One practical way the compassionate King imparted His burden for the lost to me that I would recommend to the serious follower of Jesus is to pray among the masses. Find a large group of people and walk among them silently praying, “God, let me see these people as You see them. Let me feel what You feel for them.” Do this regularly and consistently. The Holy Spirit will begin to melt your heart.
This has been a practice of mine for many years. When I first began ministering on the streets of Chicago, I would occasionally drive to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. I would sit quietly in the airport and watch the crowds that passed me. I would silently ask God to break my heart for them. It was in these times that God began to give me a world vision.
I don’t believe that we can fully appreciate God’s heart for the masses unless we are among them. Prayer should not be a retreat from the world; it should be where we get our marching orders to go into the world. Many times the compassion of Christ grew out of His mingling with the masses. Matthew 9:36 says, “Seeing the multitudes, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd.” The heart of Jesus broke when He saw the multitudes.
God has continuously used this method of prayer to impart His vision to me. Students would benefit from walking through the halls of their school in silent prayer, asking God to allow them to see their classmates as He sees them. Businesspeople would benefit from spending a lunch hour walking through the business community in silently prayer. We need to walk throughout neighborhoods, both ghettos and suburbs, with a heart that is seeking the kingdom of God.
Lord, how often I have enjoyed watching people in crowds around me…in shopping malls, at sporting events, at airports, restaurants, etc. Yet, very rarely do I think to consider them as You see them! Give me a heart that longs to intercede on behalf of those who pass by me every day! Make me aware of the brokenness and longing in their lives so that I can bring them to You. How many opportunities I have missed! Forgive me, Father, and show me how to be more intentional about praying for the sheep with no shepherd!
Read Ps. 91:1-2 and praise the Most High, the Almighty, the Lord, your God. Thank him for providing shelter and shade from the heat of spiritual conflict in your life. Confess those times when you’ve sought shelter other than that provided by the Most High. Commit yourself to simply resting in God. Ask him always to be your refuge and fortress in every life situation.
Pray for those who take the liberating love of Christ into prisons throughout the world. Ask God to bless those prisoners who have trusted Christ, but must remain behind bars. Pray for their safety and testimony to other prisoners.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.