OUR HOLY OCCUPATION
What are our responsibilities toward others? Many of us probably think of the golden rule – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The golden rule is important, but it’s essential that we have the right motive. Prayer helps us to ensure that our hearts are aligned with our actions.
What role does prayer have in your interactions with others? The prophet Samuel realized that if he did not pray for the people it would be a sin against God. Although the people had rejected God and sought to have a king, Samuel did not give up on the people,
Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way. (1 Samuel 12:23)
Samuel viewed prayer as an integral part of his ministry. Likewise, we have an obligation to pray for others since we are our brother’s keeper. One of the most strategic ways to help others is to pray for them. When you pray, God works and He touches their heart and that creates change from the inside out.
Samuel’s prayers led him to instruct the people. The word “instruct” was the word used to shoot an arrow and it carried the meaning of pointing out, directing, and teaching. Samuel was to instruct the people in the good and right way that is revealed in the next verse,
Only fear the LORD and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. (1 Samuel 12:24)
This is a good model for how we can pray for others. Samuel identified three aspects of intercession for others. First, he desired that they would fear the Lord. This implies a holy reverence toward God coupled with a diligent walk in obedience before God. Next, he encouraged them to serve God with all their heart. What is your motive when you serve others? Some people serve others in a transactional relationship; they serve others, so they will serve them in return. Our motive for serving must be God’s glory.
Finally, he instructed the people to consider what great things that God had done for them. Gratitude is a wonderful motivator. Ungrateful people often don’t do much because they expect others to serve them. Grateful people reflect the giving nature of God.
Intercessory prayer enables you to gain the spiritual victory since you’re tapping into the very power of God in the spiritual battle. This is why Jesus put such a tremendous emphasis on prayer. Prayer is the spiritual high ground. You can expect God to intervene if you’re willing to intercede. Are you embracing your holy occupation as you pray for others?