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Think about the last time you were going through a tough time in your life. What were the most helpful things that people said or did?

For me, it was after I had my daughter. We had just moved to Hawaii, far away from family and friends. I was a newly minted stay-at-home mom of a newborn. And I was isolated, lonely, and depressed.

When I finally started opening up to my closest friends about how I was feeling, the response was incredible. Yes, of course they said they’d pray for me (and without a doubt they did, and their prayers made a difference), but they also took action.

It wasn’t a dismissive: “I’ll pray for you, but I’m too busy to actually help.”

Or a scared: “I’ll pray for you, but your problem is too big for me to deal with.”

Or a harsh: “I’ll pray for you, but you really need to just get over it.”

It was the friend who committed to weekly Face Time sessions with me so that we could both feel like we weren’t quite so far away.

It was the friend who recommended a Bible study and offered to have weekly study sessions with me.

It was the friend who listened as I cried on the phone, pouring out my heart and my hurts.

Did I mention that each of these women was thousands of miles away from me? And that they each have families, lives, and ministries. These are busy women who stopped what they were doing and took time to live life with me.Stop Saying I’ll Pray For You And Start Taking Action

When it would’ve been easier to say “I’ll pray for you” and hang up the phone, they chose to get into the muck and mire of my depression and pull me out. They chose to get dirty when it would’ve been easier not to.

They chose to be Jesus’ hands and feet.

They said: “I’ll not only pray for you, I’ll live this with you. How can I help you? I’m willing to sacrifice my time, energy, and comfort for your well-being. Let’s live this messy, difficult, beautiful life together.”

This is what it means to be Jesus’ hands and feet.

Praying is so, so important, and we absolutely should pray. But, after we pray, we should also take action. 

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.

Just to be clear: The issue here isn’t at all with prayer. Prayer is absolutely the most important thing we can do. Rather, the issue is with saying the words, “I’ll pray for you” without being willing to do anything else. The issue is the excuses we make to avoid going out of our comfort zones to help others. The issue is not being willing to be used by God to serve others. 

When the crowds came to Jesus for food and healing did He say, “I’ll pray for you” and then walk away? No, He took action. He fed them. He healed them. He touched the man with leprosy. He stood toe to toe with demons to save a life. He defended the sinful woman from the Pharisees.

Jesus wasn’t dismissive, scared, or harsh.

He was bold, brave, loving, and fearless.

I want to be bold, brave, loving, and fearless.

I want to be like Jesus.

If we want to be like Christ, we have to start living out our faith. Not from the comfort of our own living rooms but in the world with those who are suffering.Stop Saying I’ll Pray For You And Start Taking Action

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So what can we do, in addition to praying, to help others during difficult times? Here are just a few ideas:

  1. Provide rides to doctors’ appointments. If your friend is ill, take her to her doctor appointments. Wait with her, comfort her. Don’t turn away from her discomfort.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Cooking. Make regular meals for someone who is ill, just had a baby, or is otherwise unable to cook for herself.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Go for walks together. Simply spend time together. Sometimes just being there and being willing to listen is more than enough.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

It’s time to start being bold, brave, loving, and fearless in living out our faith with others. It’s time to start living an authentic life in Christ. It’s time to become more like Jesus.  

Will you join me in living out an authentic faith? Keep praying, 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. Just do something!

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!Stop Saying I’ll Pray For You And Start Taking Action

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148 Comments

  1. Yes! My first action is to put the prayer on my prayer wall. It holds me accountable. As needs arise, I am then faced with them everyday. It helps me focus on what I can do, whether it be to simply pray or use actions to help. Thank you for this!

    • That’s such a great idea! What a great way to make sure you never forget about the needs that exist around you. Thanks for the great suggestion!

    • My daughter just passed away. Many came to my aid and was truely Christ hands and feet. The one that touched me the most was after the funeral when everyone was gone, my grandson who had a three hour trip home, came and rolled his sleeve up and said I want to cut your grass before I leave . He didn’t ask what can I do, he seen the need and stepped up and met the need

      • God bless you and your grandson. My heart is merry that you have such a considerate grandson. What love! May God continue to send His Holy angels and earthly agents to help you during this most difficult time.

      • I am sorry for your great loss, Anonymous! I believe in doing more than just praying. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful demonstration of love and caring from your grandson! How can I help?

      • Jessie Hudson Reply

        im sorry about your daughter, i cannot imagine your heartache. i just wanted to comment on you grandson. that is very sweetof him. actions speak louder than words. Godbless you dear

        • I am so sorry that you have to experience the pain of losing a child. I lost my daughter 12 years ago and I know how hard it is to walk this journey. I think the thing that helped me the most in the first years was just reading my bible. I know that sounds really simple but there is great power in just reading God’s word. Of course there were other things like reading about and talking to other mom’s who had lost a child but one thing that I learned in a powerful way was how to depend on God to give me the strength and grace to get through each hour, day, month and year.

      • My deepest condolences to you, and all hopes that you find peace as you grieve such a tremendous loss! Our Holy Father understands, for He lost a child, too; first, His Son left heaven to be born of a virgin woman, then, the Father turned His head as His Son died a blameless man on a cross. Yet HALLELUJAH! Christ is risen! And through His blood, you shall see your daughter again, alive for all eternity!

      • I understand what you are going through.my heart goes out to you.my husband passed away last week and I have had so much support especially from people who walk with God. God bless you and your family.

    • This has been just what I needed and an answer to my prayers. I am excited to learn of the prayer board and will start today. I will take my friends who have been hearing the “I will pray for you” and need more action from me. Action as this site has pointed out the that I am very much able to give if I had only stop and put my shoes in their feet. I love this site not sure how I found it not so smart on my smart phone thank you

    • When I read articles like this, I feel you are preassuring people to put action than just saying “ill pray for you”. You want this to be the standard pray+action but sometimes, there are also people who can only offer prayer or just want to offer prayer only, so what? Those people who offered prayer+action because they want and they can. But for those who just said “ill pray for you” who didnt do any action FOR YOU is less appreaciated? For some people saying “ill pray for you is hard as they don’t want to say it or not comfortable saying it but they will pray for you. I feel your article is influencing people yes add action than just saying ill pray for you but you are also creating expectations from people. Should I feel shy or uncomfortable next time that I can only say “ill pray for you” just because u have influenced people that it should come with action, when i dont rrally have the heart or any action then I have to force myself to please you or others. We are all different. Let them be.

      • Relax. We all do what we can. It’s nothing more than offering suggestions to those of us who are frozen…and think it is ALL we can do…

        • Panigtab, first let me say that 8 don’t believe the author Breemeant to pressure any of us to have to do anything week not feel led to do. Instead this was to give us ideas of things we’ve do in addition to praying for our friends and family Christianvsisters. Often we say we will pray for them and stop there for lack of ideas or lack of boldness for the Lord to offer anything further. However, I’ll g9 a step further and say that she my have been addressing those who are Christisns but will not go any further than praying and we need to. I’ve been very sick and after having a car wreck, and a very tedious back surgery with complications, I too was going to what I thought was my home church. I’ve been out of church for over a year and I’ve not seen, here from,nor received a card from any of the ladies in my small group at Church. I’m hurt, and I’ve had no one to help me except a long time friend from school who is a good Christian. I can f9rgive them,but I’m not sure I want to go back to ch7rch with them. This is why it is important for some Christ8ans to put some feet behind their prayers. Thank you BREE for sharing a much needed discussion for a Christian women of today!

      • I hear what you’re saying. Its counter-culture. I like the author’s encouragement to get involved. Some ways to emphasize the importance of prayer are 1) to speak the prayer right then—“I pray God brings you a constant awareness of His Love…” or 2) to ask if we can pray about that right now, then pray together on the spot, or 3) to write the prayer to them in an email or card.
        All of these help me. I’d rather pray now than say I’m going to pray, in case I forget. Our chaplain is often seen standing in a hallway in prayer with someone. He doesn’t use physical touch but sure makes people feel cared for and encouraged.

      • I’m sorry you feel pressured to take action. The desire to pray for another or take any action comes from within your heart. It is not a chore it is a blessing one can freely give to another.
        May you have happiness in your heart and with my friend JC.

      • I’m so sorry you feel that this was an attempt to attack or shame someone for saying I’ll pray for you. Prayer is GREAT but can’t you step back for once when you have gone through a difficult time and someone said I’ll pray for you and you walked away and still felt alone sad or hurt still? As if your worth didn’t matter? All this article was saying is show some compassion and love to that person. If you say you love someone then you had to have a Relationship with them (prayer+ Action = shows love and compassion and that we mean something to them.) You can not have a Relationship with ANYONE of you don’t show them you want to spend time with them. Even if you don’t want to do anything else for the person mabye a heart felt prayer right then and there if just what they needed. There has to be action to break the chains.

      • What you are saying makes sense but when I went through a really hard time that resulted in me leaving a church that I had thought to be my home church forever I was offered prayer and bible verses by someone I had thought to be my friend. It cut almost deeper than the situation, it felt like I didn’t matter, it felt like it was too much work to even do more than offer prayer, it opened my eyes to the fact that maybe she wasn’t really the friend I thought. It hurt alot and all I needed in that moment was someone to listen and maybe show up to give me a hug, not a prayer and a bible verse. I think this article does a good job of opening up people to the fact that maybe we can all do just a tiny bit more even if all that looks like is showing up and offering a hug or writing a card. Please don’t feel shame for offering only prayer but remember that despite how powerful prayer is sometimes it is not all that a person who is hurting needs.

      • May I suggest then to as right then if the two of you may pray together? Or if you are shy about praying out loud– as many are, no judgement– ask if you may pray blessings/peace/love/etc over the person silently? Then raise a hand over/towards or touch the person and pray silently as your heart and the Holy Spirit leads. It doesn’t need to last long! I assure you, it will impact you both mightily as God will work wonders in your both, and you both will feel and know it!

      • Prayers is sometimes all we can offer. I don’t make much but I give gifts, notes, candy, etc. when I can. I have to admit I have an awesome Pastor & First Lady and also close friends that always come through when me & my family are going through a hard time. Visits, buying us lunch or dinner and bringing it to our home. We feel so loved by them. Pray all the time and when you say it do it! When you can help out in other ways it’s also amazing. But there is nothing wrong with just praying!! Blessings to all. Love.

      • I am so sorry that you have to experience the pain of losing a child. I lost my daughter 12 years ago and I know how hard it is to walk this journey. I think the thing that helped me the most in the first years was just reading my bible. I know that sounds really simple but there is great power in just reading God’s word. Of course there were other things like reading about and talking to other mom’s who had lost a child but one thing that I learned in a powerful way was how to depend on God to give me the strength and grace to get through each hour, day, month and year.

      • Oh my sister Panigtab bless you and Holy Spirit lift you. I have been speaking healing for years. I have been on Social security for over a year now. My voice is not clear and people miss understand often. My drivers license was revoked decades ago. Limitations? Lol! yes! But I know I will be healed. My limitations are my testimony. And God still asks more out of me. Because He is my Strength. He is my will. Ask Him where to go. What He wants you to do. He will show you. God uses me greatly for healing. And I always ask Him for help and guidance. And He never fails. Have faith my sister

      • I really don’t understand why this article would prompt such a response from you. Ephesians 4:29 says that “Let NO corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary encouragement, that it might impart grace to the hearers.” I know that we are entitled to our opinions; however, the world has been teaching all to bash everything and everyone whenever we want to. That is not the way of Christ. Several years ago I really took this to heart because the scripture says “let NO corrupt word” where corrupt means morally bad, worthless, rotten, or poor quality come out of your mouth. I just pray that this is not a habit because this article just offered some extra alternatives to just praying and was not forcing anything on anyone so it should not have prompted any anger in anyone.

      • I really don’t think Bree was trying to influence anyone into expecting anymore from you or anyone else. But stop and think about this for a second, do you not expect action from Christ when you pray? And doesn’t the Bible tell us more than once we are to be Christ like?

    • one thing that I did miss when I was down with a broken knee was phone calls, yes home visits are grreat, and I will do that too, but sometimes those home visits one really can’t do , but that phone call will do wonders!! I loved your list of things to do, but just this one thing is also priceless

  2. I like to write a heartfelt message in a card and mail it or even put together a simple care package.

    • I had a friend and relative going through bad breakups at relatively the same time. I called them often, offering words of encouragement and bought cards and wrote a letter to each telling them how they were uniquely made by our Father God,, how beautiful they are and asked them to take time to read the following bible verses that I had listed.

      They each loved the card. I was so happy to bring a smile and at same time, sad, as my relative said she had never received something like that. I now send her a card every other month. I also “googled” an image of an ANT blew it up into a 5″x7″ photo and wrote STOP THE A.N.T. (Automatic Negative Thought) with strict instruction for her to tape it to her vanity mirror so she reminds herself. I send her things to tape on that mirror and have gone over to make sure she has them up there.

      • Love your ideas! Especially the ANT! So much of our self image comes from those messages we tell ourselves– positive messages, great, negative messages, not so much! Actually, you have stumbled on one of the key component underlying Cognitive Behavioral Theory in which our thoughts/ messages we tell ourselves affect our feelings which affect how we then react and/or behave which then affects our thoughts and around a vicious cycle! Negative thoughts, especially when they are distorted and false needs to be changed to healthy positive ones. Awesome friend! Also for maintaining your encouragement, KUDOS!

  3. Jennifer Davis Reply

    I love this topic! Mostly, because I agree wholeheartedly BEING the hands and feet of Jesus along with interceding in prayer. However, I am curious how this looks when the one who you would love to be the hands and feet to, and it’s obvious that they need the encouragement or help, refuse to accept it?

    • That’s a tough situation, and I think probably pretty common either because people don’t know what they need or they don’t feel they need any kind of help. I love Camie’s ideas below of writing a heartfelt message in a card or putting together a care package. Sending those things can remind that person that you’re there to support them even if they don’t want other help right now. Also, you could make it a point to call more often to catch up and see how they’re doing or invite them out to lunch if you live close to them. Just love on that person in any way you can. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

      • Emily Young Reply

        I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. I found out that sickness was related to my Amalgam fillings that is in my mouth. There are no dentists in the Bahamas that can help me, there fore I am forced to take a trip to Orlando in order to have my problem solved. Not one of my friends, colleagues or church members offered me any assistance. I am always sick. I am thankful if I can work an entire week with out feeling well. But just about every one is saying I will pray for you. No one is offering any thing else.

        • Emily, I am sorry you’re feeling let down. Be specific with what you may need: meals, childcare, prayer. Perhaps they need a nudge.

        • Being in the dental field for 35 years let me just say that amalgams have been blamed for many illnesses but none have really ever been proven even though much research has been done. It could be your problem but your thyroid condition can be treated with much success through medications. Synthroid doesn’t always work on everyone. You need to see an endocrinologist for further testing and maybe a different medication. I have friends who have had to take Armour instead of synthroid and it’s made a world of difference in their health. Just an alternative suggestion

        • I have to say that these fillings and also gluten are very much influencing your heath. Would you be willing to rid your body of gluten as well? There are those who would advise you to try medications or other things but if you check out Dr Ben Lynch’s books, you might discover that there are many issues, and one of them is indeed these amalgam fillings. Do try to get those removed. If I was near you, I would attempt to help but you are far from my reach. I am sorry you have no one to assist you. I would recommend looking online for resources that might help. And I will specifically pray that God would send someone compassionate for you so that you are not in this alone. But I suggest you find a support group online that can help you walk through this with advice and encouragement and suggestions. There is so much pain in this world. But there is also hope and love in the midst of it.

    • Jennifer, if you are prompted by the Holy Spirit to do something then be obedient to do it. God has a plan and invites us to be a part of it so just let Him work through you in that by sending a card or whatever and the receiving party can then choose to accept it in whatever way they choose but you have been obedient to God’s prompting to be used of Him. Your part is complete. It is like asking forgiveness. The other party may not accept it:however, you have done your part.

  4. Love. This. Post! To date, I’ve always said, “I’ll pray for you” or will send a nice note to encourage. But this… I’m inspired to step-up; any of those 10 would be so easy and such a blessing! Thank you for sharing!

    • Thank you! I’m so glad you can use some of these ideas to be a blessing to others! God has been on my heart to do the same and start living out my faith instead of just saying it. 🙂 Thank you for the comment!

  5. This is an amazing post! Thanks for sharing. I never thought of other ways to be there for a friend who is far away, but the FaceTime and bible study check ins is perfect. You’ve inspired me to take action in this way, God keep blessing you! 🙂

    • Thank you!! I’m so thankful for others who thought of creative ways to help me even though they were far away (facetime, Bible studies), and I’m looking forward to now being able to do the same for others. Blessings to you as well!

  6. This post is amazing! Thanks for sharing. I never thought of other ways I can help a friend who is far away, but the FaceTime and Bible study check ins are perfect! You’ve inspired me to take action in this way. God keep blessing you! 🙂

    • Thank you!! I’m so thankful for others who thought of creative ways to help me even though they were far away (facetime, Bible studies), and I’m looking forward to now being able to do the same for others. Blessings to you as well!

  7. Wow! I’m So inspired!!!!! Thank you sooo much.
    How can I show support to a friend who is battleing with a grown child?

    • It sounds like your friend is going through a really rough time, but I’m happy she has a friend like you who wants to help! Spending time with her and letting her share about her struggles while you also share about yours may be helpful. Also, a home-cooked meal, a nice lunch out together, or a small gift all let her know that you’re there and want to serve in any way you can. Don’t be afraid to ask her what she needs. And, of course, in addition to any actions you take, be sure to pray! Prayer is very powerful, I just believe God also wants to use us for action. Thank you so much for the comment!

  8. What an important topic Bree, I’ve been “there” many times and I remember wishing so desperately someone would offer to help me, to come alongside me, instead of just a sympathetic ear. That was wonderful too, but when we are drowning? We need so much more, but you have given powerful tools for us all to take away. Well said!

    • Thank you so much!! It’s so powerful when others really come alongside and walk through those difficult times with us.

      • Jeryl A. Smith Reply

        It’s truly an honor when a sister requests prayer so I take it seriously. I’ve tried two things & both have been effective. First, I follow up in the next day or two with an email or text; nothing elaborate….just a “checking in.” The second thing I’ve done is either call the person or stop right at the time & pray with them on the phone.

  9. God is funny! In the past couple of months, I felt odd saying, “I will pray for you.” I felt it wasn’t enough. ANd then with a gorup of friends we were talking about knowing or not knowing people’s needs and maybe we should do something about it. Thank you for this!

    • I’ve felt the same. Prayer is still the first thing we should do, but I think God will often use us to be the answer to a prayer if we are willing to step out in faith and help someone. I often feel the urging as I pray to do more, and I believe that’s the Holy Spirit moving within me. God is amazing like that! He’ll often give us jobs to do as soon as we say, “Lord, I’m willing, lead me!” Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

  10. Kelli Barkowsky Reply

    The ladies at our church use an internet site called Care Calendar where you can set up meals, babysitting, housecare, or rides for those who are ill, recovering from childbirth or surgery, or experiencing difficult times. It’s free and simple to use. Anyone can use the site. It was such a blessing for our families that it has begun to open peoples hearts and minds to the needs around them simply because they themselves had been blessed. It’s hard sometimes to know what to do, but hospitality is so very important and it blesses the Lord for His people to extend mercy and love for His sake. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Gal 6:9

    • Oh I love that!! I’m going to look into Care Calendar. What a great idea for setting up help for others. And what a great point about how, when we receive help, our hearts are often opened to helping others. Thank you so much for the comment and the great idea!

  11. Love this post! I’ve been meaning to grab a coffee with a friend that had just went through a battle with cancer and I been on and off sick myself. But now I’m feeling better and I will finally get coffee with her.

    • You brightened my day with this comment! 🙂 It sounds like you will both be blessed by some time spent together. Thank you so much for sharing!

  12. I am going to visit a friend who lives a coulple of hours away and with whom we don’t get to see each other often. I’ll be open for a conversation and I’ll tell her about some of my struggles. We have some in common but I have never told her about mine because I have always felt that I have to be “strong” for her as an “older” christian.

    • That sounds wonderful! I’ve had women, who have been Christians longer than I have, pour their hearts out to me, and it is something that bonds us together in Christ. We all have struggles, and we can support each other through them as we strive to follow the Lord. Thank you so much for sharing! Your plans are so inspiring to me!

  13. Thank you for this! It was very inspiring and something I will be more intentional with. I have done these types of things but would like t challenge myself to do it for people I don’t necessarily know. The Care Calendar sounds like a good place to start! Let’s love on each other and let God shine! ☀️

    • The Care Calendar is such a great idea! I’m so thankful Kelli mentioned that. And I love the idea of serving people outside of our circle of family and friends! I agree, it sounds like a great place to start! 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  14. Thank you for the responses ladies. The things God has spoken to me about through the article and the experience you’ve shared in your comments are important. I am in a place where there are very few chistians of the same faith. The support we can get from other people in the church is so encauraging. Sometimes we may feel certain things or have certain thoughts but have no clarity whether or not and to what extend they are right before God. It leaves us somewhat lost. That is when other people’s testimony and exhortation can give the answer. The importance of His Body present in our lives is crucial indeed.

  15. Another alternative to saying “I’ll pray for you” is to say “Let me pray WITH you” and to stop right then and there and pray. The times friends have done this with me have been powerful demonstrations of how a sister or brother in Christ is a means of grace.

    • Yes! Praying together is a great idea! I love the idea of stopping right then and there and praying with someone. Thank you so much for the comment!

    • So right on! That’s what I sometimes try to do if someone tells me about hardships in their life, while I’m with them and I have the time right then.

  16. Thank you for this article. So on point on things to go. So inspiring.

  17. Boy oh boy this message was for me. I plan on being present by having coffee with a friend who lost her sister and a neighbor whose husband is sick and is isolating herself from others; I will drop over dinner and call frequently.

    • I think it is amazing that you’re so willing to allow God to use you to be a blessing to your friend and your neighbor! Thank you so much for sharing your plans! Reading your message has inspired me as well! 🙂

  18. One of the ladies in our congregation makes little lap quilt blankets for anyone in the congregation who are sick, going thru Cancer, or shut ins. They are so awesome and everyone who has received them, loves them, they are those , maybe 4″ scrap squares all sewn together as a quilt top. She attaches the top to the bottom by typing yarn knots at all the square intersections……another lady friend that goes to a different denomination congregation also makes quilts using new cloth. She uses certain colors and symbolism. She does certain squares in the shape of a cross. . Black representing sin, red representing the blood of Christ, white representing , gold , maybe representing the crown of Christ. She sent not to my Mom who she didn’t even know. The ladies of her prayer group do this for all of the sick of her congregation and anyone who was added to the prayer list from members. They include a poem that list all the colors and their symbolismNN. I think it is an awesome work. Those ladies didn’t even know my Mom who had cancer.

    • Wow, I’m just in awe of what those ladies do! I love that they put so much care and love into creating beautiful gifts for people they don’t even know. It’s incredible what God will do through us when we are willing to be used by Him. Thank you so so much for sharing!!

  19. Such inspiring ideas! Thank you so very much. I can use this in a current situation. I have a friend who will be having surgery soon, and she is extremely frightened. I keep telling her that I will pray for her and that she should also, but I think that by actually taking action it will hopefully encourage her and help her feel more at peace. Thank you again!

    • Yes! Definitely keep praying and encouraging her to pray and then be ready to step out in faith and help in any way you can. It sounds like you are a blessing to her! Thank you for sharing that!

  20. Cheri Woods Reply

    I completely understand & agree with what you saying here. I’ve been on the receiving end of the words only fast too many times. A lot of people don’t even pray after they say that, not cause they don’t mean to, but because they are busy & forget. One of the things I do is to pray with them, right then & there. I had previously prayed over the phone & in church with someone, but I felt God was telling me to take it to the next level. I have now had prayer times in restaurants, grocery stores, Wal-Mart, waiting in line, Dr offices, the mall, at the beauty salon, at the gym, even in parking lots, etc. I’ve prayed with people I know well & those I just met; fellow shoppers as well as the people who work in those places. It doesn’t have to be a big long wordy prayer, you don’t need to be loud, you just need to be sincere & loving.

    • I think you are so right. I know I’ve been guilty of saying the words, “I’ll pray for you” and then not following through or praying once and then not following up in any way. And I love that you’ll stop and pray with them right then. I love what you wrote: You just need to be sincere and loving. So beautiful! Thank you!!

    • RIGHT ON, more power to you! Keep spreading the Love of Jesus!

  21. My only word of caution on this post would be just to be careful when your helping others. I sometimes do to much by trying to help so many that I exhaust myself. I have a disability myself but I still put myself out there to help because I know that is what God wants me to do. I would help everyone if I could. So now when I know that someone needs help I pray about it and ask God does he want me to help or does he plan to send someone else. I can always be encouraging and listen and share my story and even help financially sometimes but some of the physical things that need doing are a stress on me. I do often though find someone else, who wants to help, to do those things I can’t. So I guess my advice is pray first and ask God what he wants you to do and he will always guide you in the direction he wants you to go.

    • That’s wonderful advice! The post is definitely about being willing to step out in faith as God directs, and it sounds like you are more than willing to help others in anyway you can. Taking care of yourself is also very important so that you’re able to help others. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!!

    • I agree, Kay. If we spend daily time with the Father in prayer and in the Word then The Holy Spirit will prompt us and we will know it. Then, we should be obedient and act. So, being His hands and feet is important as Bree says but it’s okay to not be led to do something every single time. God has a plan for that situation and it is lovely to see God working as He has certain people step in and out of those needs.

  22. Love this article! When a family member became sick, friends from out of town wanted to do something to help. They mailed Chick-fil-A gift cards to us. It was such a simple thing to do, but helped so much. I have a friend that will send me text messages telling me that has been praying and gets updated prayer requests. If it is someone that tends to isolate themselves when thing get rough, like me, provide a little extra encouragement to go have coffee or whatever treat they really enjoy.

    • Michelle, those are amazing ideas! I love the gift cards for food! I’m humbled to hear how God is using to many people to help others in these comments. And I’m like you and tend to isolate when I’m going through a tough time so I absolutely agree that the extra encouragement goes a long way. Thank you for the comment!

  23. Hey, my name is Enid. I work in home health during the night. I find it frustrating at times to be more involved with my church because of my schedule. I want to be involved in ministry. God has given me the gift of helps, but I find my time limited. I enjoyed this article. My friend Pat Merrill posted it on fb. I send cards, call a friend whose mom just went home to glory. I share scripture with client’s family that has been a blessing to see how God has been working in lives with His word. These are things I think we should be doing as Christians. Luke 17:10. Thank you for this article. God bless and use you.

    • Enid, thank you so much for sharing! It’s so wonderful how you’re able to serve the Lord even with a tough schedule. Thank you for the inspiration!

  24. My daughter in law best friend and I became very good friends. Her aunt was killed in a car accident June 1, last year. My great grandson died on father’s day last year. Her mother and aunt were very close. She asked me if I would go out with her and her mom when they went shopping. I did we became good friends. I introduced her to pineapple mango smoothie.. My friend died 2/10/17. I have talked to and prayed for her daughter. God was in the mist of that meeting and relatipnship.

  25. well i am fundamentalist Muslim but i believe that people having divinity , spirituality and good souls are in every religion so that bad people.. goodness is in human souls,, and here i am watching one example of such divine work .. and bree believe me you are such a dedicated person replying and answering all your viewers with such a good heart… God Bless you with courage and health…. !!

    • Thank you for taking the time to read and comment! Your comment was so kind, but I want you to know that the only good in me comes from my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Without Him, I am nothing. I am a sinner in need of the mercy and grace offered freely through Jesus when we place our faith in Him. It is my prayer that all glory be given to God. Thank you again for the thoughtful comment and blessing! Blessings to you!

  26. Bree,
    What an amazing post. My husband is 55 and has early onset Alzheimer’s. I have a group of friends that truly live this way. They are Jesus’ hands and feet. I have to work still and they drive him places, take care of him so that I can have time to myself and they are truly a gift from God. I will share your blog with them. Thanks so much, I’m hoping one day I will be able to repay their kindnesses.

    • Helen, thank you so much for sharing about your husband and friends. Your story gave me goose bumps. I’m so sorry for your struggle, but I am so thankful for your friends who have stepped up to be Jesus’ hands and feet and walk this journey with you and your husband. It’s incredible how God will use us when we are willing to step out in faith! Thank you again!

  27. A friend of mind texted me tonight he was on his way over to meet with my husband and me. He has been going through a break up, the death of his father etc. I hold him in my prayers always but am ready to help him any time. We have met before to help him. He said he was falling apart and needed to talk. We are always ready to meet with friends in need for support, a shoulder and love. We met and listened to him as he told us his story. It was a productive talk and he was at peace when he left.

    I agree prayers are always welcome but giving time is even more beneficial to all parties involved.

    • Pamela, thank you so much for sharing! I love hearing how God is using you to answer prayers and support those around you! There is so much need around us, and God will equip us to help if we’re willing. Thank you again!

  28. Jennifer C Reply

    I am so thankful to God for the authenticy and rawness of people’s comments. These past few weeks I have been compelled to love because he first loved me and I am so thankful to God for the gifts he has given me and owe him all the glory. Some of the things God has gave me the opportunity to do are:
    1. Buy a coffee for an elderly man with a long beard sitting on his walker who was outside Tim Horton’s. I forgot to ask him if he wanted prayer for anything because his eyes were filled with pain and possibly depression.
    2. Buy a Whopper from Burger King and a Water bottle for an older homeless woman who was outside of the Canadian Mental Health building also didn’t pray for her… but I need to ask the Lord to give me boldness to pray for people and to not be discouraged when they say no.
    3. I have been doing child care for a Christian family who’s husband is a full time Pastor at an inner city church and her youngest has a rare genetic disorder who I have been so blessed by! Also, I clean her house once a week… so that she can take her kids out and the other day where I do child care… so she can run errands. She has four children in total and one of them is in school full time and the other in Kindergarten. The youngest one with the disability is 2 and the second youngest is 3.
    4. I brought granola bars and a water bottle for a homeless man and listened to him share about how someone stole his cellphone.
    5. I made a home made card for the lady who is the Kitchen Coordinator in our church and who also leads the crafts and bags cookies for the mid week children’s program at our church.
    6. I bought Marigold coloured flowers and Gluten Free chocolate cupcakes from a local bakery for a widower who has Celiac in our building complex and had a visit with her. My parents and I also had her over for a meal.

    All the glory goes to God for giving me these gifts of service… and I just can’t wait to love more people because of what Christ did for me on the cross.

    Some suggestions for those who might want some in case you are stuck.
    Homeless blessing bags (socks, hotel or travel sized shampoos and shower gels, sanitary pads for homeless women… travel sized tooth paste, tooth brush, gift cards to a coffee shop, fast food gift cards (Subway, Burger King, Chic Fil A, etc) bus passes, trail mix, protein bars… wipes… face cloth… water bottle… etc. Make sure to put the food and toiliteries in a seperate bag.

    Give a gift card to a grocery store to a family in need and offer a ride.

    Visit Seniors in nursing homes or who are shut ins from your church.

    Hope this post helped!

    Blessings on each Daughter of God.

    I

    • Jennifer, thank you so much for sharing! Your service to others in Jesus’ name is beautiful and inspiring. And thank you for all those wonderful ideas on how we can serve others!! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment!

  29. Jennifer C Reply

    Thank you so much ladies for your authenticity and genuine spirit. I owe all the glory to God for the gifts he has given me to bless others. He gave his life for me so I seek to love others and bless people.

    Some of the opportunities God has given me these past few weeks:
    1. Bought a coffee for an elderly man who had a long beard and was sitting outside of Tim Horton’s. I didn’t ask if he wanted any prayer but I want to ask God to help me be bold to pray for people I don’t know the next time and to not be discouraged if they refuse.
    2. Bought granola bars and a water bottle for a homeless man and listened to him share how he was upset how he has a cellphone bill to pay that he can’t afford and he was needing change to collect to pay for it and I gave some change I had in my zipper in my wallet.
    3. Bought a Tim Horton’s coffee for another homeless man
    4. Bought Marigold colourful flowers and Gluten Free chocolate cupcakes from a local Gluten Free bakery for a widow in our building complex that I live in who’s husband died a year ago because she has Celiac Disease and visited with her when I gave her the flowers and GF chocolate cupcakes.
    5. Bought a Whopper from Burger King and a water bottle for an older woman who is living in poverty and was sitting outside of Canadian Mental Health.
    6. I do child care on Tuesday for a Christian family who’s husband is a pastor full time at an inner city church and his wife and him have four kids including the youngest who has a rare genetic disorder. Doing child care blesses the mom so she can go do errands and then once a week I clean her house so she can take the two kids that are 3 and 2 out for some time with Mom.

    Some suggestions in case anyone is stumped!
    Homeless blessing bags:
    Toiliteries (face cloth, small face wash, hotel or travel sized shampoos and conditioners, travel sized toothpaste, toothbrush, etc.. they often have access to a shelter
    Food (trail mix, protein bars, water bottles that you can get at the convenience store) gift cards to places like Subway, Chic Fil A, Burger King, Dairy Queen, etc
    Misc: bus passes, gift cards to coffee shops that aren’t far from where they are

    Socks, mitts, and hand warmers

    Make sure to put food and toiliteries in a seperate bag.

    Visit shut ins and seniors from your church who may be in a care home

    Buy a grocery gift card and offer a drop off and pick up ride to a family in need from your church to the grocery store. Help them with their groceries once you drop them off.

    Blessings on everyone and may God receive all the honour and glory in all that we do for others.

    Some suggestions

    • Jennifer, thank you so much for sharing! Your service to others in Jesus’ name is beautiful and inspiring. And thank you for all those wonderful ideas on how we can serve others!! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment!

  30. Hi, thanks for the post, really needed to read this. I’ve been dealing with the after effects in that after I extend a helping hand, my Friend isn’t willing to move forward. I realise that I need to give her time and it’s by His time, ultimately. But I hate to see her suffering where she is right now, around the people that aren’t good and spiritually as well. I hope she can embrace freedom but sometimes I get angry that all she wants to do is just wallow in the problem. Do you have any tips for how to help her?

    • Those situations are so hard! First, I’m so thankful she has someone like you to be there for her even when she’s not quite ready for help. Just continue being her friend. Continue praying with and for her, love her, make sure you’re calling/texting/spending time with her regularly. Share what’s going on in your life so she knows she’s not alone. Just remember, it’s not up to you to make her change, it’s just up to you to love her even through the rough times. Trust in God and His perfect timing. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

  31. Praying is doing something, and it is the best thing one can do for anyone.

    • Absolutely! That’s something I mentioned several times in the post. This post was addressing our tendency to say the words “I’ll pray for you” without actually following through and without being willing to step out in faith as God calls us to do. I think, so often, we pray for God to help others, but we aren’t willing to be used by Him for that purpose. I mentioned that we should, of course, continue to pray for the needs around us as we also look for opportunities to serve others in Jesus’ name. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment!

    • Shawna Hakes Reply

      Susan, I agree that prayer is the best thing we can do … however I spent many lonely days and nights as a widow because people “were praying” but unfortunately not doing anything else. With that said I am positive that those prayers held me together and kept me moving forward but there are physical needs that require humans to step in and provide. I had many people who came along side of me but not always. I have learned grace through it all but this article is spot on and some more.

  32. Thanks very much this is amazing. its high time we start to take action. sometimes we say “i will pray for you” and we go home and forget to pray and it ends there.

    • Yes, I think it’s way too easy to just say the words and never follow through with anything. God gives us so many opportunities to help others in His name, and it’s incredible what He’ll use us for when we’re willing! Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

  33. What a great post, just what I needed to hear. Very encouraging. Thank you so much for sharing.

  34. I’ve started a twitter account and adding women with breast cancer. I’ve just gone thru it myself mastectomy and all and god has put it in my heart to help these women with prayer and being there for them to talk to. I’ve just started it so it’s very new but so far so good my heart just aches for them most are much worse then I was but today I’m going to offer phone calls if they need to talk

  35. Beverly Moss Crouse Reply

    Hi! Wow! Do people actually still pray??? Just kidding. If you knew my story, you would know why I am saying this. But it does seem that I have been thrust into a time zone where people have forgotten how to be committed to prayer. In the 1980’s I was a newlywed and a member of a young struggling church. I remember some of us would commit to meeting at 6-7 am once a week just to meet and pray. We kept the chat to a minimum so that the focus was truly on prayer. This more often than not turned our hearts toward the doing, just like you share in your article. Now 37 years later, I find myself desiring and longing to be a part or even begin a prayer ministry. I am first going to commit myself to much prayer about it and start writing down some steps to take to begin writing some goals…you know, some doing! God hasn’t changed but methods of communication certainly have in 37 years!! I’m 58 and just a beginner at the methods you mention but I am willing to get better at it if that’s where God leads me. Anyway. Thank you for your article. I posted it on my Facebook to see if I can get anyone interested.

  36. Actually, I was given some very good advice very recently when I went out to stay with my daughter who had just had her first baby. A young mom I know said that having someone ask her what they could to help (tip # 10) was very stressful for her. She said what was most helpful was NOT having to “delegate” what needed to be done. She said “go in with your eyes open and SEE what needs to be done and then just do it.” So ~ every time it was on my lips to ask my daughter “what would you like me to fix for dinner?” or “Would you like me to do a load of laundry?” I remembered to just do it without asking. Would anyone complain about someone ELSE fixing your dinner anyway???

    • Shawna Hakes Reply

      I agree with that young mom. As a widow I have found the same to be true. For a long time and still 17 months later I find it hard to articulate what I need but if someone said, “Hey can I come by on Wednesday and ……” I’d be like sure!!!! All it requires me to do is say yes or no. Giving options is better than asking them what they need. Alot of times we just don’t know or are too afraid to ask. “Go in with your eyes open and see what needs to be done” is spot on advice.

  37. I loved everything about this. There are alot of struggling people around me. I know I can’t help all but I’m gonna try to help a friend go back to church and deepen her relationship with GOD. She has gone astray do to life distractions. And I just feel.she needs someone there to help her see she is not alone and she’s not the only one steuggling. Thanks again for this blog and really help me see a different way of going in helping others.

  38. How fitting that I see this today. God has called me to be an invisible ministry of one. Thank you for reminding us to keep our spiritual eyes and ears open to the needs of others and to be willing to move when we see an opportunity. I make a point of seeking out and warmly greeting people who may otherwise be overlooked. I stay and listen to what they have to say and offer hugs, prayer and encouragement. I offer sincere friendship. It’s often a simple thing to make someone feel loved and wanted.

  39. Thank you so much for writing this article BREE. I must confess i took out time to read through all the comments as i do my office work alongside. The comment thread alone made me feel we still have women out there who are supportive and willy to assist each other in this race of life… I pray Christ continue to give us the grace to be in the position to help others when they really need a shoulder to lean on. At the end we will not miss heaven IJN. i hope to read more from you darling, please be encouraged.

  40. How about going to shampoo the hair of a friend who has been bedridden in hospital for a long time?
    A simple thing to do and guaranteed to bring a smile to her face.

  41. I have been at the receiving end of kind and caring people after the death of a very close family member. What helped us as a family was receiving food in the form of snacks that didn’t have to be prepared. During stressful times one often forgets to eat or just too exhausted to prepare something. Sandwiches, biscuits, rusks (this is a South African favorite, and is usually dunked in coffee), quiches, freezer meals, cooked chicken, and so on. Every time we grabbed a nibble, we would thank God for these wonderful people in our lives. What a blessing!

  42. I agree. I think “I’ll pray for you” has become {for many} the equivalent to “bless your heart”. As someone who isn’t religiously involved in church, I think you’re spot on with intent and sincerity.

  43. Hi Bree, this is my first post of yours I’ve read and I found it on Pinterest. I am so glad that I did and I cannot wait to further explore your website. I love your explanation of how to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a very simple and tangible way. I am so encouraged and inspired by this post and cannot wait to put these concepts into practice in my life.

  44. Thank you for this! I was just talking to my grandmother about trying to be more involved with my faith. I often find myself saying I’ll pray for and that’s it. I look forward to trying some of these tips. I’ll try all of them if I can!

  45. Bree,
    Thank you for writing about putting action along side our prayers. I know alot of people have trouble asking for help.
    I ask for permission to help…i.e. I knew someone depressed from bible study. I asked if it would be okay/helpful to call her throughout the week. Would it be helpful if we set up a calendar to drop off meals for her and her family. This way it takes the burden of asking for help from the person going through a hard time, but still being respectful of their boundaries.

    In his love!

  46. I have a friend who is ill. I have thought about helping her out but really didn’t know how to help. Your post has been a good source of ideas of great ways to help that I’ll surely be putting into practice. There are really lots of ways to help. Thanks for the ideas!. The most important thing is to put our faith into action!

  47. I definitely think it is important to put our faith into action. Of course prayer is the most important thing we can do, but I do think that is the foundation for what God would have us do. I have struggled so much in the last 6 years with depression and anxiety. To the point of it being debilitating. I have lost connection with most of my friends and had a very painful experience that caused me to shut people out and to be wary of letting people close. It has led me to in some respects stop being me. I believe God put in me the ability to truly and deeply encourage people. I’ve shied away from that over the last 6 years. I’ve been sensing in my spirit God calling me to grab hold of Him and trust Him when He lays words of encouragement on my heart for others. So I’m committing to speaking out those words, weather it be a phone call, text message, or a card mailed or face to face. I’m starting there and going to trust God’s leading when He whispers what He would have me do next. Thank you for your post. I most definitely want to bless others and have God work in me and through me.

  48. on a practical side.
    check for food allergies,
    for nursing home residents bring things that are useful, check to see if they are on special diet. hold a hand or just sit with them.
    text message a prayer so the person your praying for see that yore praying not just saying

  49. Wow, this is too true. I have often been guilty of this, especially because I am a home body that doesn’t like to stretch outside of her comfort zone. This is convicting! Thank you for your words today, Bree!

    Blessings

    Rachel

  50. I love this topic! Stop saying “I’ll pray for you “. I don’t feel it really comes from the heart. I agree with Jennifer. BEING the hands and feet of Jesus is proof you really care. I have tried be the hands and feet because I don’t feel prays are enough.
    Thank for this topic.

  51. Thank you for this article. I’m in a tough situation. I have custody of my grandson who was neglected and recently diagnosed with mild autism. I am single and doing this plus a full time job alone. I’m a committed member of my church for 7 years and have put in hundreds of hours of volunteer work not just “in” the church but local and out of state missions, Meal team, babysitting etc. When I begged my church to get the word out that I am drowning and need help I was told they don’t advertise for childcare. When a friend contacted the wife of one of the elders to put the word out, she did to a few people. Those people have been praying for God to let them know if they should help and at what capacity. This was last week. I’m assuming God doesn’t want them to help, and tbh neither do I. If you hear someone is drowning and desperate for help (not financial) and you have to wait days for God to tell you whether or not you should help, don’t bother. Honestly, I’m leaving my church and I’m not going to another one. At this point I don’t want to be around Christians. I’ve received more help from atheists and party hearty rednecks not even in my community than I have from my own church family and small group (small group disintegrated a few months after I got custody and friends have all left). I am so disappointed in my church and have no idea why no one will help. All I’ve asked for is a few hours a month of free babysitting and maybe someone to come over once in a while so I’m not doing this alone all the time. My house is nice, clean, doesn’t smell bad, and I take regular showers (though with a special needs toddler not many lately!). A few “friends” told me that maybe God wants me to do this alone. I didn’t believe that for a long time because it just doesn’t sound biblical nor does it sound like the God I know. But I’m starting to think maybe they were right. The hands and feet have left.

    • Hey Anonymous,
      I’m sorry for your situation and I pray that God is with you in this new season in your life. I simply want to tell you not to count out God because of a few misunderstandings between people. We all fall short of the glory of God, me, you, and your friends in church. I don’t know enough to speak on staying (or not) with your church, but Jesus’s church is his bride. You need fellowship to have a fruitful walk of faith. Like every relationship we get into, look at y’ actions and somethings that you could have handled differently before walking away from something that was such a huge part of your life. Life’s biggest lessons are seeing things about yourself, because that’s all you can control – by the grace and mercy of our Lord!

  52. I have an opportunity to mail cards for my church ; to the sick, cancer patients,the elderly, and cards of encouragement in general. I have been feeling that I should do more———even though I send these cards from the church I put a note that I write myself “with God’s help” in them. As they are put in the mailbox I say a prayer for each one to be blessed and encouraged. I want to thank you All for the ideas and encouragement you have given me to continue doing more! Thank again

  53. Barbara Frisan Reply

    I have a very dear friend that lives about 2 hrs. from me. She lost her husband suddenly 1 yr. ago and is still struggling deeply.
    She is barely moving forward. She is getting help from family, medication, church, and etc. But it is not helping her. How can I
    help her? She doesn’t want to see anyone other than her family, but that’s not the answer. She just doesn’t want anyone to see
    her crying. I really want to see her but at the same I am respecting wishes. How can I help her?

  54. Thank you so much for sharing this. It has renewed a desire in me to look for and act on opportunities to meet the needs of others.

    A similar thing I have “decided” to do at several points in my life, but never really started practicing until recently, is to stop when someone shares a need with me and pray with/for them right then and there. If a need is communicated in writing, online, etc., I simply pause and pray by myself. Following that initial prayer, it is my intention to record the need in my prayer journal and lift it to the Father repeatedly.

    Of course, I sometimes fail to pray in the moment. And even when I do, the request doesn’t always make it to my journal. As with the formation of any habit, I am becoming more consistent and asking the Holy Spirit to prompt me. I love that I can ask Him this in faith, knowing that it is pleasing to my Father.

    There are lots of great reasons to practice this very simple act. When you stop what you are doing and shift your focus in this way, it validates the person’s need and causes them to realize that they are not alone in their circumstance. Praying is also a great faith builder. When you pray to sovereign God, it acknowledges that you believe He can be trusted to answer. If not, there would be no point in even doing it. And this applies not only to the pray-ee but to the pray-er, as well. I have yet to pray spontaneously for someone that I do not come away with the sense that they could not possibly feel more blessed than I do in that moment.

    Although I can see that this is an older post, it is a timely reminder for me. Thank you!

  55. Thank you so much for this blog. It seems to answer the universal problem of knowing what to do and how to start really helping instead of just saying “I’ll pray for you.”

  56. Bree,
    You are such a blessing to so many with your writings! Thank you for taking the time to share your ideas, words of encouragement, and inspirations with the world! This post, shared over a year ago, has touched and inspired so many and continues to! I am a new follower of anything you Pin! Thank you for making a difference in my walk with the Lord!
    ~Bre

  57. This is a wonderful idea list! I always say I’ll pray for you but, I want to do more than that. This helps me think of ways to be physically active in support of others. Thank you.

  58. Are you actually criticizing someone for saying “I’ll pray for you’? Sometimes that’s the best we can offer. And I think it’s a pretty good offer.

    • Prayer is absolutely the best and first thing we should do for someone in need, which is something I mentioned a couple of times in the article. In addition to praying, I believe we should prayerfully consider all the other resources with which God has blessed us and how we may use them to help others. The list is simply meant as a helpful resource for those times when we feel stuck and unsure of how else we can allow God to use us in the life of someone who is hurting. It’s about putting our prayers into action and allowing God to use us as the hands and feet of Jesus. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

  59. Hi Bree this is such an awesome article & I have done that many times in the past just saying that “I will pray for you” but never did. But now I pray as soon as someone send me a note for prayer, I stop immediately whatever I am doing & pray & later I will follow up to chat again & keep in touch constantly. It makes me feel so good when they tell me how much it means that I am so concerned. But it’s only because of the God we serve not in my own strength. Thanks for great & inspiring articles. Will read some of your other posts as well. God bless u richly. I am from South Africa

  60. I love this!! Just moved 1,000 miles away just as I was about to have my first baby and become a SAHM, it’s been hard, I never expected the sadness that I would feel! I’ve always been a happy go lucky person & have never experienced this before! The family and friends who have done the things you mentioned have really helped!!

  61. I love this! Prayer is so important and sometimes it IS all that we or someone else can do. But if we can do more, there are some great ideas here. One of the things I do, is make meals and freeze them ahead of time. That way, if I hear of someone who is in need, I have something available to take. It’s not hard if I’m making lasagne, to make an extra one and put it in the freezer. I also make cards and I try to have a supply of sympathy and “thinking of you” cards on hand to take with a meal or some flowers to someone who is hurting.
    Nearly ten years ago, my father had a stroke and I left that day to travel to be with my mom and siblings. He passed away a few days later and I stayed to help my mom settle his estate. On my way home, I realized that I had no fresh food in the house and would need to go grocery shopping. When I got home, I discovered that my neighbour had made me dinner for that night, cleaned out my fridge (after two weeks away, some things had gone bad), picked up some basic groceries, changed my bed and left a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I was so touched and grateful!

  62. When my mother had a stroke, my father, my aunt and I spent all our time at the hospital in shifts so she would never be alone. One sweet dear lady send a basket full of snacks to the hospital room. No flowers, no balloons, just Cheezits, peanut butter crackers, Doritos, mini candy bars and big snickers, KitKats, peanuts, oatmeal pies, etc…… It was wonderful because we didn’t want to spend the money to go and get food. Also, half the time we were so consumed with Mom we would forget to eat. My dad benefited the most which was a blessing to because when he would forget to eat he would feel sick which complicated the matter also. Skip the flowers and balloons is my suggestion and send some soul snacks… oh and they included a few small bottles of water in their as well!!

  63. Thank you for this reminder. May I add that doing what you see is needed is a great approach. I had surgery recently and one lady called asking what she could do which was very kind but I was so sick I couldn’t think what to say. The lady who was the most help just showed up cleaned up my house and fixed some food then left. I was so grateful but would never have asked for that. When people are sick or grieving it’s hard to even know what to ask for. Jump in and do what you can and prayer is always a huge help.

  64. Anonymous-I’m sorry you had that experience at your church. Definitely not very Christian-like. There are good people in every walk of life. Keep reaching out & blessing others. Love & prayers to you.
    This is a great article. Sometimes I don’t know what to do or don’t give myself credit just for being there. Whatever you do, do from the heart. Blessings to all. ❤️

  65. Thank you for your post. I love your idea of taking us back to do what Jesus did. He set an example for us. I lost my husband 15 years ago and after 6months I did not received a single visit again. There was a few phone calls but no visits. God spoke to me. Do unto others as you would like others to do to you. I have trusted God and have started visiting spirtually broken ladies . Have taken 2 out for coffee. I have discovered that people want to see us , speak to us , I then prayed with them. God wants to use us to encourage others on this journey of Faith and brokenness. I have been blessed spiritually everytime I spend time with a hurting woman and praying with them. In my quiet time I pray for them.

  66. Thank you for your blogging about this. I have a tendency when that request comes. I immediately pray for the person. However I LOVE your idea. I had a wonderful woman at the time I started my Christian walk in and she had a similar family background and she was so much concerned about the situation I was in and she gave me permission to actually call her at any time and I was going through dealing with a relative’s alcohol addiction and she was a Godsend! I would’ve lost my mind if the Holy Spirit hadn’t connected her with me. I will NEVER forget her!

  67. Well said Bree. Thanks for the encouragment and suggestions for how I can help those around me.

  68. I loved this article,it’s often hard to be so bold about this topic because we truly appreciate anything and everything people do to support us. But sometimes we need that little nudge to remind us of what more there is, that we CAN do in the name of God.
    Something that I have started doing the past few years, that I feel really helps when I am trying to serve someone else, is to pray for inspiration of a list of ideas that I can send them of things that I feel I am able to do. There is a sister in my neighborhood who is battling cancer, she has 4 children that are ages 7 to 14 months and so she needs a lot of help. I have a 3 year old and a 15 month old and I am 8 months pregnant. This sister let some of us know that she could use someone taking her oldest daughter to and from school.
    my children are usually sleeping during the time that she needs help taking her oldest to and from school. Because I could not offer to do that I prayed and received inspiration of other things I could do, and I sent her the list and asked her to let me know if any of those things could help her. She was so appreciative and took me up on my offer to watch all of her children about once a week so she could have extra rest. I then let the other sisters in our neighborhood know my ideas and asked them to think of things on their own so that they could put the limits that they needed to out there while still helping. I am pleased to say that all the needs that this particular sister of ours has, are being met by multiple sisters who do not feel overburdened because we are sharing the workload. Once my new baby arrives I’m afraid that all I’m going to be able to do is say that I can pray for others, but then in the past I’ve been able to write notes, or do phone calls, or sometimes I will make extra of the meal I’m doing and have my husband run the extra over to a sick friend or neighbor.
    There have been times when so many people have needed help that I’ve had to tell myself that it’s okay to be guided to the one or two people I can help and then pray for the rest. The amazing thing is that God always takes care of his children. I am not able to always be there for everyone even though I want to be, but they have a savior and he will save them from each of their moments of distress and need. There’s always a helping hand somewhere, his angels are all around us and we don’t need to feel like we need to always be the one that helps everyone. When there are a lot of sisters in distress, or when we truly are not able to do those things that we want to because of our own needs, another thing I have found is reaching out to the sisters around you and seeing who can help. Sometimes people just don’t know what’s going on in others lives and once they do know they step up 🙂 if you are that example of someone who wants to help and is consistently helping others, always being that example, that light shines and catches on to others. Everyone wants to be good, and when they see others doing the good work the spirit fills in their heart and they join the cause.

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