“A Lifestyle of Prayer”
Loving the Crowd: Provide Help!
“’Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.’ Jesus replied, ‘They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.’”
Mathew 14:15-16 (NIV)
This week’s prayer focus is about loving others enough to help them. Helping others is not just a good idea, it is a God idea! When Jesus saw the crowds, He was often moved to compassion and chose to help in ways that were consistent with the actual need. God continually sets the example by helping us in our times of need, and did so in the ultimate way by sending His Son, Jesus, to redeem us from our greatest need. As you pray, ask God to fill you with a compassion that leads to a desire to help others. Pray that this desire would take root and grow into an action that produces fruit. Pray that you would notice not just those in the crowd who need help, but that God would help you see clearly what help is really needed. Pray that God would be honored in the way you help others.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
Please pray each day for God’s help in loving the crowds enough to provide real help.
Sunday: Pray for your church staff, the preaching and teaching that takes place, the church leadership, the volunteers that are helping in so many areas, the spiritual and financial health of the congregation, and the work of the missions ministry of the church. Pray for me (Tom Lemler) and the work of Impact Prayer Ministry.
Monday: Provide Help According to Your Ability. Pray that God would help you to accurately evaluate your ability to help others. Pray that you would free yourself from the trap of comparison as you help others according to the ability God has given you. “The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea.” Acts 11:29 (NIV)
Tuesday: Provide Help to Those Who Are Weak. Pray that you would be mindful of the many ways in which a person might be weak. Pray that you would have the courage to do the hard things that help those who are weak. “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” Acts 20:35 (NIV)
Wednesday: Provide Help Through Your Prayers. Ask God to help you to remember to pray for those who need His help. Pray that you would pay attention during your prayer time for how God would have you help others. “He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers.” 2 Corinthians 1:10-11 (NIV)
Thursday: Provide Help According to Need. Pray that it would not only be your actions, but also your words that would be helpful to others according to their need. Pray that you would seek wisdom in knowing what others really need before you try to offer help. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
Friday: Provide Help So Others Get Along. Pray that you would be a peacemaker when the people around you don’t get along. Pray that your help would encourage others to resume their work for the cause of the gospel. “I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel.” Philippians 4:2-3 (NIV)
Saturday: Provide Help That Encourages Others. Pray that you would be a help to those who encourage others and to those who need encouraged. Pray that you would know the encouragement of being a helper. “With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.” 1 Peter 5:12 (NIV)