As I look around me and as I hear what goes on and see what is happening on TV and in the newspaper I realize more and more that we are a very needy people in this world. As I continue my walk with my Lord, I am becoming more and more concerned about the community in which I live. I Know that my Heavenly Father led me to come to this town to be a minister in a certain church. But, I know that I am concerned about being a minister to the whole town and not just a certain group of people. I have to ask myself this question, “What would my city be like if every neighbor and neighborhood were prayed for daily?” How would God transform our city so it would be a better place to live? What would it take?
I believe that God wants to transform personal lives and cities, but that means we need to pray for our neighbors and be available to them. We can make a difference if we will just pray for our neighbors. Aneighbor is any person who is nearby—a family member, friend, fellow worker, classmate or playmate. In Luke 10, Jesus describes a neighbor as someone you meet along life’s road who needs your help. Would you be willing to pray for your neighbors? Would you be willing to pray “blessings” for your neighbors?
Let us think about five important ways to pray for our neighbors. Pray for the body—health, protection and strength. Then pray for our labor—work, income and security. Next, we could pray for the emotional aspects— joy, peace and hope. Follow that with social contacts— love, marriage, family and friends. And last but not least,we must pray for an enriched spiritual life— salvation, faith and grace. We can pray like this because our neighbors matter to God. He has given them to us to pray for because He loves them very much. He has created us so that we would praise Him and have a daily, personal relationship with Him. He grieves over those who are apart from Him and He wants them to return “home” to Him. He rejoices and has a party in heaven when one sinner repents and accepts Jesus as Savior and Lord of his life. Prayer will move them toward the Father. God wants us to pray for one another. Would you start by saying yes to God!
What would happen in Linton if we would pray five blessings, for five neighbors, for five minutes a day, five days a week, for five weeks. You and I can make a difference by simply praying. Make yourself available to God, and he will lead you into ministries of caring and sharing. By praying, you will release God’s grace into people’s lives. By caring, you will build bridges of love to them. By sharing the gospel, you will help people come to know Jesus Christ and be saved. If you will pray with me for your neighbors, please pray this commitment prayer: “God, I know that my neighbors matter very much to you and that you have commanded me to make requests, prayers,intercessions and thanksgiving for them. So, out of obedience to you and out of love for my neighbors, I commit myself to ask for your blessings for them for five minutes a day, five days a week, for the next five weeks. I will do this, with your help, to the best of my ability. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Yes, even our little rural community of Linton is not immune to all of the bad things in our world. Let us make a difference by praying for the good things of God to invade our community and make this a better place to live and raise our children. Let us commit ourselves to pray for one another.