Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Lord, Send Someone Across My Path

A good friend and experienced Christian (she was in her 90s) introduced me to one of the simplest, yet most powerful prayers you can say:  “Lord, send someone across my path today that I can help.”

It’s an exciting prayer and one which the Lord delights in answering. The first time I ever said that prayer, soon after I became a Christian, God answered in a dramatic way. I was praying in the car on my way to work in Lafayette, Ind., where I was a teacher. I didn’t even have time to take my coat off before my office door opened and a student walked in. She was struggling with panic attacks and needed help. She had no way of knowing that I, too, had been through the same struggle. God sent her to me because He knew I could help her. I thanked God for the answer to prayer and that He chose to use me in that way. 

In this case, the answer was immediate and very obvious. Four things happened here: 

  • I prayed.
  • I watched for an answer.
  • I discerned it was from God.
  • I thanked God for the answer.

Other times, the answer is not so clear, but the same steps apply. After you pray, go throughout your day in a state of watchfulness and anticipation that God will answer. When you sense an answer, ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern if God is acting. And, finally, always thank the Lord for using you. 

A story in Genesis 24 demonstrates this pattern. Abraham was very old and asked his chief servant to get a wife for his son Isaac: 

"... and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell; but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac." Genesis 24:3-4 (NKJV)

The servant traveled to a town where he stopped to water his camels. The servant prayed: 

“O Lord God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham.” Genesis 24:12 (NKJV) 

Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her water jar on her shoulder. 

"The man didn’t say a word. He watched her closely. He wanted to learn whether the Lord had given him success on the journey he had made.” Genesis 24:21 (NIV) 

In conversation with her, he discovered that she was, indeed, a relative of Abraham’s through his brother Nahor. Then the servant bowed down and thanked God: 

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of my master Abraham ... the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.” Genesis 24:27 (NIV)

Do you see the pattern here?  Pray. Watch. Discern. Thank God. 

Start your day with that simple prayer:  “Lord, send someone across my path today that I can help.” 

He may seat you next to someone in a doctor’s office who needs encouragement. He may place someone in a check-out line in front of you at the grocery store. The possibilities are endless and exciting! 

There may be times when you need to change the prayer to:  “Lord, send someone across my path today to encourage me.”

God is not averse to you praying for yourself. Encouragement may come from a phone call, an unexpected knock on your door, or a kind word from a stranger. The steps are the same:  Pray. Watch. Discern. Thank God. 

Excerpt from God in the Midst of Grief, Copyright © 2011 by Diane Pearson, used with permission.

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