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When those around us are hurting or suffering, sometimes we feel paralyzed. We don’t know what to do to help. So we say the words, “I’ll pray for you,” and then we go back to our busy lives. Maybe we get so busy we forget to actually follow through and pray, maybe we offer up a quick prayer and then try to put it out of our minds.
Instead of moving on so quickly, here are a few suggestions for how we, as Christians, can serve others in need, as the hands and feet of Jesus.
First, take the time to actually pray. We need to be careful to not just say the words “I’ll pray” and then not follow through. Prayer is the most powerful, important step we can take in helping others. We don’t want to neglect to do so in the midst of our busy days.
If you have trouble remembering who and what to pray about, try keeping a prayer journal. Then, as you come across people in need throughout your day, you can write down important information and ensure you don’t forget to pray on it later.
Then, as you pray, ask God how He might use you to help this person in need. Ask Him to open your heart and equip you to follow through. Be willing to sacrifice your time, energy, and comfort to serve others. Ask Him how you can take action to help this person in need.
I believe that God wants to use us to be blessings for other people, in His name. We just have to be willing to step out in faith.
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Then, after spending time with the Lord in prayer, be prepared to step out in faith and take action to serve this person in need. Here are just a few ideas of small ways we can help others:
- Provide rides to doctors’ appointments. If your friend is ill, take her to her doctor appointments. Wait with her, comfort her.
- Go grocery shopping. Provide food and necessities to someone who isn’t able to make it to the grocery store or who can’t afford it at the moment.
- Cleaning house. This one is for all the new moms out there. People tend to want to come over and hold our babies. What would be super helpful instead would be for people to come over and wash dishes or do laundry so that we can take a nap with our little ones.
- Cooking. Make regular meals for someone who is ill, just had a baby, or is otherwise unable to cook for herself.
- Babysitting. If you know a couple whose marriage is in a difficult place, offer to watch their children so they can have some time together, just the two of them. Or maybe you know a mom who just needs an hour or two on her own to regain her sanity.
- One on one Bible study. If you have a friend who is struggling in her faith or wants to build a deeper relationship with the Lord, meet with her weekly. Disciple her. Live out Titus 2.
- Regular phone calls or video chats. If you’re far away and can’t be there to physically help, commit to spending time weekly to pour into your hurting friend.
- Go for walks together. Simply spend time together. Sometimes just being there and being willing to listen is more than enough.
- Share about yourself. Be willing to open up. Let go of the “perfect Christian” façade and be willing to share your struggles and faults. Let your friend know she’s not alone.
- Possibly the most important one: Ask your friend what she needs! How can I help? Be ready and willing to follow through.
If you feel like whatever you have to offer is inadequate or that you have no idea how to help just do something! God will equip you. He will multiply whatever small offering you have for someone in need. He will use you to bless many, you need only be willing.
Keep praying, sweet sister in Christ, and then commit to reaching out to someone in need today! Provide a meal, grab a cup of coffee and settle in for deep conversation, make a phone call.
I’d love it if you’d share with me in the comments what you plan to do! Let’s encourage and inspire one another in Christ!