Pray With Intention

I sat down at the bar in the Waldorf Astoria in New Orleans this week. I intended to eat a light dinner there. Turns out that they don’t serve food at the bar. Not all intentions work out, I guess.

On the other hand, a friend told me several months ago that he prays intentionally for God to bring people into his life. It seemed like good advice. I’ve been doing that.

A couple sat down beside me. So I started a conversation. Turns out they were in town because he was at another tech conference going on in New Orleans at the same time. They both have full time jobs. But they were working on starting a new business designed to help kids.

I learned something of another ministry. Something to take back to mine.

Coincidence?

Or a combination of praying for opportunities and people coming into my life, no matter how briefly, where either they teach me something or I teach and share with them. Best is both.

I’ve discovered that praying with intention is only half the battle. And this prayer is only one of several. What do I do after I pray?

First, I have to go out into the world. If I just sit in my office, I am not that likely to meet new people. God only does so much. He expects me to put out some effort. So, I go out.

Next, I have to be open to others. You can start with almost any non-threatening question. The Spirit leads from that question to beginning a conversation to getting to the point of the need–yours or theirs.

Then, I have to focus on the other and opportunities that are presented in the course of the conversation. That is a listening  skill. I focus my eyes on their eyes and mouth (so I can see what they say, especially if the environment is noisy.

Finally, I respond appropriately.

You can learn new things. Make new friends. Share your story. Share Jesus’ story. Get help for a problem you have. Help someone else.

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