Posted by: JennyRain | March 2, 2010

Investing in your Future: Prayers of the Relationally destitute

Just like a monetary investment, people investment pays rich dividends in our lives.

Let me explain.

Several times in my life God has asked me to invest in a friend, family member, co-worker, neighbor, or someone I cross paths with only for a brief moment.

This investment may range from praying for that person, to an investment of time to help them move, an hour of encouragement, or something tangible of value that God has asked me to give away.

It is not always an easy investment, but it always bears fruit.

I remember the season of my life where God called me to pray for couples.

Though I was painfully single with no dating prospects on the horizon, God called me to pray and invest in other couples.

For seven years I watched all of my friends couple up and get engaged.

It seemed like everyone around me was getting engaged, even the people who said they would never get married!

Everyone except me, that is.

It was uncanny, really. I used to say to my friends, “If you want to get engaged, hang out with me and it will probably happen in six months or less.” New friends would come into my life, single, and within six months to a year, they had met their Mr. Right, were sporting some bling, and were moving towards wedding bells and happily ever after.

And as the friends kept arriving… God called me to pray for them.

I’ll be honest, it was painful to pray sometimes.

Some days I did not want to pray. Some days I cried. Some days I wonder why God had called me to pray for them, I mean, what did I know about relationships except how to trainwreck them! Why me?

Looking back, I have learned that often God asks us to invest our time, talent, and treasure somewhere because He is planning on using it for the future.

Some days my selfish nature took over… I wanted to be the one in a relationship. I wanted to be the one getting engaged and married. I wanted to be the one who people prayed for.

It got so bad some months that my friends would preface news of engagements with, “Now girl, I know this is probably the last thing you want to hear, but… you remember so and so that you met who just got out of that painful relationship six weeks ago? Well she is engaged!”

It was so unfair!

But I kept praying, faithfully. 

And as I prayed I watched God bear fruit in their relationships.

Areas of difficulty were resolved, their relationship became bonded and centered in God, and they moved towards marriage.

The more I prayed, the more I saw God work in their lives and the more my heart became hopeful that a relationship like that was out there for me.

The more I prayed, the more I learned about what a Godly relationship looked like.

Praying seemed to attune my senses to the difficulties and successes that each couple was dealing with. I paid more attention because I was looking for ways I could invest in their lives through prayer, and I was also curious to see how God was answering my prayers.

It was like a preparing for marriage class given by heaven itself!

Last year when John and I were married, my investment paid dividends that could have rivaled a stock market sweep!

Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined so many things just “falling into place” for our relationship. Outrageous discounts on things during wedding planning (or things gifted to us), jobs landing in our laps at just the right time, a multitude of friends and family rising up to pray for us daily, and my seminary deciding to implement a 2-year program that has enabled me to finish my degree from afar the very week that I told them I was engaged (had this program not been established, I would have had to start a large portion of my Master’s degree over).

Like flower-petals strewn on a wedding aisle runner, every step that we took was decorated with blessings.

Now in my marriage, so many of those prayers I learned to pray for my friends, I work into my daily prayers for my marriage.

I know to pray them, because I watched the impact of those specific prayers in others lives.

We have a group of faithful prayer warriors who lift John and I up regularly (many of the people we invested in during their first year of marriage).

God has done this in my life with so many things – I’ve donated money, only to find that when I’ve needed that same amount of money years down the road – it was sent to me out of nowhere. I’ve taken time to serve someone, and months down the road, that person has been there for me.

This principle of investment is not always easy… but it is always worth it.

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