(Something Always Happens)
Several years ago my friend was between jobs. He had been searching a bit longer than usual for his line of work. One Saturday afternoon I saw him at the grocery store. He was with his wife and had two young children in tow. There was no positive news for him to announce about his job search. It had already been a couple of months, and although he was without gainful employment he presented himself in a cheerful demeanor. We previously worked together and I knew him as a qualified candidate with integrity. I told him I would pray, and encouraged him to keep faith in God who provides for all our needs. That evening I prayed for him. I sought God in prayer, to bless my friend, and his family, to bring him a new job that was commensurate with his skills and background.
The following weekend we crossed paths again, this time in the parking lot of the local big-box hardware store. He smiled and shook my hand. He beamed, "you won't believe what happened." So I took the bait and puzzled, "try me." He confided that he received two phone calls on Monday, both verbal offers for a job. He received written offers the next day. Two companies he interviewed with earlier that month offered him a job. One of the companies offered him a substantial signing bonus to work for them. God gave him a choice in where he would work next.
I stood there after we had said our goodbyes and was pained with myself that I had not prayed sooner for my friend. God's mission is not done. Every waking moment we should spend time doing something to bring our next friend, family member, or stranger... closer to God. Each day should focus on what still needs to be done, until we see the return of Jesus to judge the world. The reality is that we can never complete all the work ourselves. We cannot even take credit for the work we do.
—Isaiah 26:12 (KJV)
12 LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.
—Psalms 138:8 (KJV)
8 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.
God doesn't need us. Far from it, for it is we who need God in all things. Our need is so great that without God we can accomplish nothing.
—John 15:5 (KJV)
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
We can do nothing apart from Jesus, not one thing. Rejoice and give thanks in knowing we have a friend who is always there with us.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (KJV)
16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Perspectives On Praying For Others
Prayer Is About Our Devotion To God
Prayer Is The Most Vital Thing We Can Do For Another Person
- We offer to God an investment of our time, our minds, and our emotions.
- God can do with us as He pleases. (Matthew 6:10)
- When we pray for others, we can help to merit for them graces for conversion, or atonement for their sins, and God’s help for them to see how He is revealing Himself to them.
Prayer Undermines Our Sin Of Pride
- Praying for a person's salvation means praying for someone to enter their lives and witness to them. (Luke 10:2)
Prayer Always Results In Something Happening
- God never ceases working out the salvation of others.
- When we meet someone, God invites us to bear witness to what He is doing in their life.
- Sometimes God might use us (a little bit).
Prayer Acknowledges God's Reality
- A lot of people walk away from God.
- Not everybody who hears God's word will heed the call. (Matthew 7:14)
- When that happens to us, God pours grace into our lives.
- God helps us accept other people's choices.
Prayer Is Always Fruitful
- How we pray for others is less important than actually praying for others.
- God is responsible for the soul of another, and He allows us contribute.
- It's never us doing something in someone else's life. It is God.
- It is He who is in us. It is when we live in Christ that His light shines through us and on others.
- Our love for God and others manifests itself through prayer. (1 John 4:7-10)
- God delights in hearing our all our prayers. (Psalms 147:1)
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What Happens When We Pray For Others
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