Yes, we all need to go to God in prayer
As a child, while in the first decade of my life, there was a song I sung in Sunday School entitled, “Count Your Blessings, Name Them One By One”. Well, this morning, as I’m approaching the 8th decade of my life, the Lord whispered, My Child, count your blessings.
(There is no sweeter sound to hear early in the morning then the sweet, sweet, voice of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.)
So, the first thoughts that ran through my mind were the spiritual gifts that the Lord has so graciously showered on me. Did you know that there are spiritual gift survey tools that can help you discover and exercise your God-given gifts? Most Christians have a dominant spiritual gift and many Christians have more than one gift. I’ve been tested and my dominant spiritual gift is Hospitality.
But for some reason, this morning as I was praying and preparing to write my blog post for this week, the Holy Spirit directed me to one of my minor gifts, my gift of ministry. You see, I love to pray for all kinds of situations, for example; my fellow believers, strangers, lost causes, world events, highway accidents, police and fire truck sirens, and stumped toes. Yep! Just about anything.
Praying personally for people is the hardest assignment…though. Why?… because there should be a method for the moment. And that lesson was what the Holy Spirit wanted to remind me of this morning.
When ministering to others and when they specifically ask you to pray for them, I was reminded by my Heavenly Father to A-S-K!
- ASK the person what exactly do they want Jesus to do. Do not just look at their physical appearance or listen to their ranting about their circumstances. Preference your question with scripture by saying: Jesus asked the blind man in Mark 10:51 “What do you want me to do for you?”
- ASK the person how long they have encountered the problem. This inquiry gives you and the person time to pause, think, relax and breathe. This question also gives you time to ascertain if the person is harboring any unconfessed sins such as guilt, or resentment. Remember how Jesus prayed in Mark 9:21 “Jesus asked the boy’s father, ‘How long has he been like this?'”
- SEEK the persons eyeballs! Yes, always look them dead in the eyes. If the person turns their head away, or will not look you in the eyes, this could indicate that they are afraid or uneasy. This could also be caused by many other things. Are you too close to them…in their space. Or are there too many other distractions such as no privacy or maybe you both need to sit down or kneel or something. Look around. Be vigilant. For your information, Matthew 6:22-23 says, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.”
- SEEK the Lord. Your first prayer for the person may be one for any unconfessed sins, resentment or guilt. OR the timing may not be right. Remember the cripple man in the Bible who was put at the gate called Beautiful every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. But he did not receive what he really needed until Peter and John passed by him one day. Acts 3:1-5
- KNOCK on the door of the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to come in and sup with you and the person you are ministering to. Wait on Him. This may take a few seconds or minutes. Begin your time together by just whispering a soft prayer or invitation for the Holy Spirit and Jesus to come into your mist prior to your partitioning Them for aide for the person you are praying for.
- KNOCK again if necessary. After you have prayed and neither of you since the anointing of the Holy Spirit, pray again. Or perhaps you need to schedule another time or solicit two or three other prayer partners to corporately pray for this person. Some things come through prayer and fasting. Matthew 17:21
Thank you Holy Spirit for this time together. My prayer is that God will be glorified whenever someone feels the need to call on another to be ministered to in prayer. And if the name called is mine, please, God, allow me to be somewhere listening and remembering all the many blessings you have given me. AMEN.
– Merle Haggard – I’ll Be List’ning