Several years ago, my youngest sister told me that she considered herself agnostic. Agnostics may or may not believe in a higher power, not necessarily God, and they believe the only things we can really know as humans are the things we directly experience with our five senses.
I didn’t know what to say. We were raised in church. I began to pray to myself while she was talking because I didn’t know what else to do. Then God reminded me that I explored other beliefs before coming back to Him and I felt reassured.
If you want to impact the people around you through Christ, you can’t get a better start than with prayer. Make a list of the people you want to impact and pray for them every day. That’s how I started, by praying for my sister daily–telling God how much I love her, how amazing He created her to be and asking how I could show Him to her.
In my prayers, God reminded me of a friend, Amy, who prayed for me continuously while I was away from God. The things I remember the most about Amy are: She was kind, funny, patient (even when I was ripping on God/Christians), she had integrity (her words and actions matched) and she told me that she would pray for me when I was struggling, even when I didn’t believe her prayers could change anything.
Now, my sister is a genius. She is so smart that sometimes it’s hard for me to keep up with her, but she is also very busy and easily stressed out. So I took the things I’d learned from Amy’s example and applied them to my relationship with my sister. My prayers changed. I prayed for more patience, for wisdom, for a kinder heart and that God would show me my sister the way He sees her.
I also prayed for courage because I was afraid if I offered to pray for my sister, she would make fun of me or worse, not talk to me anymore–and in my family, that would be a really big deal because I’m the only person who still talks to everyone else.
I was scared and God knew that, so the next time my sister had a crisis that she was stressed over, she texted me. Hallelujah! I didn’t have to do this over the phone, I could do it through text! Yay God! I texted back that I would pray for her situation.
When I prayed for her, I didn’t just pray that her situation would work out. I prayed that through her situation, God would be glorified. I prayed that through the resolution of her problem, God would make Himself and His love known to her because that’s what she needed more than a fix for her problem.
You see, what impacts people most is integrity. In an age where promises mean very little and genuine care for others is rare, people need to see there are still people who mean what they say, do what they promise and stick to their principles, even when it’s hard.
Your character is what makes an impact on others.
Now my sister asks me to pray for her when she struggles. It isn’t the end, but it’s a huge step in the right direction!
What are some ways that you impact those around you?
In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us (Titus 2:7-8).