This is something that has really been on my heart recently. I feel like so often I get caught up (yet again) in a crazy busy life and forget that it’s not even about me. Basically, I forget entirely my purpose of being on this earth. It’s weird, because I always feel so much more alive and fulfilled when I’m not serving myself, but serving others – yet I always come back to doing stuff for myself. It’s like I’m going in circles. And I can never seem to stop it.
My church back home in New England, Manchester Christian Church, puts a gigantic emphasis on praying for one. Simply meaning to pray daily, and even more often, for one person to show Abba’s love to. When I pray for one I notice a huge change in my perspective. When I go to the grocery store, drive through a toll booth, or see one of my very best friends, every interaction becomes a chance for that person to come into contact with Christ’s love (even if they already know Him). Something in particular shocked me and still hangs heavily on my heart. Imagine this with me: that the one thing standing between someone who is in complete despair and seeking to find some method of escape (drugs, suicide, prostitution) could be Christ’s love shown through you?
I’m not saying this is always the case (nor as extreme), but when I personally started thinking that way and actually seeing the fruit of it, I started to see that this can actually happen. I started imagining if I was on that end of it – because, quite frankly, we’re all there at some point (or many points) throughout our lives – and the thought that if someone would have stepped down to meet me where I was and took my hand to help me up breaks my heart in such a wonderful way – the kind of way that only Christ can break a heart – to strengthen it. People hurt. And most people won’t seek help from other people. And 100% of people are all struggling with a multitude of things. Which means that it’s not often that when I ask someone, “Hey, how are you today?” that they will respond honestly and completely. Most people don’t want to be cumbersome, others don’t trust that the person asking the question really wants to sit around to hear the answer, and others may just be too afraid to share.
My problem has always been that I “just don’t have time.” Either I’m running to get to an appointment, to a class, or to work and just don’t have time amongst my own problems to really listen to and follow through with someone in pain. And then comes my next problem: I don’t trust. I tend to have a skeptical outlook. I try to read people to see if they are really in need or just searching for attention. And this can actually be a good thing, so as to not encourage those who are seeking attention. However, it has also caused me to lose that Christ-like willingness to love – and no matter how much I get walked all over, I don’t have the authority to choose who I’m going to show love to. Secondly, if I was to ask a friend if she wanted something to drink to quench her thirst and then gave her an empty glass would she not look at me confused and still thirsty? The same thing goes for our walk with Christ. We have to allow Christ to pour into us so that we can then pour into others’ lives. If we’re not full of it we cannot possibly share it – simply because we don’t have it. And people can tell the difference. I encourage you to start praying for one today and throughout the week – get into a habit – and ask Abba to place one person in your life that you can share His love with.
An interesting concept which I will definitely try to adopt over the next few days. Thanks for providing me with this food for thought 😀
Regina Erickson says
Great advice! We all have time to pray for ONE.