December 29, 2018
A Powerful Prayer, but Be Careful!
There are a few prayers that God answers quickly. Better yet, He answers by saying always saying “yes.” One particular prayer should actually come with a warning label that says, “Don’t pray this unless you are ready for instantaneous results.” The prayer is simple. “Please Lord, make me an instrument to carry out some important mission of mercy for You.” Even simpler, “use me to help someone.”
God calls us to be salt and light in this world, to be a Good Samaritan to those whom others ignore, to be prepared to have a ready answer for our joy and hope. We may give this answer through actions or words or both. Amazingly though, after you say this prayer, someone in need will practically show up on your doorstep! Why does God answer this prayer so quickly? Because it facilitates His plan of eternal salvation and the Great Commission: to save others by using us. You see, if He didn’t want to use us, He would take us to heaven as soon as we are saved. But many people are in need, and God calls us to go out and spread the good news. That’s the Great Commission.
I believe that when we ask God to use us to solve other people’s problems, another phenomenal process immediately happens. We start to pay attention to what we need to work on or be better at to take advantage of the opportunities God brings our way. We also become more aware of how earnestly He helps us with our own issues. Just like when you know you have a big game, test, or performance coming up, you pay more attention to your coach or instructor to maximize your performance.
Another natural outcome of helping others is that we get to share in their benefits too. In many ways it’s the “what goes around comes around” dynamic in reverse. Many people experience this principle when helping someone in need or when participating on a mission trip. The experience of blessing others blesses us as well.
Our natural bent is to look out for No. 1, ourselves, using the “What’s in it for me?” mentality. But God chooses to bless us whenever we humble ourselves to impact others in His service. The blessings and growth we reap powerfully motivate us to continue praying this prayer. The result is that we become mission-minded in our everyday activities!
Today, instead of being self-focused, ask God to use you as His instrument to help another person. You’ll be amazed at how quickly He answers your prayer. If you need some equipping first, be alert to the ways He will act so you will first grow and be equipped to give help. He will raise your antennae to be on the alert, ready to help others. In fact, it might be someone you know who’s waiting for you to step boldly out in love right now. Whether you become an instrument to help others or you stay focused on self-centered needs, it’s your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, I pray that You will use me as Your instrument to carry out some important mission of mercy for You. I know, Father, that if You are going to use me, You will begin to shape me into the best possible instrument I can be for the specific role You have created. Thank You, Lord. Help me to be a good listener as you send needy people my way. Work on my heart so I see other through Your lenses. Let me be Your mouthpiece, Your hands and Your feet in this missional opportunity. I present these requests in the name of the one who always said “yes” to minister to others, Christ Jesus. And all God’s children say AMEN!
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” John 15:13
“He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 10:39
“That you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.” Philippians 2:15-16