Let’s be honest, offering to pray for people can be really awkward. I remember hearing Andy Croft (from Soul Survivor) say last year:
“You know it’s God if it’s the wrong person, at the wrong time in the wrong place”
I often find myself giving reasons (or lets face it, excuses!) for not praying for someone when I know I should. I’m sure I’m not alone in doing this. Offering to pray can be:
- Time consuming
- It can feel uncomfortable
- We can risk looking like a fool
- Some people may think we’re weird
- Some people won’t understand
- We may not see God answer our prayer
- It can really feel out of our comfort zone
So why bother?
Why not just let those enthusiastic extroverts go about praying?
Or our Church leaders?
Or those ‘unusual people’ that enjoy doing this type of thing?
On the other hand, perhaps if we don’t pray for people we are the ones that miss out on becoming the people God desires us to be.
Perhaps seeing and experiencing Jesus doing miracles through us is one of the most incredible things we can experience this side of Jesus returning.
I can often make excuses, however when I get over myself and actually offer to pray, I am rarely disappointed. Sometimes prayers aren’t answered (that’s absolutely ok). I think there can be a joy in just being obedient. But then there is the joy when prayers are answered.
I love seeing the wonder and shock in the face of the healed person. I love the bafflement as God gives someone a sign. I love the excitement when people realise that God will heal through them.
Exciting Part of the Christian Life
Signs, miracles and wonders are such an exciting part of the Christian life and my guess is that you’re reading this blog post because you are either:
– Regularly seeing Jesus do signs, miracles and wonders through you
– or you are interested in Jesus beginning to work his power through you
– or you’re my Mum (Hi Mum!)
When it comes to signs, miracles and wonders. The most important thing is not the answered prayers. Neither is it the cool stories that we have or the fact that God is working through us. The most important thing is why God is choosing to work through us this way.
It all comes down to LOVE.
Love was Jesus’ motivation. His love that brings forward care and compassion for people, this is a beautiful thing. Back when Jesus walked the earth, we see often this love, care and compassion he had for people.
In Matthew 9:36: When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Matthew 14:14: Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
Mark 12:31: Jesus instructs us to “Love your neighbour as yourself.”
This is just three of many examples that could be used. This love Jesus had back then, is the same love he still has today. With Jesus no longer walking the earth, he has chosen to use us (me and you) to share his love for all creation. LOVE is to be our motivation. If we really love people, we will offer to pray, we won’t mind looking like a fool, we will show care and compassion freely and abundantly.
Jesus cares about our love for people, not the results. Love is the most important thing.
How can I love?
At the beginning of this blog post I mentioned Andy Croft’s saying about wrong person, wrong time, wrong place. Andy then continued by saying something which I believe if we’re motivated by love and motivated by compassion for people, should be a challenge for us to live by. Andy encouraged:
“….Be in a space to be interrupted”
Life is busy, we all have to do lists, we all have places to get to, we all have stuff that fills our lives. Many of us also fill those in-between times and moments with scrolling Netflix spending far too much time trying to decide what to watch, going on our Facebook news feed for no obvious purpose or walking around with our headphones in. We’ve made it impossible to be interrupted.
When Jesus walked around, he was always willing to be interrupted. This, I believe, is a beautiful example of love.
- What things are filling up your life?
- What ways could you make it easier for God to interrupt you?
- Would you be willing to ask God to break your heart for people, to fill you with compassion and love for them?
Why not take a moment right now to ask God to help you really love people.
Ask God who he would like you to bless this week?
Ask God who he would like you to pray for?
Then go and bless and pray for the first person that springs to mind. Go on! Surely God’s love for people is worth it!