And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:39 NIV
About one year into our church plant, we started an Adopt A Block ministry. Each Saturday we would canvas the neighborhood around our church and knock on doors. We would introduce ourselves and ask them if we could pray for them. Many responded “No thanks, I don’t have any requests right now.” We responded, “Well bless you, we will be by next week to pray again if you have any request.”
Several already belonged to another church. They felt like we were trying to get them to come to ours. That would have been great if they came, but our first priority was to pray blessings over their needs.
One lady clearly stated, “I go to the Baptist Church down the street.”
I said, “Great, how can we pray for your church?”
She replied, “We don’t have a pastor right now.”
“Can we pray for your church to find their next pastor?”I asked,
“Yes”, she said.
For the next 9 months we prayed regularly for that church while they searched for a new pastor. When they finally called him to their ministry I felt like he was my pastor too. When I met him later, I shared this story and we became prayer partners and friends.
Loving your neighbor as yourself…
- Primarily means taking the first initiative in the relationship.
- Includes prayers for the things which concern them
- Spending time together socially and over meals
- Speaking highly of them
- Making regular calls and visits to them “first”
- Sacrifice of your time and possibly money
- And a whole lot more
When you feel lonely or isolated, can you identify what it feels like is missing? Ask God to help you turn that around and do for others what you feel is missing for you. Stop waiting for someone to call, pick up your address book and call someone else. And do this regularly, its okay to ask them what you can pray for…and then pray right then.
Loving others is the wonderful adventure of life. Ask God to expand your boundaries in loving, caring and sharing.
Blessings Love y’all