“You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.” (2 Corinthians 1:11, ESV)
Pastor Dave Ferguson shares a simple acronym that describes to us a practical way to B.L.E.S.S. our neighbors.
- B – Begin with prayer
- L – Listen
- E – Eat together
- S – Serve
- S – Share stories
This acronym is not the only way to be a blessing but is something that is proven to be effective. The first step is to begin with prayer. If you are to pray for your neighbors, there are a few things to consider:
- Do you know the names of your neighbors? It is hard to pray for people when you don’t know their names.
- What are some of the needs of your neighbors? Where are they struggling? Where do they need divine intervention? To figure these things out, you need to talk with your neighbors.
- Do you pray consistently and intentionally for your neighbors? Many of us are not intentional with our prayers, and so the prayers in behalf of our neighbors easily slip out of our focus. What is your strategy and method of prayer for others?
There are many reasons we fail to pray for our neighbors. Sometimes we are too absorbed in our personal affairs that we become apathetic to the needs around us. But the reality is that the more aware we become about the struggles of others, the more insignificant our struggles might seem.
Another reason we fail to pray for our neighbors is that we may not like our neighbors much. We may be angry towards our neighbors. But when you start praying for someone, God has a way of shifting your attitude towards them. I was once told that it is hard to be angry at someone for whom you are praying.
Still another reason we might fail to pray for our neighbor is out of fear. It is not so much about fear of praying, but the fear may be in opening ourselves up to new people and building relationships with others. The other fear is that we might be put in a place we are not comfortable being. But loving others will never be simple. It requires setting aside our comfort zones for God’s priorities. Being a blessing means setting aside my wants for the needs of others. But in the end, I discover something more than I wanted.
How are you praying for your neighbor today?