Did you realise that you could actually change somebody’s life today? You could be the answer to somebody’s prayers. You could be somebody’s miracle today.
I could tell you so many stories of the way God has used others to work miracles in our lives – like the friends, when we were studying at college and had seven mouths to feed, who were given £50 and quickly realised that they probably didn’t need it and asked God who to pass it onto? They became our miracle that evening as we’d run out of food and money to provide for our kids. £50 went a long way back in 1994!
Shortly after I discovered my birth Father in America in 2001, the opportunity arose to travel to the States to meet him for the first time. As you can imagine – I longed to meet him. A couple in our church became our miracle by providing return flights to San Francisco for Julia and I, so that I could meet him – but it didn’t stop there, they also looked after our children for the two weeks we were in the States! On another occasion dear friends looked after our kids so we could enjoy a break in the Canary Islands.
There are so many other occasions when we have been blessed not just by Gods provision through others, but also phone calls and visits at the right moment, prayer support, financial provision, cards through the post, babysitters, holidays, homes and cars being leant to us….the list just goes on and on. We’re so grateful for every act of kindness.
We live in a world right now with so many needs and hurts. It is so broken. There has been so much bereavement and loss in the past eighteen months. Loneliness is reaching epidemic proportions. Poverty is growing. Mental health problems are increasing. Politicians have little idea how to solve societies problems.
However the people of God have been blessed to be a blessing!
We have been called to bring light to the darkness and meet the needs of others.
BE THE ANSWER TO SOMEBODY’S PRAYERS TODAY!
How often have you and I said ‘I’ll pray for you’ when actually what that person really needed was some practical or financial assistance or real support and encouragement rather than a well-meaning comment. Perhaps the busyness and demands of life causes us to miss very real needs in those around us. Perhaps we need to be more alert and ready to say, “What can I do to help? What can I do that will really make a difference?”
Isaiah 58 is one of those massively challenging passages of the Bible and in it Isaiah reminds us to;
“loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter – when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: here am I.
‘If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. (Isaiah 58:6-12)
BE THE ANSWER TO SOMEBODY’S PRAYERS TODAY!
There are so many ways in which you and I can be a blessing to other people – we just need to keep our eyes and ears open…
- Calling regularly someone who is struggling
- Sending a card or flowers to encourage someone
- Cutting your elderly neighbours lawn when you cut yours
- Giving people lifts to the doctors, hospital, shopping etc
- Being a babysitter for worn out parents
- Providing shopping or financial help for those in need
- Replacing broken down electrical goods
- Using your DIY skills to help someone in need
- Offering your home while you’re away as a break for someone
- Creating a hamper and dropping it off to someone in need
- Cooking meals for those convalescing after an operation
- Inviting a single/lonely/recently bereaved person for a meal
- Providing for people to enjoy holidays or attend camps/conferences
- Help someone move home when they have no one else to help
Those are just suggestions – Julia and I have pretty well done all those over the years for others and been on the receiving end of the blessing ourselves. In fact when we were at Bible College and had hardly any money or food a lady turned up one day with an absolutely massive joint of beef – we could have fed an army never mind the seven of us! What a blessing she was!
THE GOOD SAMARITAN
Jesus taught the disciples about being a Good Samaritan. Luke records this;
“On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ ” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?”
In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:25-37)
THE SAMARITAN WAS THE ANSWER TO THAT MAN’S PRAYERS THAT DAY!
He had been lying there half dead, whilst a stream of passers by (inc. a priest and a Levite) ignored him as he cried out for help.
I’m sure he must have been praying for someone or anyone to help him in his time of need.
However along came the Good Samaritan who stopped and helped, bring healing and restoration to the man in his time of need.
I believe that is God’s calling upon each one of us….to be Good Samaritans.
BE THE ANSWER TO SOMEBODY’S PRAYERS TODAY!
In fact our call is to love people as we would wish to be loved and to be the miracle that someone else is waiting for.
I believe that as God’s people we have been blessed to be a blessing – but we need to have our eyes and ears open if we are going to be ready to bless others.
Can I encourage you to be on the constant look out, to be aware of the needs of others.
If someone is going through a particularly hard time – don’t just say “I’m praying for you” or “Don’t worry something will turn up” but rather consider what YOU can do to be the answer to their prayers.
Place yourself in their shoes and ask yourself what would make a difference to that person or that family right now?
What could I do? What is within my power to do to change their situation?
Then, do it! Just do it! Be the answer to their prayers today!
You know what – not only will they be blessed but your act of sacrificial kindness will also (possibly just as importantly) send them a message that God has not forgotten them in their time of need and that He has seen and He has provided.
The fact is this – we worship the God of miracles but most of the time He chooses to work through you and me.
FAITH IN ACTION
We simply must not ignore those in need when we can actually help them. We must put our faith into action.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:16-18)
The question is are we alert and ready to be used by Him to help, support and provide for others….
IT’S A PROMISE
The Bible is full of promises for those who are willing to step in and become somebody else’s answer to prayer…..
“You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.“
(2 Corinthians 9:11)
“The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.” (Proverbs 22:9)
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” (Proverbs 11:25)
WHAT IF YOU ARE THE BLOCKAGE TO YOUR MIRACLE?
One final thought…..what if you yourself have been waiting for a miracle, breakthrough or answer to prayer in your life.
Perhaps you are the blockage to your own miracle or breakthrough.
What if the blockage to your miracle is your own unwillingness to be someone else’s miracle! God often answers prayer through people like you and me…
SOWING AND REAPING
The Bible teaches us that the principle of sowing and reaping is a spiritual law that God has placed in our world.
Jesus said this;
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38)
I have a sneaking suspicion that when we meet the needs of others, then that opens the door to God to bring about the answers to our own prayers.
Perhaps you could pause for a moment and consider how you can be the answer to somebody’s prayer today.
Is there anyone in your world that you could be a blessing to?
Anyone where you could be the miracle they are waiting for?
Don’t wait a second longer. Act now.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Galatians 6:9-10)
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