It was my annual appointment to see my dermatologist for a skin care check last December. As Melinda, the young medical assistant, went through preliminaries in the room, we began some friendly banter about how fast Christmas was approaching and how there was so much to do. That’s when she opened up about feeling overwhelmed. Her father was in the hospital recovering from surgery for prostate cancer. Her grandmother was dying and her young son was sick at home. I knew right then she needed prayer.
After the doctor was finished with the exam, Melinda and I were alone again. “You have so much going on in your life right now. Can I pray for you?” I asked. “Yes!” she exclaimed quickly. I asked some clarifying questions about her dad’s situation and proceeded to pray for health and strength for her father, as well as peace and comfort for her grandmother and the family, and improved health for her precious little boy. I also prayed for Melinda that God would give her strength in the midst of these storms and that she would feel His presence and peace in a very real way. As I prayed, I lightly touched her arm.
Tears filled Melinda’s eyes as she quickly hugged me. She had to finish up with me because she needed to usher in the next patient, but she thanked me repeatedly.
God often brings people into our lives to whom He wants us to minister—yet we don’t always recognize them. In our constant hurried pace, we rush around feverishly getting to and from work, appointments, shopping and other things on our agenda. We don’t stop to realize God is constantly setting up these “divine encounters” for us (John 6:44).
What if we began to pray on a daily basis that God would help us recognize who these individuals are? What if we also began to pray and ask God for the faith to minister to them? I believe we would see God working more in our everyday lives and our own faith would begin to soar—in addition to blessing those whom God brings to us.
Clues and cues
What are some signs that people are receptive to God? The first clue is when they begin to open up their life to you. This is your cue to pray for them. Prayer is the single most important thing you can do for people. It melts their hearts toward God and you.
Get over your shyness about praying for people out loud. They are struggling and really don’t care if your words are eloquent. They’re just touched that you care enough to pray for them. Your number one focus at this moment should be on that person and their needs.
The next clue for discovering God’s plan for your meeting is to see how the encounter goes. Some individuals might mention that they really feel the need to go back to church. This is your cue to invite them to attend your church. If they express a desire to learn more about the Bible, then invite them to a small group Bible study. You can always start a new Bible study group in your home or church (home is always better) and invite some supportive friends from church. If they seem to just want to hang out with you, then invite them to lunch or a hot beverage. You will see how God is leading you even more.
Many people say they don’t have time to invest in other people. But I have found we can’t afford not to. It’s just like those who say they can’t afford to pay tithe. God blesses and maximizes your time even more when you consecrate it to Him.
Why not ask God to lead you in your everyday activities? Then stand back and be amazed at what God does!