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This Overlooked Weapon Can Greatly Increase Your Ability to Bless Others...

Aug 18, 2007
Have you ever felt the desire to bless somebody else, but you just didn't know how to do it? Or perhaps you knew how to bless them, but you didn't have the resources available to make it happen? If either of these has ever happened to you, you'll be glad to know that God has given you a weapon to use for situations just like this.

That weapon (as it's described in Ephesians 6) is prayer. But in order for prayer to be an effective weapon, you need to know how to use it in this context. Too often, prayer is used in an attempt to gain material possessions for selfish gain, or only for spiritual matters. Now there's nothing wrong with praying for material gain, as I'll explain in a moment. And there's certainly nothing wrong with praying for spiritual matters.

However, if all you're focused on is personal gain, then you're missing an entire dimension for which God wants us to use prayer. Specifically, He desires for us to use prayer as a weapon to do two things: Build His kingdom here on earth and (as part of the first) bless others.

In Luke 11, we read the famous Lord's Prayer, where Jesus is instructing His disciples on how to pray. The first line is "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." As is common practice in Hebrew prayers, the first line is the foundation for everything that's written after it. In other words, everything that follows that line is meant to show us how this is accomplished.

The first things we see after that are requests that our personal needs be taken care of: our basic physical needs (food, clothing, shelter), forgiveness, and avoiding temptation. But Jesus spends a lot more time elaborating on kingdom building in verses 5-10. Here we see a man who goes to a neighbor and requests bread to feed a guest. The neighbor resists. But because of the man's persistence, he gives him all he needs.

If you read these verses carefully, you'll see that the beneficiary of this request is not the person asking for the food, but that man's guest. So the persistent man is asking for his neighbor to bless him so that he might bless someone else. And this story is in the context of Jesus teaching His disciples how to pray. So Jesus' point is that we should pray persistently. But for what? Primarily for the things listed in His model prayer. But He hints that we should also pray persistently that He would use us to meet the needs of others. And other Scriptures support this (such as James 2:15-16 and 1 Chronicles 4:9-10).

We then see in verses 11-13 that when we pray with this focus on blessing others, God is more than willing to bless us. So the next time you hear a prayer request, don't just pray for the person(s). Also take time to ask God to show you how you can minister to that person.

But don't stop there. Ask God to give you whatever it takes for you meet their needs. He may show you something you already own will meet their needs. He may give you something unexpected. He may show you His divine power in a spectacular way so that you can bless that person beyond your usual abilities. Or He may just want you to pray. But no matter how He wants you to bless that person, you know you will have used a powerful weapon to further the kingdom of God. And you will also be a tremendous blessing to those around you.
About the Author
Steve Kroening writes for Success magazine and also publishes Wisdom's Edge. You can get Biblical tips on health, finance, relationships, parenting, and success, delivered to your email inbox every week. Simply visit http://www.wisdomsedge.com and sign up for this free e-zine.
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