“A few years ago,” Stan began, “before we moved here, I had a neighbor who was in a serious auto accident. He was in the hospital and I visited him several times, both before and after he regained consciousness.”
“Was he okay?” I asked.
“Yes, eventually,” Stan replied. “After a few weeks, he was released from the hospital and was able to rehab at home.”
Continuing, he said, “One day, while my neighbor was still in the hospital, I told him that I had been praying for him.”
“How did he respond to that?” I asked.
“He said he did not believe in God and certainly did not believe in prayer. He told me not to bother praying for him.”
“So,” I replied, “did you stop praying for him?”
“Absolutely not,” Stan said. “While I did not tell my neighbor this, I certainly thought of saying that I took my orders from God, not from him. But the Holy Spirit led me in not saying that. I continued to pray for his physical healing, but especially for his spiritual healing.”
Continuing, Stan said, “The Bible says to pray for all people, not just the ones who want or ask for prayer. I take that admonition seriously, especially when I have the deep sense of prompting by and from the Holy Spirit.”
“And you had that sense with this man?” I asked.
“I did,” Stan replied. “As he was healed from his physical injuries, I could see there was a change in him. He began to ask about my prayers. Eventually he began to ask me to pray for him. And he asked me about my faith.”
“During the time he was recovering at home,” Stan continued, “I visited him regularly. After a time, I was able to be a part of God’s plan for the man and was able to lead him in accepting God’s provision for life eternally with Him when it is time.”
“Furthermore,” Stan added, “the man has become a real prayer warrior, being a prayer leader in the church as he works out the salvation that God worked in.”
“All because you prayed for him,” I responded.
“All I did,” Stan said, “was obey. God is the one who answered the prayers He wanted me to bring before Him.”
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men. 1 Timothy 2:1.
Work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:12, 13.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you want me to pray for all people, whether or not they want me to pray for them. I am to pray and leave the answers in your very capable hands. I confess that too often I fail to follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit and I fail to pray as He leads. Please forgive me. And please open me to pray just as you want, to be obedient in praying as you lead. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and journal) about:
1. What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?
2. What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?
3. What is God saying to you to do personally?
4. Who can you share this with to make a difference?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.