Today’s the day to pray for your spiritual community, people who share your faith. Some of those people minister to you regularly, like your pastor. Some of those people minister with you, like lay leaders in your church, elders, deacons, or the person who serves with you in the children’s ministry on Sunday mornings.
But there are others. Some of those people have made it their life’s work, either professionally or personally, to pour into the lives of others by nourishing their souls and helping them to grow in their relationship with God. Think about who you listen to on the radio or watch on television or whose books you read. Who has ministered to you over the airwaves, with their pens, or on YouTube?
Have you ever stopped to think that those people need your prayers as well? Pause for a moment to remember what messages have been meaningful to you during your Christian journey. Who delivered that message to you? Have you done a certain Bible study? Have you listened to certain podcast? Have you streamed their messages or Sunday services online? Or maybe there is someone who has encouraged you in your walk of faith by simply sharing their life with you. Is there someone you love or appreciate for helping you grow spiritually? Pray for them today. Nothing proves that you love someone more than mentioning them in your prayers.
Dear God, thank You for __________________. Bless them for their obedience to You and their ministry to me. Strengthen them and encourage them to keep being a blessing to others.
One does not surrender a life in an instant. That which is lifelong can only be surrendered in a lifetime.
—Elisabeth Elliot, missionary
Living a surrendered life is not simple. If it were, everyone would do it! Think about someone who has a walk with God that you admire. What do they do to live a surrendered life? If you want what they have, what habits or characteristics do they have that you could adopt?
What can you learn from this Christian leader that you want to emulate? The disciples watched Jesus abide with the Father. It’s okay to watch others and learn from them. A surrendered life takes a lifetime to accomplish. Don’t sweat it if you are not there just yet. A surrendered life is a walk one step at a time. Just keep moving forward.
God made you to be the answer to someone else’s prayer. Keep your eyes open. We tend to put up on pedestals the people we admire spiritually, don’t we? When we see them on the stage, listen to them on the radio, or see them on TV, we might be tempted to think they have a capacity for knowing God that we don’t, or wiring that allows them to hear from Him clearly.
Let me let you in on a little secret. They don’t. People who minister to you may have been to school, they may have been discipled, they may even have a spiritual heritage that you wish you had. But that’s not the main thing that makes them minister to you in strength and in power. People whom God uses all have one characteristic regardless of their past, their experience, and their talents and gifts. They are available.
When God calls, they say yes. When God asks them to do the hard thing, they say yes. When He asks them to take a risk, they say yes. When God calls them to walk in a place where they might be alone, they say yes. And by saying yes, they end up in a position where they are ministering to you. So when God gives you direction, will you say yes? I hope so. It just might help you minister to another person or, possibly, even be an answer to their prayers. And guess what, ya’ll? There are only seven days left to go in this twenty-eight-day journey. How has your prayer life changed with regular reminders to talk to God? Have the reminders made it easier to talk to Him a little bit more or a little more consistently? I hope so. I find that the reminders to pray help me be more purposeful and frequent in my conversations with the Almighty.
As we enter our last week, I’ve found myself wondering: if prayer isn’t really that hard, if praying without ceasing and keeping lines of communication open with God isn’t any big deal, why don’t we do it more? Why is it a struggle? Why is it a challenge to go to God first? One reason might be because we really don’t believe that prayer works. Another reason? We figure that we’ll have time to talk to God about our concerns eventually. We figure that there is not a rush to tell Him about our feelings, ask His opinion about our situation, or seek His guidance for our lives. We mean to pray about things. It’s just that we don’t always get around to it. But what if prayer can actually make a difference?
If we don’t pray or if we delay our time to petition God about the details of our lives, we might be delaying His provision, His intervention, or His favor. Let me challenge you not to wait. Don’t act as if you have time. Make it your focus and your priority to talk to God this week and to talk to Him often. Why don’t you have a little chat with Him before you turn in for the evening? Don’t wait till tomorrow. He’s available to talk to you right now.