Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days (Ephesians 5:16, NLT).
Today, many lack peace. Anxiety and fear are symptoms of the last days.
We should consider ourselves “prayer missionaries” because many lack the presence and peace of God. When we encounter someone who has a need, an illness, or a concern, we should realize this is an opportunity . . .
To stop ‘n pray.
Just ask, “Can I pray for you?” Then, say a short prayer asking God to meet the specific request. That’s it. Say, “I will continue praying for you,” and walk away.
It’s essential to recognize the opportunity to stop ‘n pray.
If you encounter a person you haven’t seen in a long time and they express a need – this is an opportunity to stop ‘n pray. If someone you know has just received a difficult medical report, it’s an opportunity too.
I know children have many — too many — requests during the day.
Try picking one request each day and say, “Let’s stop right now and pray about this.” Praying brings God into your relationship with a child, and the Spirit will work in the child’s heart to change requests to more godly desires.
Okay, develop confidence, and say this three times – I can stop ‘n pray. I can stop ‘n pray. I can stop ‘n pray.
When I stop ‘n pray in the sanctuary at church, at Kroger, or at the Coffee Depot during a stop on a bike ride . . . I haven’t had anyone refuse prayer. They’ve just shared a need with me; they won’t resist my offer to pray.
It does take courage, but it gets easier as we stop ‘n pray often.
Take the pressure off when you pray. You don’t need to share the gospel unless they ask. Stop ‘n pray casts seeds of God’s goodness. When the person receives an answer, they will remember our prayer.
In our stop ‘n praying, we will encounter doubt. We think, “What happens if they are not healed or if their request isn’t answered?” Don’t worry, just pray. God has sovereignly given you this opportunity.
Let Him take charge of the results! You don’t need to defend God or over-explain the nature of praying – just stop ‘n pray.
I use the following conversational path when I pray:
- Thanks for telling me what is going on with you.
- Can I pray a short prayer for you?
- God, please heal, provide, or give peace for _____________ (specific need).
- I will continue to pray for you.
You’ve just stopped ‘n prayed!
God will give you many opportunities to pray for others. It’s not a question of opportunity but of us noticing when it’s time to stop ‘n pray.