Friend, you don’t have to start a non-profit to make a difference.
We Have Everything We Need
Each one of us, regardless of our background, has something invaluable that we can offer others. We hold the figurative life preserver to cast to someone drowning in a sea of uncertainty. We carry the symbolic, kind gesture of a homemade casserole to feed a grieving family.
You might be wondering how you can show up for others when social distancing requirements are in place, when people are geographically distant, and when they might be perfect strangers.
The answer isn’t complicated. In fact, the answer is so simple, so rudimentary, that it can transcend all the imposed borders and limitations. Galatians 6:2 instructs us to “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Friends, we can show up and make a difference by carrying the burdens of others through our written correspondence.
Our written prayers, in particular, can be a love offering with the power to embrace, encourage, and equip.
Stepping into the Hardship
A little over a year ago, I learned firsthand the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was a very scary, very lonely place. For 12 hours a day, I sat by my son’s bedside. I stared helplessly at his tiny body through the plexiglass barrier. So often I felt numb. How could my son be fighting to survive? Fixated on him, I ignored my need to eat. While I knew my health was important, I needed my husband to physically put food in front of me. And maybe because my mind was reeling from the trauma, I needed the same kind of spiritual support. Unable to string together my own prayers, I needed spiritual nourishment or homemade casseroles delivered to me.
On occasion, one friend in particular, would show up and feed me spiritually. She would text her written prayers for our family. Oh, how those prayers blessed me. Each prayer, with our names inserted, carried the sweet fragrance of the Holy Spirit. Each prayer enveloped me, wrapping me in an enormous hug. With her words, I could feel her arms surround me and I could feel His holy presence holding me together.
The love offering of her written prayers also encouraged and equipped me—they were the life preserver I needed to be thrown out to me at just the right time. Her fresh perspective opened my eyes to the sheer abundance of promises God had for us. She was able to cite unique scriptures that touched my heart and gave me hope. Her individualized, specific prayers served as scripts I could read over us. Her prayers helped focus my eyes on God’s sovereignty in the middle of our raging storm.
Witnessing the Work of His Hand
The simple way my friend showed up with written prayers radically changed my prayer life. With her love offering, my friend watered the seeds God planted in my heart. The seeds have multiplied, taken root, and blossomed in the most beautiful way.
Her written and tangible correspondence has had an incredible ripple effect. When I received the blessing of her love and encouragement, I passed it on to others—praying for them in their times of need. And when others were impacted by my prayers, they prayed them forward to other individuals. Without even realizing it, my friend watered the seeds of a ministry God had planted within me. And now, a field of over 100 women are blooming where they have been planted, as written and spoken prayer are poured into them through the “Praying Your Way Through the NICU” ministry. Together, NICU mothers past and present, are carrying the burdens of their sisters in Christ. What a beautiful example of how our contributions, our offerings of love, no matter how seemingly small, can have a tremendous impact on the lives of many.
Pause and Reflect:
Who in your life is in need of the “life preserver” or “homemade casserole” you possess? What is stopping you from taking time to write out a prayer for them, knowing it may be just the embrace or encouragement they need?
Heavenly Father, thank you for Your promise to never leave us or forsake us. Thank you for the gift of companionship and for divinely placing people in our lives to help carry our burdens. Lord, I pray for our obedience and our willingness to show up for others. I pray for our sweet surrender to give a love offering of written prayer. I thank you for the opportunity to be used by You and to be part of Your glorious plans. In Jesus’s name, I pray, Amen.
Connect with Jessica:
Jessika Sanders is a blogger and freelance writer. A former educator and cheerleader, Jessika has always found joy in helping and encouraging others. She often writes from the painful places in her past with the hope of showing others how true freedom and wholeness can be found in Christ. Jessika is also a recovering wanderlust who has found contentment and purpose in being a stay-at-home wife and mother of three. Dressed in Jesus tees and sockless in Converse, the earthy-crunchy Vermonter is a lover of all things organic, including large amounts of chocolate. Jessika and her family reside in sunny, Southwest Florida. You can follow her by subscribing to her blog www.piecesofjessika.com while she takes a break from social media to focus on the writing projects to which God has called her.
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