Discovering Needs

Jesus said, “ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”

Written by Hope on 19/05/2013
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Church And Community, Service
"You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”(Matthew 21:22)

Having a child has taught me a lot of things about meeting the needs of another person. As an infant, my daughter, like all babies, was unable to supply anything for herself. As she aged and grew, we’ve taught her to do more and more for herself. Our ultimate goal, of course, is for her to learn enough to become a secure, intelligent, Christian adult.

What We Want
It’s difficult to know what little ones need, sometimes. One of my daughter’s frustrating habits is neglecting to say when she has a basic need – such as hunger, thirst, or a restroom break. Unlike God, the Father Who “knows exactly what you need even before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8), human parents can’t always “just know” what a child needs. As the Apostle James taught the early Christians about the Heavenly Father, “you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it”(James 4:2). We encourage our daughter to talk about what she needs or wants. Then we can decide how to meet her needs; however, we won’t always get what she wants. And God won’t always give Christians what we want, either: “even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong” (James 4:3).

Not What We Expect
Jesus said, “ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Luke 11:9). So why doesn’t God answer every Christian prayer with a “yes”? Sometimes our motives are wrong. And just as my daughter doesn’t know what’s best for herself from her young perspective, Christians don’t always know what’s best for ourselves from our earthly perspective. God knows what’s best for us, and He “causes everything to work together for the good of those who love [Him]” (Romans 8:28). Maybe the answer to our prayer doesn’t look like what we thought it would; sometimes God has a better plan! St. Paul trusted God’s provision and told his friends that “this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches”(Philippians 4:19). All God’s children can trust Him to meet their needs – in His way and in His time.

Prayer, Care and Share Jesus
If you cannot physically assist someone in need – Pray Now!

Scripture: "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:34

In Scripture Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow – just to deal with today. His heart is also that we, as believers, will assist the people around us (believers or not-yet-believers) with the troubles they have today.

In a previous Prayer, Care & Share (PCS) teaching we are called to meet the needs of people around us by solving problems using our skills, talents and gifts, encouraging them or praying for them.

JUST ASKING THIS QUESTION is a proven way of discovering a person's real need: "If there was ONE THING I could pray for you, personally, what would it be?"

Example: When greeting a co-worker last week I asked the ONE THING question and he responded: "Please pray for my marriage, my wife and I are in a dry season." I prayed that God would help him court his wife in a new way every day and God changed his whole attitude in that minute!

The ONE THING question politely asks permission before you pray and we encourage always pray in the Name of Jesus so that there is no doubt to which god you are praying.

You may wonder what happens if the person says they have no concerns. Well, then you revert to the Bless step of PCS and say: "Can we simply ask God to bless you?" Most people then say, "Yes, please".

Very rarely someone might say "No" they do want prayer. Then keep being friendly and talk about other things (which is the "build relationship" part of PCS). When you walk away you can then intercede silently with God for the person who refused prayer.

A Helpful Tip:In most countries it is a cultural custom to ask people how they are when you greet them. Sadly we most commonly respond: "I am fine." What you can do is to continue the greeting by asking: "How are you really?" Often they'll tell you their real concern and that concern could be the door opened to PRAY NOW for them!

Pray this week:

God will purify our hearts and motives.

Visit the Kairos webiste https://cabinet.kairosplanet.com/register/#111b0e

Care for People All Around You

The book of Ruth in the Old Testament tells a beautiful story about love and loyalty among family.

Written by Hope on 28/04/2013
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: God, Love, Loyalty, Relationships
"And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows." (1 Thessalonians 3:12)

The book of Ruth in the Old Testament tells a beautiful story about love and loyalty among family.

Naomi, an Israelite, had traveled with her husband and sons to the foreign land of Moab to escape a famine. Her sons married local women, one of them being Ruth. When the husband and the sons died, Naomi chose to return to Israel and her people.

Love Each Other
Naomi and her daughters-in-law loved each other dearly. Wanting them to be provided for, Naomi urged them to remain in Moab to remarry. However, Ruth chose to stay with Naomi, dedicated to serving her mother-in-law — and God. She demonstrated a love and loyalty the Apostles Paul and John would describe many years later: “those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith” (1 Timothy 5:8) and “those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters” (1 John 4:21).

Avoid Evil and Pray
In Israel, Ruth provided for herself and Naomi by gathering leftover grain. She chose a field owned by Boaz, one of Naomi’s distant relatives. Boaz told Ruth to keep gathering on his land, where she’d be safe from dangerous men elsewhere. This mirrors God’s warning to His people against close contact with those who chose evil: “If you do, you will follow their evil ways and be trapped” (Exodus 34:12). If we can’t avoid harm, though, Jesus said to “Pray for those who hurt you” (Luke 6:28). We should avoid evil ways, but care about, and pray for, people who choose evil.

Care – No Matter What
Naomi loved Ruth, wanting to see her married and settled. She instructed Ruth to ask Boaz to take care of her (and Naomi) by marrying Ruth. Although Ruth was a poor foreigner, Boaz treated her with godly care and agreed. Jesus spoke of providing for others: “when you [cared for] one of the least of these people, you [cared for] Me” (Matthew 25:40). We, too, should show godly concern for others, especially those in need.

When Ruth chose to go with Naomi rather than stay with her own people, she said, “Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God” (Ruth 1:16).

Naomi’s devotion to the Living God caused Ruth to turn from the idols of her native Moab. Wouldn’t it be awesome if your love for God and for people would inspire others to turn from sin and follow God?

Prayer, Care and Share Jesus
Care for people in need around you!

Scripture: "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me"

Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, and thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.' (Matthew 25:35-40)

The Prayer, Care & Share Jesus guide, encourages you to care for people around you because of what Jesus said in the Bible. People in the passage above could hardly believe that Jesus compared their deeds for others to the way they served Jesus. But, it is really that important to Jesus because his love and care is unconditional and he wants us to live like He did as much as we can.

How do we care for people the way Jesus would every day? Be aware of the needs of people around you – for the homeless, the poor, the hungry, the broken, the discouraged. Use the Prayer Care Share guide as a way to reach out to them. Pray for God's blessing and care, on them. Prepare yourself to care for them. Remember, Jesus did warn that sometimes, the person he wants us to help, may be a person that we don’t want to help. But, he tells us to even love and pray for our enemies.

When someone has a need, you can help them or encourage them. Or if you can’t solve the problem, ask the Lord to solve it.

There are all kinds of things that cause people to be in need. Take a moment and think about ways people in your life may need to be cared for right now. They may be saying things like:

My child is ill.
My brother was wounded in battle.
I have no money for transport to go home today.
My mother is an alcoholic.
My computer crashed and I don’t know how to fix it.
I am writing an important test tomorrow and am worried about it.
I need a job.
When you hear this, it’s possible the Lord has called you to care for them. How will you respond to His call?

Pray this week:

The book of Ruth in the Old Testament tells a beautiful story about love and loyalty among family.

Visit the Kairos webiste https://cabinet.kairosplanet.com/register/#111b0e