Matthew 25:31-46 –” But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 “And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35’For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You drink? 38’And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39’And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ 41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 “Then they themselves also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45 “Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” NASB
That is a long passage of scripture to draw out one verse and highlight what I hear the LORD saying to my heart and what made me weep before God. It is verse 40 – “unto the least of these…” Jesus said, that if we ministered to the insignificant, the unknown, the obscure as well as those with renown and celebrity we are ministering to Him. That is arresting and challenging.
Most Christians would say, “Amen!” We believe we are doing that but some I recently had the Holy Spirit challenge me on how I and much of the Body of Christ responds to Prayer Requests. This is a dangerous topic for me to talk about because of the battles my wife has been having with Breast Cancer. We are super blessed that literally thousands have and are going to the Throne of God on her behalf. What I am going to say is not about us, our situation, but something I was challenged by the Holy Spirit regarding “Praying the Heart of God.”
Let me cautiously proceed and if this touches you then you must respond as your heart directs. I do not mean this condemnatory or that we should not do some of the things I will highlight but that we should learn the heart of the Father for All People. If you get that part, you will understand the challenge and it will likely have the same result in your heart as it has in mine.
I have launched and participated in prayer vigils, massive calls to prayer for well-known individuals facing grave need, and issued a DEFCON 1 alert on their behalf. I have participated in intercessory prayer on behalf of men and women of God who are virtual household names, have a measure of celebrity and acclaim. That is good and I would never want it to cease. God wants us to intercede for His warriors. That is His heart!
I had to acknowledge to the Holy Spirit that I have not exercised the same level of earnestness on behalf of those virtually unknown whose needs I have been asked to pray about. The LORD asked me how many times I had called for prayer vigils on behalf of the unknown mother, the farmer, the truck driver, the widow or widower, the student, or others who few knew outside the local church they attend. I wanted to say, I take all prayer seriously, but knew in my heart that my level of earnestness was not equal for all requests that came to me. I knew that, in a measure, I was showing respect of persons rather than praying the Heart of God.
I would never want the Body of Christ to fail to call for prayer vigils on behalf of those who are known and being used mightily of God. We, the Body of Christ, are mandated to pray for one another. I do not believe that God has to have sickness to take someone home and therefore when I see sickness or tragedy that threatens a believer’s life, I do not consider it a tool of God to take them home. If I did, I would feel that I was praying against God if I prayed for their healing. I believe Jesus bore the stripes in His body that ALL could be healed, and He came for the express purpose of destroying the works of the devil and I believe sickness is a work of the devil. It is not from God!
The LORD challenged me about my attitude and response to prayer requests and it has prompted me to make a serious change in my approach. I believe that when the LORD challenges us, He is desirous of changing us and motivating us to take a different pathway in our behavior and attitude.
I feel that going forward I am to prepare a prayer journal in which EVERY REQUEST, especially those of graveness which would include life or death, is logged and prayed over with the same fervency as those of the well-known who have a measure of celebrity.
I heard the Holy Spirit say to my spirit, “If you make one life more valuable than another you are breaking My heart and not praying the Heart of the Father.” That broke my heart and I am still repenting for my failure to do “unto the least of these as well as to the greatest of these.” I am still repenting for falling into the trap of being a respecter of persons. That may be due to my love for them as a friend, a family member, etc. It may be due to my respect for them or my view of the importance of their minister or life. Regardless of the reason, it is not justifiable in the eyes of God because He Loves All.
The Holy Spirit challenged me with the thought, “Who did Jesus die for? Is the Blood of Jesus more for those with a measure of celebrity or for EVERYONE?” If Jesus did not die for ALL, then He died for NONE! If God is concerned with the little birds and counts the numbers of hairs on our heads, then He is surely concerned about EVERY SOUL! Therefore, for me to take one grave life or death need more seriously than another is to violate the heart of God.
I want to be one who Prays the Heart of God. I want to be one that ministers to Him by ministering to the Least of These. I want to be one that considers every believer a member of the Body of Christ and valuable. As a member of the Body myself, I must consider their need My Need and pray about it as earnestly and seriously as I would my own need. If I do that, then I am much nearer Praying the Heart of God than if I respond with more earnestness and fervency for some than others.
We all have people that are closer to us than others and therefore their needs will loom larger for us than those of people we do not know or barely know. But, if we truly Pray the Heart of God, We Value Everyone Equally and pray with the same fervency. Who knows the impact of that little-known or unknown person? They may be the prayer warrior that changes the world. They may be the one that wins the next Billy Graham or sires the next Elijah or Elisha. John 3:16 tells us the Heart of God when it says, “For God so loved THE WORLD…” The World not just special people in the world.
Please know that as I write I weep and am continuing to repent before God for my failure to value every person as God values them. I am asking the LORD to help me always bear this in mind and to learn to Pray the Heart of God for All Needs.
I ask everyone to forgive me for any lack of earnestness I may have taken regarding a need you made me aware of. I am heartbroken that I may have failed you or anyone and want the Father to transform me so that I take all needs seriously. I realize that it is not possible or practical for the Church or individuals to have a prayer vigil for every need. However, we can make a note of the need, and as we go through the course of our day, Pray. That would transform us into people who “Pray without ceasing.”
I hope my open confession helps you in some small measure. God bless you and I pray you will prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers.