A Dangerous Prayer

“Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated to you; and then use us, we pray, as you will, and always to your glory and welfare of your people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.”

A very dangerous prayer from ‘The Book of Common Prayer.’ Be careful not to take it to heart, unless you’re ready for the consequences. A life exactly like you’ve just prayed.

You Can and Should Buy Influence

In this world, anyone can have power and influence if they’re willing to spend enough money.

Here’s a statement that may shock you. I believe that you can buy someone into the Kingdom of God.

Ok, I don’t actually think you can pay someone’s way into Heaven or into a relationship with Jesus Christ. I do believe you can buy your way into a person’s life to influence them and point them to Christ. And all it will cost you is a little time and money.

Here’s what you do:

1) Pick one day a week that you’re going to CONSISTENTLY pursue this venture. Remember, ministry to others is a marathon, not a sprint. Like anything of great value, influence takes time to build. So you’re going to have to commit.

2) Pick a restaurant. Someplace you like to eat, but it must be a place where you get waited on at your table. No fast food.

3) Pray. Before you go for the first time, pray that the Lord leads you to the person He wants you to meet. Once you’ve prayed, go to the restaurant, be seated and KNOW that the person waiting on you has been put in your life by God. This is your mission. This is a moment of destiny.

4) Be nice and keep quiet about God. Don’t talk about church, God, or Jesus. Don’t even ask to pray for them. In fact, don’t even pray for your food when it comes. The goal is about actions, not words. The only thing you should do is walk in grace and be nice. NO MATTER HOW THE SERVICE IS. They may not be a great waiter or waitress, but God loves them as much as He loves you. So treat them that way.

5) When the bill comes, tip NO LESS than 50%. I told you this was going to cost you something. The cost doesn’t matter, the mission matters. You’re buying the right to point this person to God. How much is a soul worth to you anyway? (if you can name a price it’s too low.)

6) Do the same thing every week. On the same day, go to the same restaurant and ask for the same server. Be as friendly and be generous.

7) Watch what happens.

Here’s a little glimpse into what could happen from personal experience.

By the 5th or 6th visit, you know a little about the person waiting on you. You know if they go to school or if they’re in a relationship. You may know something about where or how they grew up. The point is your getting to know THEM. And they’re getting to know you. And the three major things they know about you are you’re kind, you’re generous, and they love it when you show up.

Now you’re in a position to speak into their life. You can ask to pray for them. You can invite them to church or share the gospel with them. Why? Because you’ve invested in them. You’ve spent your time and money on them. You’re not carpet bombing them with the Gospel, shoving it down their throat. You’re being the Gospel. You’ve become the Good News to them. And If it’s not good news when we show up in someone’s life, how in the world are we going to convince people that it’s Good News when He shows up in their life?

I know that this might sound manipulative. But I don’t think it is. Manipulation is selfish. Manipulation is getting what you want even if it hurts others. What we are talking about is the opposite of that. You are sacrificing your time and money for a perfect stranger. Your only motivation is for them to know how much God loves them, and you’ll do whatever it takes to accomplish that goal.

That’s not manipulation. That’s ministry.

Fact vs Opinion

“If you have facts, present them and we’ll use them. But if you have opinions, we’re gonna use mine.”
– Jim Barksdale, CEO Netscape

I love this quote and the clarity that this mindset brings. So many times we believe in something so passionately that we begin to consider it “fact” or “truth” when it is not. What’s worse is when we base decisions on what other people have presented as “facts” but are not.

Clarifying statements like this are necessary for wise decision making.

Be careful what you pray for… Seriously

I began this year asking God to teach me about humility. That may have been a mistake.

God is more into transformation than He is into information. And for some reason I expected Him to give me some deep revelation from His Word that I could study. I didn’t expect Him to enroll me in the school of humility where each lesson doesn’t enter your mind but gets engraved in your heart.

One thing I am discovering about this process of God working on my heart is that this kind of work tends to be the most uncomfortable when He is working on the areas of the Heart that may be a little tough*.

* I use the word “tough” because it makes me feel better than admitting my heart may be harder in this area than I first thought. I’m sure that will be a future lesson I will learn.

A Common Question

Why do bad things happen to “good” (“Godly”) people?

The answer?

They don’t. Bad things happen to everybody, “good” or “bad.”

“…rain falls on the just and unjust alike.” (Matt. 5:45)

A better question might be, How should “good” (“Godly”) people respond when bad things happen?

Unresolved Issues

I was shocked by a conversation I overheard between two women. They were talking about a divorce one of them was in the middle of. It was a messy, painful divorce between two people who had been married for over 25 years. (I’m not sure how long exactly, but she kept using the term “25 plus year marriage.”)

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