The Upper Room devotional reflection for Wednesday, July 6, 2022 comes to us from Cheryl A. Mart of Texas.
13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:13-16 NIV
As a nurse, I ride the hospital elevator often. Each day before going to my floor I pray for visitors who will us the same elevator. Most visitors are not happy about being at the hospital. Some have traveled long distances, worried, and concerned for a loved one.
When I enter the elevator, I always smile and ask, “How is your day going?” With these five words I can enter people’s lives, and God’s work can begin. Some will simply smile and politely say, “Fine. How is your day?” But sometimes the conversation goes deeper. Responses I have heard include: “My day is not good; my husband had a stroke, and he is not doing well” or “I am so tired; I haven’t slept in days since my son was brought here after the accident.” The elevator ride is quick, so I can only offer brief responses: “I am so sad to hear that this is happening to your loved one. I will pray for both of you today.” We don’t need a passport or a plane ticket to go on a mission trip. Mission opportunities are all around us. With God’s help we can find ways to share love and compassion with the people we encounter each day. It will be a rewarding experience.
Cheryl A. Mart reminds that opportunities to offer God’s love to those who are in need of God’s reassurance in their lives. Our “mission field” is all around us if we will only turn our hearts to God’s calling to share God’s limitless loving grace with others around us. Like many of you, I am not comfortable praying with a stranger in public. If I choose not to do that, I can still be friendly and hospitable and offer encouragement to those whom I encounter no matter where I am. In that way, God’s spirit of grace and love is shared with others who might need to receive the hopeful Holy Spirit, even if they aren’t aware of it at the time. I invite you to consider opportunities to share God’s love with those whom you encounter as you go through your days.
Holy God, help us to look for opportunities each day to serve those who need to feel your love. Amen.
--Cheryl A. Mart
Hospital Patients and Visitors.
Thought for the Day:
Opportunities to offer love and compassion are all around us.
Be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)