write about it in your journal. It will encourage you while you pray and wait for God to answer.

How did your prayer go today? Have you been doing a lot of talking to God today? If you haven’t, it’s not too late. But here’s a challenge for you: have you stopped to listen? As we head into the weekend, you may have a boatload of things planned to do, but have you carved out time for Him? I mean real time.

If you haven’t listened yet, you are missing the best part. This weekend, find a space and a time to get quiet and just see what He says to your heart, through His Word, in your spirit about the person He’s laid on your heart who rattles your cage.