Many years ago, I attended a church that was located about a block away from a hospital. At least once during the service, the wail of an ambulance siren could be heard as it sped by the church. Whenever this happened, the pastor would find an opportune moment and then lead the congregation in prayer for the medical emergency that was at hand. It was a humbling reminder to everyone that our location brought us in direct contact with many suffering people.
This church was grateful for it’s location next to a hospital and led a regular ministry to the inpatients. And this is what impressed me. The Holy Spirit prompted the local church to back up their prayer with action. Wherever we live, work or play, we have many opportunities to pray and intercede on behalf of others. And these opportunities are limited only by the imagination and creativity of God’s people.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
James 1:22 (ESV)
The Bible reminds us that a heart that is truly seeking prayerful intercession on behalf of others, will also be motivated to action. Why?
But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer
who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
James 1:25 (ESV)
Christianity is not lip service, nor a series of random or deliberate actions done to garner God’s approval. There is nothing we can do on our own to merit His approval. Only by confessing our sins, repenting, and turning to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, will our heart and attitude be in line with God’s. We intercede and act on behalf of others out of gratitude for what God has done for us. We look to the perfection of Jesus Christ and understand, perhaps for the first time, what it means to see ourselves as God sees us. Only by the sanctifying power and grace of the Holy Spirit can we be reborn and understand that we are sinners, hopelessly lost without Him.
Are you a doer and not just a hearer?
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.