Pray in obedience
Prayer must be of utmost importance to the Lord. It is our direct connection to Him. Today’s post relates to us bringing others to his throne room, whether we know them or not.
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”
This morning was perfect weather for getting out for exercise at a local park. Once there, I noticed only a few others had the same mindset. So I began the one mile loop, with the intention of circling it three times.
As I neared the 3/4 mile, there were two women in front of me, and one of them had a boot on her foot due to an injury. Their pace was slow but I was glad to see them out there. As I passed them I said, “Hello” and smiled. They looked at me and responded the same. But when I was side by side with them, this inner voice said, “Pray with her.”
Thus began this great debate within me. Typically I don’t just approach people I don’t know for the sole purpose of praying with them. But if this was a nudge from the Holy Spirit, then I needed to act on it. For the next 1/4 mile of my run, I dwelt on this. Should I turn around and go back? Should I go around again and hope to catch up with them? I knew if I didn’t act on what I felt led to do, the rest of my day would be pervaded with guilt. The Lord didn’t need me to do this, but He asked me to. Who am I to say no? I remembered Jonah who ran from what God had asked him to do, only to continue pursuing Jonah until He did as he was asked.
The two women took a shortcut toward the parking lot, which made the decision easy. We met up again, so this time I stopped to talk with them. As we began to talk to each other, the other lady needed to interpret some of the conversation due to my lack of Spanish speaking skills. But after exchanging names, I asked her if I could pray for her about that foot injury and they both agreed. I put my hand on her shoulder, then knelt down and touched her foot and began to pray. As I prayed, my lower back immediately started spasming with such pain I nearly yelled out! But I finished, we spoke a bit more, and after hugs, we separated.
As I began to run again, the pain in my back was completely gone. I marveled at this, and questioned what it could mean, if anything. First, it could be merely a back pain from bending over after being upright for so long. Second, it could be Satan trying to distract me from what I was trying to do. Thirdly, it reminded me of what Jesus did for us: He took on our pain when on that cross, that we might be healed. He prayed to the Father on our behalf that we might be forgiven and healed!
Whatever the reason of me experiencing that pain, the greatest thing it did was to remind me of how great a love our Lord has for each one of us. Jesus knew He would suffer for us by scourging, by thorns, by humiliation, by torture, and ultimately by death. But He did it anyway. He suffered what we were supposed to suffer. He took that on for us, in our stead. He wore our robe of death so that we don’t have to! That is worth a Hallelujah!! Now He intercedes for us as our High Priest and as the Lamb of God.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.”
He asked me to pray for this woman. Initially, I denied that request. So don’t go thinking I am boasting about praying with her! I most definitely am not. (Actually I am embarrassed to admit my shortcomings.)
I don’t know if, when or how the Lord will answer that prayer, but since He was in this and He asked me to be obedient, then He will respond in his time.
Today I learned more about obedience and trust. He reminded me about who is a neighbor, a friend, and how important each one of us is. He put me in an uncomfortable situation, both personally and physically, where I was reminded of what a great sacrifice He took on for me, and for you.
When you come across someone and feel the Holy Spirit nudge you to pray with them or for them, do it. You may not know this side of heaven the end results, but you will be filled with joy for being obedient, and for loving someone else by caring enough to lift them up to the Lord.
The King of Kings chooses to use us for his work!
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
Food for thought: : “Any concern too small to be made into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.” Corrie Ten Boom
Fun facts: My Utmost For His Highest was written by Oswald Chambers after he preached a sermon on the same title. His wife self-published the book in 1927 about 10 years after his death. It has been translated in over 39 languages, and sold over 13 million copies.
Photo by: Karl Magnuson – Three women
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