By Alise Weber … I like to pray as I walk. Two years ago, I was keeping a brisk pace on one of the nature trails by our home and praying to God about a particularly troubling situation my husband and I were dealing with. It had been a long week and there didn’t seem to be a respite from the hardship we were facing. In desperation, I prayed, “God, please have someone call me that will cheer me up.”  I continued my walk, almost forgetting about my prayer.

Suddenly my phone rang and I had one of those perfect moments when I knew that God had answered my prayer. The person calling was a good friend who normally didn’t call on a Saturday afternoon. We spoke and my friend offered just the right encouragement for my troubled heart. Before we hung up, I said, “You know, right before you called, I prayed that someone would call to cheer me up.”  Without missing a beat, my friend replied, “Every day I pray that God will use me to bless someone else.”

My friend’s response may seem simple enough, but how many of us actually take time to pray that God will use us to minister to others, to share Christ’s love, or further the Kingdom of God each day? When I think about the motivation behind my friend’s prayer, I can’t help but think of all the opportunities that exist if we simply open ourselves up to be used by God daily.

Summertime is upon us, which means summer vacations, pool days, backyard barbecues, and road trips. While we are all relishing in a more normal summer, we are also emerging from a pandemic where people have experienced loss by the handfuls and have gotten used to being apart from one another. Perhaps there is no better time to pray the prayer my friend requests daily, “God please use me to bless someone today.” I think people are hungry to reconnect, to be prayed for, and to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. Your church may have members you haven’t seen since the pandemic started. It’s time to let them know they are missed and that their church family wants to see them again.

Jesus often sought out people who were on the fringes–Zacchaeus, the Samaritan woman at the well, Matthew, the tax collector, and the cripple at the pool of Bethesda. It would have been easy to ignore them, as everyone else did, but Jesus knew how important they were to our heavenly Father. Precious.

It says in Matthew 5:13-16 “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

I would like to challenge all of us to begin each day praying that simple prayer, “God please use me to bless someone today.”  This may be your best summer yet!

–Alise Weber is pastor of families and children at Littleton Adventist church; photo by UnSplash