Can I pray with you?

20 June 2011

“Can I pray with you?”

Such a simple request….but one that changes lives!

How many times I have asked the Lord: “How can I reach this MOPS Mum? Show me Lord what I can do to encourage her, to lift her up, to help draw her closer to having a relationship with you.”

God’s answer is often simple. Be real. Show her you care. Listen. Be there for her. Introduce her to My character…

Time and time again I am reminded that the most effective way we can reach Mums is by deliberately entering into their problems and being a friend. If I can be straight with you, I reckon we overcomplicate this.  We are called to share a reason for the hope that we have.  We should know who God is for us so that we can point others to Him. It takes time to build a friendship, but it is so worth the effort.

When my twins were tiny and we had four children under the age of 4, God gave me the opportunity and the means to help my neighbour. I didn’t wake up that morning thinking, “Today I’m going to reach out to my neighbour,” – I was just doing what I normally did.  I was dual breastfeeding my twins when I noticed my neighbour drive her van to the top of her driveway and that’s when she stopped. Her car conked out and would go no further. Now I had only waved hello to the lady prior to this. But I knew she had a swag of kids, about 5 or so, and all had to go in different directions, School, Daycare, Kindy.  I sat there thinking, “How can I help this lady?” Then I called for my Hubby to go over and see if he could help her get her car going again or at the very least she could take our van (which was coincidentally the same make and model as hers). She couldn’t believe it. She didn’t even know us, and we were giving her the keys to our car. But she was in a pickle.

I smile now at the memory of that moment, because we went from barely knowing each other to developing a very deep friendship over time. This lady eventually started attending our Church. Then she came along to the very first planning meetings for MOPS and became our first MOPS Finance Leader. She also became a regular attendee of the women’s group that I held in my home. When I started a Bookclub, she jumped at the chance to be involved. She has been there for our family through many crises and has become a dear friend to me. I wonder whether we would have become friends if I had stayed sitting on my couch breastfeeding, thinking that it was all too hard, that I had enough on my plate, that she’d be right…?

I have learned that it is a blessing to help another; to share their burdens and stand in the gap with them; to cook a meal for someone who’s struggling; to help someone who has lost all hope; to be like family to those who have no family.  What about you?

How can you extend an act of kindness today?  What can those around you learn about the character of God through your life?

The Bible says to “Love your neighbour as you love yourself.” Perhaps, you could start with that simple question:“Can I pray with you?” and take a moment to sow the seeds of hope in another’s life.

Karen Askey-Doran

Sunshine Coast Regional Co-ordinator, QLD

Currently 18 months into travelling around Australia in a beat up Troop carrier towing a camper trailer (you know….a tent on wheels!) with my Hunkey-dorey Husband, Home-schooling our 4 primary school aged children, serving God; visiting Aussie MOPS groups and working on Mobile. Mission. Maintenance projects!

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