I think there are times we witness worldly behavior, judge someone as an unbeliever and then fail to respond when God asks us to minister in whatever way He wants. Maybe it’s because we can’t hear the Holy Spirit asking us to minister because our ears are4 closed as a result of our judgments.
Maybe some of us just don’t believe God would lead us to pray for an unbeliever in that way. Praying for an unbeliever in our rooms alone is one thing but it’s quite another to approach one and ask to pray for them right there.
I was at the gym one sunny afternoon. I had just finished whatever workout I was doing and found the water fountain. The water fountain is in the same hallway as the room where the personal trainers relax between clients.
I noticed the light was on in the trainer room. I know a couple of the trainers so I walked over to see who was in there. I looked into the room and found one of them working on a computer rubbing his neck with a grimace on his face.
I knew him. A big, muscular friendly guy who didn’t speak much but smiled a lot. I liked him. However, the words I often overheard him speak to others weren’t the kind of words you might expect from someone devoted to Jesus. But it wasn’t just that. I had sensed that, regardless of his beliefs, he wasn’t living his life for Jesus.
That assessment was the reason I ignored the Holy Spirit when He asked me to pray for the trainers neck. Instead I just waved hello and left the room. I made it about ten steps when I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit loudly tell me to get back in that room and pray.
So I did what I typically did at the time and argued. I said, “God he isn’t even a believer. What good is it going to do? Assuming he allows me to pray for him?” Again the answer was, “Get back in there and pray for him.”
So I sighed and went back to the room. I walked in, took a deep breath and asked him if it would be okay if I prayed for his neck. His eyes went wide. It looked like that was the last thing he expected me to say. He nodded and said it would be fine.
So I just put my hand on his shoulder, asked the Holy Spirit for guidance and prayed how He directed me. When I was finished the trainer had a big smile of his face. He still had pain in his neck but the love of God had touched his heart. He thanked me for praying for him and told me how much he appreciated it.
On my way out I heard the Lord begin to speak to me saying, “I just wanted to show him how much I love him.” I saw the trainer a couple of days later in the gym and his pain was gone.
It’s great to pray for people who don’t believe to find Jesus. But the answer to that prayer just might be you ministering to them in some way. God may want you to plant the seed so that He can water it, bringing it to life. No matter what kind of worldly things we might witness from those around us we should never allow them to influence our ability to hear from God when it comes to ministry.
Jesse and Kara Birkey
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