Yesterday was one of my closest friends’ birthday. We celebrated her after work. It was nice spending time with her. She is a great person who has a burning heart for the Lord. Her life mission is to help as many people as possible. She comprehends that God is about love and that He is a selfless God. Her understanding of who God is makes her the altruistic person that she is. She is one of the people I respect the most and I am blessed to know her. Do you ever make an inventory of the people in your life and thank God for them? I try to do that more and more. God has put people in our lives for a reason. I have learned so many lessons from my interactions with some of the amazing people in my life. I believe that if we looked at everyone we knew and saw them for who they are, we would look at people with Jesus’ eyes. What are the people like in our lives?
Some people are very easy to love and some are hard to be around. Some we should spend as much time with and others should be avoided. However, God loves them all. It doesn’t mean that we should hang out with toxic people all the time. Good company makes for good events. When we spend time with the positive people in our lives, good things happen. Spending time with my friend yesterday reminded me of how when two people who have Jesus as their Savior get together, God is with them. We had a glorious time talking about the Lord among other things. That precious time should be celebrated and encouraged. There are many things we can be thankful for and being thankful for the people who are a blessing in our lives is important. I never used to thank God for people as much. I used to focus on what He did for me and what He gave me. God gave me wonderful people I thank Him for every day. It’s time we celebrated the people in our lives and prayed for everyone we know. Some people will never be mentioned in prayers unless you and I pray for them.
Praying for everyone I know became a habit a few years ago. I started going through a whole list of people naming them one by one. I didn’t say a “blanket prayer” that would cover all of them. I tried my best to be as specific as I could. It takes time and I don’t do it all the time but it is a powerful way of praying. I make sure to pray for others first. The Holy Spirit reminds me of some of the needs that the people in my life have. The Lord loves it when we pray and He sees His reflection in us when we pray for others because we are doing what He desires for us to do. “Pray at all times” is repeated in the Bible and if we take that commandment or recommendation to heart and attach it to the central message of love, we understand that prayer is initially meant to bless others. When we pray with love, we pray with power. Arm your prayers with love and you will see what God does in the lives of the ones you pray for. Prayer changes things. Prayer blesses. Prayer protects. Prayer helps. Prayer brings life. Pray for people you know and you will contribute to some of the positive changes in their lives.
Now, you might say ‘What about the people I know that don’t believe in God?” I strongly believe that those people should be at the front of the line in your prayer requests. They should be in your prayers daily. Pray that the Holy Spirit touch them. Pray that He would melt their hearts and give them understanding. Pray that the eyes of their spirits open to the truth of God’s love. Everyone deserves prayers. Someone might have prayed for you to get saved and look where you are now! You can be that prayer warrior that labors spiritually in his or her prayer closet so that someone else’s life might be changed forever. We should “be Jesus” to everyone and not just to the people who believe in Him. People are turned off by how some Christians treat them because they don’t believe. Christians have chased around non-believers screaming that they should repent right away or they will go to hell. We need to think of how we approach people and rethink our methods if what we do is outside of love. My prayer today is that you celebrate the people God put in your life and that you give an open invitation to everyone around you. That invitation should welcome them to the kingdom of God and not direct them to the kingdom of condemnation. Enjoy the people in your life and thank God for every one of them!
Suggested reading: John 3:16; John 15:12; Romans 13:10