I have often pondered what more I could do to follow this commandment to feed sheep, and all of the other commands that seem to go to people’s need for physical food, clothing, and shelter. This morning, it occurred to me that there are many types of hunger, nakedness, and the like. Not all of them are physical needs.
In fact, at least once a month, my position as an administrator of an intercessory prayer ministry, allows me to see a deep hunger in people, a hunger for prayer and encounter with the body of Christ. I see a hunger for truth, and people starving for the Word. Our entire society is terribly malnourished.
My perception comes from standing outside the sanctuary after our prayer team events, and hearing what people have to say. I’ve heard stories about changed lives, about people finding peace as a result of people praying with them, and about people being healed of emotional, mental, and physical ailments. In addition, as I’ve tried to start praying with people in need, I have seen them go from stress to peace. I have seen people being bolstered by Christ within me. Members of my prayer team report similar things.
In fact, last night, a friend was telling me how God called him to go to another friend’s house right then to pray with the friend. He didn’t go for a few days, and only after God asked him to go about three times. When he went, he found out this person had been contemplating suicide. With depression, one never knows what will happen, but thanks to my friend’s willingness to follow the Spirit’s lead, this person has a deeper understanding of God’s love for him. Through my friend, this person has had a potentially life changing encounter with Christ’s body, which is Christ himself.
I’ll be the first to admit that offering to pray with someone is difficult. Our pride and/or insecurity can get in the way. It takes practice to pray from the heart in the moment. It takes practice to speak up and ask if someone wants prayer. It is important to remember that the Holy Spirit, who works through the members of the Body of Christ is with us. This same Spirit has comforted numberless martyrs and given heroic courage to a number of Saints. He longs to do the same through us.
Spend some time with the Holy Spirit asking for the courage to be open to situations where he wants to minister through you. Ask him to remind you to ask him into situations where you think someone might be hungry for prayer. Ask him to use you at least once today to bring Christ to someone in need. Ask him to help you make this a daily request. Spend some time being grateful for all of those who have taken the time to pray with you, and for all of the unknown intercessors whom he has asked to pray for you.