Throughout the new testament, we are exhorted to do good works, store up heavenly treasure and demonstrate love in practical ways. Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
The Gospel of Matthew records Jesus instructing: ““Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”(6:19-21)
For some believers, it is hard to know what sort of things to do. Maybe you don’t feel like you have any particularly special talent or ability that would benefit the body of believers. Or perhaps you are in a season of life where you are short on time or material resources, yet you have a desire to be obedient to the command to do good and love others. Never to fear! First of all, the Bible promises that every believer has been given some sort of spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 12).
If you are not sure what your spiritual gifting may be that is okay because every believer has been commanded to love and to pray:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Ephesians 6:18)
Because these are so obvious and so widely addressed I think that sometimes they are overlooked or minimized. That is unfortunate, but it is also why I bring it up. There are endless opportunities for loving others, especially the brethren, through prayer. Most of us spend a fair amount of time on social media. I bet you cannot think of a time scrolling through Facebook or Twitter where you haven’t seen someone requesting prayer. These are great opportunities for obedience and for storing up treasure! If you are one of these mentioned above who is in a season of busyness or lacking material resources, prayer is a great discipline and service to pursue. God isn’t interested in length or oratory ability. He’s interested in sincerity and reverence.
As you see or hear about requests for prayer, stop right then for a moment and offer up a prayer for the person or situation. In this way you are being obedient to God’s Word, loving others, and making an eternal investment. Don’t just say “I’ll pray for you.” Do it! There doesn’t even need to be a request for prayer. Maybe you are reading a news site and there is some kind of natural disaster, accident or crime. Pray for those involved, pray for their salvation! Pray for the emergency responders and Christians in their sphere of influence to be salt and light.
Building the habit of continual prayer is also an opportunity for teaching if you are a parent. When your kids bring up a concern or situation with friends or at school, be in the habit of responding with “let’s pray about it right now!” You can pray with your child about their concern, teaching and demonstrating that we need to come to God for wisdom and lay our issues at His feet. He is our first stop when tackling a problem, not our last resort. This also demonstrates your love and care for your child in a tangible, immediate way. How comforting and reassuring that is to our children!
Soli Deo Gloria!