It’s not much of a secret that I love to pray for complete strangers in public. In fact, if I’m honest, giving Jesus away in public is probably my favorite thing in the world to do. Nothing compares to when someone encounters the love of God for the first time or in a way that they never have before.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll begin to unpack the why and how to pray for complete strangers as well as beginning to believe that we each are a Walking Revival because we have Christ in us, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).
Why should we pray for complete strangers in public? I mean, how can we, Christians, demonstrate the love of Jesus outside of the church, in a world where we are taught to mind our own business?
Because People Are Worth It.
In a world full of iPhones, iPads, iPods, iTunes, and selfies, it’s easy to think that we are the most important people in the world, but we’re not. Everyone is important.
Let me say that again.
Everyone is important.
Why do I believe that?
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Jesus paid a price, with His life, not just for us, but for everyone who has lived or who will live because He believed they were worth it.
Think about it this: Would any of us spend money on something that we saw no potential or value in? I’d like to think that we wouldn’t. Now think about this: Would Jesus pay a price with His blood in people He saw no potential or value in? I do NOT believe so at all.
If Jesus is convinced people are worth it, then I will become convinced that EVERY person I see is worth the Blood of Jesus.
Jesus Gave Us Permission To Pray For People In Public.
And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. (Matthew 10:7-8)
The above verse has been one of the most life-changing verses I have ever read.
Because in this verse, Jesus has given us permission to give Him away everywhere we go and in everything we do.
This means that when we’re at Walmart, the grocery store, a coffee shop, or the bank that Jesus has given us the permission to look someone in the eye and tell them that Jesus loves them and then pray over them.
Listen to me, if we wait for someone to ask us to pray for them or if we wait until we “feel” led to pray for someone, chances are we never will.
So how do we know if we can pray for someone?
Here’s the list of questions that I follow:
Are they breathing?
If I can answer “Yes.” to that one question on my list, then I know Jesus has given me permission to pray for them.
Now, I know someone is already asking this and so I’ll just go ahead an say it: If we ask someone if we can pray for them and they say, “No.” be polite and walk away AND THEN PRAY FOR THEM WHEN THEY ARE NOT AROUND.
Maybe, God will touch them in a powerful way and they immediately realize that He is real and that He loves them!
Praying For People In Public Makes Following Jesus An Adventure.
For the first 7 years of following Jesus I saw only a few miracles and breakthroughs and they were in a church service or bible study. I NEVER saw anything like I had read about in Jesus’ life or in the Book of Acts but I began to get jealous for something to happen.
I’d read things like where Jesus says that we’d do greater things than Him (John 14:12) or that these signs will follow (Mark 16:17) and I began to ask God for these things to happen. (NOTE: This is NOT about chasing signs. This is about chasing Jesus and seeing Him move in people’s lives.)
What’s funny to me, is that when I began to ask God to allow me see these things, He responded by asking me when was I going to get over myself and start praying for people?
His answer stung because I guess I was hoping I wouldn’t have to do anything other than let my shadow hit some people and they’d receive breakthrough (Acts 5:14-16).
And so for the last 3 years, I’ve done my best to be very aware of what’s going on around me wherever I’m at because I never want to miss an opportunity.
If I’m at the grocery story and the cashier looks like they are having a tough day, I’ll ask for their hands, tell them that Jesus loves them, and bless them. If I’m at a restaurant and I get poor service, I’m going to tip them huge even though they don’t deserve it, and then watch them melt as they receive the love of God. If I’m at Walmart and I see someone limping or wearing a cast, I’m going to walk up to them, ask them what happened, and then pray healing over them.
And yes, I do the above all the time and I don’t say that to brag on me, I say that because I have seen the Lord do absolutely incredible things because He desires to move! And I believe He desires to move through you as well!
I promise you this, the first time you see someone shed a tear because they experience the love of God or the first time you see someone healed, you’ll always be on the lookout for someone to pray for!
So what are you waiting for?
Let’s pray: Father, I thank You that You live inside of us and that You care about each and everyone of us. I thank You that You desire to move in supernatural ways in public. I thank You that You desire to use everyday, ordinary people to give Jesus away. And I thank You that You, right now, in this moment, are releasing a boldness, for us to share and demonstrateYour goodness to a lost, hurting, and broken world. Thank you Jesus! Amen!