How to be a Light to the World part 5: Pray

How can we be a light to the world? How can we ask God to equip us to be a light to others? How can God’s light shine through us? 🤔Let’s discuss!

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In today’s message we wrap up our series on how to be a light to the world.  Please be sure to check out our other messages in this series:

As a recap, here are the topics we explored:

  • Show kindness
  • Help those who are in need
  • Do no harm
  • Honor your temple (mind, body & spirit)
  • Pray

In this last message of the series, we discuss how prayer can be a very useful part of being a light to the world.

Over the course of this series we have touched on a number of ways to show love, empathy and compassion to the world.  We have discussed ways to show kindness to others regardless of our current circumstances.  We have explored ways to help others who are in need.  We have learned how to practice selflessness.  We have touched on the fact that one way we can be a light to others is simply to do no harm, to not react as the world would react in times of challenges or adversity. Most recently we have discussed how important it is to take care of our mind, body and spirit to ensure we can be the best version of ourselves as we interact with others.

All of these topics have one thing in common, reaching within ourselves to find the will and desire to be a light.  We have been exploring ways to share, express, and act in ways that would benefit others.

In this message, I’d like to share the importance of prayer as we seek to be a light to the world.

When we seek to help others, we act based on our own will, wisdom, experiences and resources.  While this can be a wonderful and rewarding experience, imagine the impact of asking God to help you to be a light in the world.

Imagine for a moment that you want to show support to someone you know but don’t know how.  God knows.

Imagine the benefit of matching your will to help someone in need with God’s leading you to the person in need.

Imagine for a moment that you want to show support to someone you know but don’t know how.  God knows.

Let’s discuss some of the ways that prayer strengthens??? our ability and capacity to be a light to the world.

Praying for preparation

While we may have a strong desire to be a light to the world, often there are areas of our life that we may need to address in order to properly be equipped to help others.

While we may think we know ourselves only God knows us to our very core.  The good habits and bad habits.  The wisdom and lack thereof.  The strengths and weaknesses. 

One of the observations I made in my own life was seeing how God loved me so completely despite so much sin in my life.  It inspired me to ask God to work on me in a way that I could share that same love with others.

In order to reach this place where I could truly be a light to others, God worked on me over the years – revealing the areas of my life that were holding me back from my full potential.

He educated me through life experiences, talking with others, reading scripture, reading books and even allowing me to sense His presence.  

As I grew closer to God, I would realize there were more and more opportunities to be a light to the world manifesting in my life.  The opportunities would be revealed to me in a time and place that I would be equipped to act upon them.

Ask God today and every day to prepare you, to equip you, to enlighten you in ways you have never been. 

Do you have a desire to be a light to the world?  Ask God today and every day to prepare you, to equip you, to enlighten you in ways you have never been.  Ask God through prayer to reveal to you if there are areas in your life that need attention as you seek to be a vessel for HIm. Ask God for the ways to prepare your mind, body and spirit as a temple for His light to dwell in you.

Praying for direction

One of the most powerful things you can do with prayer is to ask God to direct you as to how to be a light in the world.

As I grew closer to God in my walk with Him, I found myself eager to share my experience with Him to others and to find ways to share His light in me – through me.

I asked God to send opportunities to me where I can serve Him by being of service to others.  I asked God to use me as He saw fit.  I asked God to help me know how I can equip others in ways that I was once not equipped for.

Lo and behold one by one, I believe God began to order the steps of me and others to intersect. 

I believe there was most certainly, a ‘before’ and ‘after’ I was ready to be a light to others.  ‘Before’ I was largely alone and in the world and living in sin and dealing with all of the random consequences of that way of living.  When I turned my life over to God and He was able to see the sincerity of my heart in my actions, I believe he responded to my prayer to use me as a vessel to help others.  

How do I know this?  People would be introduced to me by others who knew my story from walking in sin to walking with God.  People would cross my path in my workplace out of the blue. Even random people on the street would cross my path.  In all of these situations, a conversation or a number of conversations over time would reveal that there was not only an opportunity for me to share my experiences but there was also an opportunity to treat that individual with love, compassion and empathy in a way that they needed.  In some cases, these individuals would say that I treated them in a way that they have never been treated.  I don’t take credit for that by the way – that is God’s light in me shining brightly to them. 

I feel overjoyed at all of the incidents that I truly believe God used me as a vessel to impart wisdom learned in my life to another.  There have been so many ways I have been able to express to someone ‘Yep, been there – done that – and here is what I learned’. Wait a minute.. I guess you could say I am doing that right now talking to you!! 

I also know in my heart God has placed me in many situations where someone is in need.  This has happened most frequently as I cross paths with someone who is homeless. 

Once upon a time, I would simply walk past or even around someone who is homeless and not even break a step.

Now, God has worked on my heart to know when to stop or even approach someone out of the way who is homeless.  He puts on my heart what to do, what to give and what not to give. Oh the joy it has given me to be in the right place at the right time for someone in this situation and I praise God for giving me the resources and the courage to approach someone to offer a meal or even just the funds to purchase the things that only God knows they need. God has even directed me on what to leave and where for someone who is not there but will eventually return!

God can use you as well in these ways to help the people in your commute, your workplace, your school and even your community.

Praying for strength

The last area I want to share with you today about prayer and being a light to the world is to pray for strength.

We have touched on prayer for preparation and the opportunities to be a light to the world. 

When the opportunity comes to be a light to someone, you will know it – but will you act?

I can confess.  When I first started noticing that there were opportunities to be a light to others, I was shy.  I was hesitant.  I bowed out.  I changed my mind.  I did all sorts of things.

When the opportunity comes to be a light to someone, you will know it – but will you act?

I came face to face with the fact that I had the desire and even the will to be a light to others but I lacked the strength and courage – so I did not.

Thoughts would go through my head that ‘well, I could – but’. Or, ‘I want to, but I am too busy.’ or ‘What if it is uncomfortable’ or even ‘I’m sure someone else will ..’

Folks, I admit I found all sorts of excuses to not carry out the very thing I asked for.  Asking God to send people my way so I can be used as a vessel for Him to help them.

I realized soon enough that the desire and will alone was not enough. I needed to also ask God – in advance – for the strength to act on the opportunities that He gave to me.

Think about this for a moment. Imagine stopping to ask a homeless person on a very busy sidewalk bustling with people if you can purchase a meal for them.  I mean, actually learning their name and having a conversation about what type of food they would like down to the sides and fixings.  Does this make you uncomfortable when you think about it? Wouldn’t you want someone to give you the same empathy and consideration? I can relate.  I had a bunch of these opportunities come and go because I thought it too inconvenient to me or I simply lacked the courage to do it.  I am not proud of this because every time – I had the resources in my bank account and I had the time to stop.

So I want to encourage you today to be proactive.  To ask God today and every day – not only for the opportunities to be a light to the world, but the courage and strength to act when the opportunity presents itself. To be able to push through the hesitation and discomfort and maybe even fear.  To trust God is leading you and guiding you and equipping you to help that individual.  This is not just for the above example of someone who is homeless – this is any opportunity God directs you to be a light to the world. Trust God will equip you with the time, the resources and even the words to speak in the moment.  Trust God!

As for me, while I do have hesitation from time to time when there is an opportunity to be a light, I know now to simply ask for strength and courage in the moment to push through the hesitation and step forward to allow God to use me as he sees fit.

In this series we have discussed a number of ways we can be a light to the world.  Acts of kindness, acts of selflessness and acts of helping someone in need are just a few of the ways we can share the light of God with others.  Taking care of our whole self, mind, body and spirit creates a space in us for God’s light to dwell and flourish. I want to invite you to seek God’s will to use you as a vessel. It is one of the most rewarding things you can do in your walk with God, serving Him and serving humanity in the process.  Have you experienced God’s Light in your life?  Allow God’s light to shine bright through you  and shine brightly for the world to see. 

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