May every one of you overflow with the grace and favor of our Lord Jesus Christ! Philippians 4:23
Yesterday I talked about bringing others along. Bringing others along with you in ministry, in life and in the kingdom of Heaven. I know that is easier to say than do sometimes. It isn’t always the easiest thing to walk up to someone and start talking to them about your Savior Jesus and quite frankly, will probably repel some people rather than bring them closer. Still, the reason we are here in the world is to be God’s witness. However, the way to be the most effective is to get wisdom first.
I titled today’s dose “Pray first” mainly because that is where wisdom comes from, but also because that is where we prepare ground. What am I talking about preparing ground? The ground of the heart. In Mark chapter 4, the parable of the sower says there are different types of ground that seed (the Word) is planted in. When we begin with prayer, that ground can be prepared ahead of time to receive that seed of the Word, God’s love or testimony of God’s goodness…whatever the Holy Spirit speaks to your heart that will be the most effective at the time. Praying first is doing ground work before you start the planting. Sometimes we get so caught up in knowing what we are supposed to do that we forget to consult the Holy Spirit for wisdom and direction. Here’s the thing, the Holy Spirit knows the heart of people and He gives exactly the right words for you to say that will reach that person at the time. The thing is, it doesn’t matter how much you know, it matters how much or what the other person can receive.
Today’s verse is a blessing from Paul to all the believers at Philippi, but it is also a blessing for all believers everywhere. It says we can all have God’s grace and favor to the point that it overflows. That implies that we can become so full of that grace and favor that they are pouring out of us continually. Anyone who comes around and gets near us is bound to get some of this overflowing grace and favor on them. In the same way, if you spend time with God and take time to be in His presence, you cannot stop His grace from getting on you. Of course, that starts with prayer. Setting special time aside each day to seek Him out.
Today I want to encourage you to pray first. Pray for wisdom to speak to others, pray for the Holy Spirit’s leading and prompting at just the right time. Pray for the hearts of those you will encounter today to be ready to receive the seed of God’s Word and Salvation. Then be listening and ready when you get a nudging or knowing in your heart that it’s time to act and take the step of faith to obey that prompting, Break up the fallow ground all around you today by praying first.
Today’s scripture reading: Philippians 4