Your prayer life isn’t just about you and God.
The cross of Christ has a vertical beam because it unites you and God. The cross restores the vertical relationship between you and your maker. But the cross also has a horizontal beam. The cross of Christ also restores others to God.
The horizontal beam reminds you that prayer is also about the world. God loves you, but he also loves the world. Your prayer life is not an exclusive love fest between you and God, and it’s not just for your spiritual growth. Your prayer life is also for the world.
Your prayer life is your greatest means of changing the world for Christ.
That’s good, because your city could use some help. Binge drinking and promiscuity is up among the college students while church attendance is down. The mobile home owners are being pushed out of their mobile home park, and the residents have no place to go. School scandals litter the headlines. It seems your city is getting worse, not better.
Plus you have no idea how to reach your neighbors for Christ. You want them to know God, but when you try to share your faith, your mouth fills with sand and you can’t think straight. In the book of Philemon, Paul says to be active in sharing your faith so you’ll understand every good thing you have in Christ.
But suddenly, your mind locks up, and you can’t think of a single benefit of God’s kingdom. Why in the world are you a Christian anyway? You don’t know. And why would your neighbor want to become one? You haven’t a clue.
In prayer, God answers all your questions about ministering to your neighbor:
- Who: As you pray for opportunities, God will highlight specific people he wants to draw to himself. These are your neighbors. Prayer alerts you to whom God is at work.
- Where: Prayer is where you gain the authority to minister to them. The root of ministry is love. When you bring your neighbors before the Lord, you gain a divine affection for them, and this affection comes with authority.
- When: Prayer prepares you for when to minister. When you pray for opportunities, God will open them up. You won’t have to force anything. God will open the door, and you’ll know when to walk through it.
- Why: Prayer is why you can reach your neighbor. You love your neighbor because God first loved you. Experiencing God’s love in prayer stirs your hunger for your neighbor to experience God’s love, which draws you into praying for them.
- How: Prayer is how timid little you will become God’s partner in reaching the world. Prayer empowers you with the tools of heaven, emboldens you with courage, and fills you with God’s wisdom. The horizontal beam of the cross is possible because the vertical is in place.
But God cannot answer these questions if you don’t talk with Him.
When you pray, God can give you strategies for reaching your neighbors, and by reaching your neighbors you reach the world. (Learn what we’re doing in August to change the world.)
In order to change the world, first change your prayer life.
Pray the prayer types that work best for you. Your prayer life is your greatest means of changing the world for Christ.
What are you praying for your neighbors? You can comment by clicking here.