Pray (but also meet the need if you are able)

Most of us who are Christians have experienced it at one time or another.

You are sitting at Bible Study and everyone is sharing prayer requests. Someone mentions their neighbor Sally. Her husband just got laid off and they are in a bad spot financially.

Or perhaps you pass a friend in the hallway at church. They mention that they were late getting there that morning because the car wouldn’t start. Think it’s the alternator and they are wondering where they’ll get the money to fix it.

Maybe you notice the single mom in the pew in front of you has a tear in her eye. You’ve never really talked to her before but you lean over to ask what the problem is. She says she is behind on her bills and just got a notice that her electricity is about to be turned off. She is scared and doesn’t know what to do.

I’ll pray for you…pray

Many times when we are in these situations, our first reaction is to say “that sounds really rough. I’ll pray for you.”  Maybe if we are feeling extra spiritual that day we might even take a moment to pray with them, asking God to help them in their need.

First let me say: Prayer is a terrific place to start. It is never a bad idea to take our problems to our Heavenly Father. No problem is too big. No problem is too small.

Maybe you are the answer

But just maybe in these circumstances sometimes God says, “I’ve already answered the prayer. I’ve blessed you with far more than you need. Why are you asking Me? YOU meet the need in My name with the blessings I have given you.”

James said:

If you know someone who doesn’t have any clothes or food, you shouldn’t just say, “I hope all goes well for you. I hope you will be warm and have plenty to eat.” What good is it to say this, unless you do something to help? James 2:15-16

Or how about what the apostle John said:

If we have all we need and see one of our own people in need, we must have pity on that person, or else we cannot say we love God. Children, you show love for others by truly helping them, and not merely by talking about it. 1 John 3:17-18

Hands and feet

So what if…

You said a prayer for Sally at the Bible Study then left 3 bags a groceries on their porch the next day.

Or perhaps you prayed with your friend in the hall, but then went home and put some cash in a card and sent them an anonymous note saying God loved them.

Maybe you say a prayer with that scared single mom and get her address so you could follow-up with her. Then head down to the electric company on Monday morning and pay her electric bill.

What if God has blessed you precisely so you could meet the needs of the people He brings into your world?

If you are struggling and barely getting by, then a prayer may be all you can offer. And that is great. But just maybe God is saying I have already answered that prayer, I just need you to be my hands and feet.

Who has a need you can meet today?

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