It is only when the whole heart is gripped with the passion of prayer that the life-giving fire descends, for none but the earnest man gets access to the ear of God.~E.M. Bounds
E.M. Bounds understood the idea of earnest prayer. He spent most of his life praying and preaching. Out of those two activities the one he focused on was prayer. I was reminded today that not everyone in this world is gifted with life-giving words that encourage and build up people. That had me thinking about how I talk to people and try to treat people. Encouraging people comes easy for me. From Romans that is the gift of exhortation, to encourage people with your words or actions. Since this is a spiritual gift not everyone is gifted with it, some people have to work toward this type of language.
I can honestly say that I fall short when it comes to family and close friends that hurt me. It’s so easy to head to the negative when that happens. Psalm 23 was not just written to comfort us at funerals, but it was a way of life that we need to acknowledge. Even though we may be going into the valley we need to keep our focus on God and realize that He has our best interests in mind. We need to maintain our mountain top attitude to bless others around us as we go though tough times. Part of being a life-giver is showing people around your sphere of influence that you can handle tough times because there is a big God behind you at all times whether you feel, see or hear Him. So yes even people that have the gift of exhortation can fall sometimes, it’s just our human nature. It’s not an excuse to treat people badly, Jesus never said anything negative to the sinners around Him. He always encouraged and loved them enough to tell them the truth of what they were doing. He did it in a loving way. The only people He had no tolerance for was the religious people at the time. I think Bounds discovered the best way to be and that is to have a very healthy focused prayer life. We can be in the valley and still have that mountain top attitude because we are in direct contact with our heavenly Father. The Psalmist discovered this as well, because Psalm 23 is a prayer.
What are some things life-givers do? Life-givers always speak life into you. They are always uplifting and encouraging. They are prayer warriors, prayer and time spent in God’s word are priorities to them. They always focus on the positive in people, not the negative. They unconditionally love people and accept them. They are self sacrificing and willing to go the extra mile for you. They are leaders that have learned how to be servant/leaders, as Jesus was. They are humble. They accept the bad that may come their way and understand God will turn it to good. For example in writing this blog, I lost these last two paragraphs because I failed to save them properly. I was disappointed I lost them, but realized that if I have to write them all over that they may be even better. I was so right. When you have experienced a life-giver, it will change your life for the better. Being a life-giver really doesn’t take talent, it just takes a loving heart, and an open heart to the love of God. Be a life-giver this coming year.