Monday, June 6, 2011

First Response

“My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.”
{Ephesians 3:17-19}

There are many people I know who have been experiencing really difficult life situations recently. They've shared their story, revealed their burdens and asked for prayer. When you see someone going through hard times, it's hard not to want to be a part of their solution... to offer physical help, ideas, solutions, etc. I'm not negating that we are never supposed to offer help in those ways, but there are times when we forget what our first and best response should be: prayer.

Respond to the needs of those around you first with prayer.

There are all kinds of prayers you can offer, but offering to pray not only for someone but with someone will many times accomplish exactly what is needed most. I don't know about you, but I tire of hearing the phrase thrown around in the Christian community, "I'll be praying for you." There are times when what I really want and need is for someone to pray for me right now. Things can be settled in both heart and mind instantly through prayer... in both the physical and spiritual realms as well. Many times our best intentions to pray for someone who really needs prayer go unfulfilled unintentionally because of our lack of first response. And I'll be the first to admit that I'm guilty of it. 

This week I'm going to make an intentional effort to make my first response to be one of immediate, on-the-scene prayer. How about you?

How does it feel when someone agrees with you in prayer?
How do you feel about offering to pray with someone who expresses a need to you?
Do you have any unfulfilled intentions when it comes to your prayer life?
Do you need to ask someone to pray for you?
Ask God to use your prayers as a first response for someone else this week.

Further reading: Philippians 4:6-7, Jeremiah 33:2-3, Matthew 18:18-20, Romans 8:26, Psalm 68:19, Galatians 6:1-3

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