8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Romans 12:8 NLT
The following is an excerpt from a book I wrote 5 years ago called Praying the Scriptures. I have been making much needed revisions to make the book into a better tool. The new title will be 20 Rhythms to Praying the Scriptures. My goal was to give practical help interacting with the scripture text to begin a prayer dialogue with God. I should have it ready in early March.
Don’t just stand there, Do Something
8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. NLT
Rhythm 7 – Follow the If’s to pray for the Then’s
The Bible is filled with “If, Then” statements. As these commandments relate to the law of God, only Jesus fulfilled every one of them. We cannot earn God’s favor or extra credit by trying to impress God with the keeping of His rules. The truth is, we are all guilty of breaking His commands. Keep your focus on Jesus. Following His voice is more life giving than trying hard to obey the rules.
As the “If, Then” statements relate to prayer, they can be used to evaluate the condition of our heart and the actions of our lives. For example, let’s look at “If you seek Me, you will find Me”. The prayer would be twofold.
First, I would ask myself if I had really been seeking God? What other interests captivate my time and thoughts? Have I been spending time alone reading His word and praying? If I am not seeking God, then what is occupying my time?
Secondly, I would thank God for His promises to me. My prayer would flow into worship and thanksgiving for a God who does not play hide and seek. God wants me to be able to find Him. He desires that I know His heart and how He feels about others.
“If” statements quickly address excuses and limiting attitudes. Ifs, reveal where our minds have been meditating. These attitudes show up in the words that we speak, and even in our body language. Try to hide it we may, but the attitude will eventually come out into the light. Ifs, give us an opportunity to reflect on the direction of our steps, in the past, present and future.
In today’s verse, Paul is admonishing those with gifts, to use them with the right heart attitude. If you are going to use your gift, do it with excellence.
Father, You alone are worthy of glory and honor. Only You can be full of love that is unconditional and at the same time be full of justice that is without partiality. It is all because of Jesus Christ and His sacrificial payment for our sins.
Father, will you help those who are encouragers to not become discouraged. Let their encouragement be genuine and from the heart. Let those who give, have great wisdom in their giving. Please keep them from becoming jaded by those who abuse their generosity through selfishness, entitlement and ungratefulness.
Father, help leaders administrate with grace and discernment, in freedom and not legalism, without coercion, guilt or manipulation. Help them to equip and empower and not to abuse the authority that You have given to them.
Thank you, Father, for the merciful. There are so many hurting people. Thank You for those who show true compassion that brings forth healing for others.
Thank you, Father, for the many expressions of gifts that are in your body of believers. Help us to be healthy and productive.
Father, help me to stop making excuses for disobedience to the “if’s”. Help me to follow your lead and perform my giftings. In Jesus name, Amen.
May God increase your vocabulary of prayer. May you find the time like Jesus to move to a solitary place in which to pray.
Blessings Love y’all