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You Don’t Have to Pray “Use Me”


helpYou and I get the privilege of loving people where they are and praying for them, but if you aren’t open and ready, you can miss opportunities, blow them, or both.

The great missionary, Amy Carmichael, wisely pointed out that the prayer “use me, Lord” is nowhere in the Bible. God showed her that a soldier fit and trained doesn’t have to ask to go into service, that’s what he’s there for. Jesus said, “you are the light of the world.”

We all have the capacity for impacting those around us. What’s missing is usually our availability. God asked Isaiah, “Who will go for us?” and Isaiah replied, “Here I am, send me.” We know Jesus said to pray that the Lord of the Harvest would send out, even thrust out, the laborers; but we need to respond as well, “I’ve got something to give–send me out.”

If we show up any given day, God will use us.

Many times though, we’re not in the right frame of mind, attitude, or any other variable to live out the truth. Relationships and compassion are their own rewards and they always show us more about God and expose more about ourselves. It’s okay to walk with someone, be faithful with your opportunities, and maybe not see an “instant transformation.”

Are we really the best ones to determine that we’ve walked with someone long enough and we should just give up because they’ll “never” change?

I have been plenty guilty of reaching out to people because I wanted them to come to church or join a Bible study or any list of things.  It’s not that those aren’t good things, but is that ultimately what God is after?

I’ve also been guilty of letting go of people when I felt I had given them enough time or energy. It’s sad, I know, but I believe it happens a lot.

My wife has no trouble in this regard and has been a wonderful example to me. When she was getting her Masters Degree, She would hang out with some of the people she was in college with and they told her that she’s not like the Christians they had known or what they thought Christians were. She got to share things with them as they came up, but they all knew they were fully accepted and in return, she was fully accepted.

Sounds like Jesus to me.

For the most part, it’s harder sometimes for guys because we’re so goal-oriented, but either way, we need to get over it and allow the Holy Spirit to guide and love–to make ourselves available to that which we’ve been called to in Christ.

Father, I know there’s a light, a hope, and truth in me. Give me a vision and love for my family and friends that agrees with your vision and love. Help me to stand strong and be faithful when the opportunities come–in the name of Jesus–amen.

How about you? What are your thoughts on this? How do you make yourself available?

This is a reworking of a post from 2009


  1. I like the old saying, “God is not so much interested in our ability but our availability.” Sounds like it goes right along with what you have written.
    Bill (cycleguy) recently posted..QuestionsMy Profile

    • In our day to day, that is so true. Being available when it’s inconvenient and uncomfortable… I’m working on it. I tend to have tunnel vision, but God’s breaking me out of it. Thanks Bill!

  2. Right now, my availability is mostly to my husband & teenage boys. They go out into the chaotic, inconsistent world every day, and I feel God wants me to provide them a measure of stability. Being stable for others is hard work & impossible without God. I often wonder what he’s thinking with this, but I have to continue to trust him.
    Kari Scare recently posted..Believing is SeeingMy Profile

    • That’s a beautiful expression of this! Sometimes we think we need to be doing more or reaching more and God gives us a very defined parameter for a season. Thank you for following His heart and Spirit! Blessings to you, Kari.

  3. Sometimes when I pray, “Use me, Lord,” what’s really going on is that I’m not being *used* in the way that I want to be used! God very often uses us in the small things in life -- the random meetings, the happenstance conversations -- those sorts of ways. It is most important to be ready and on the lookout for God-given opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Perhaps a better prayer would be, “Lord, make me aware of Your purposes in every single moment, and teach me to be obedient when You call.”

    Sharon recently posted..MY WILD WEST VACATIONMy Profile

    • Yeah, sorry if it came off like I was saying it was a bad prayer. I’ve prayed it lots of times myself and I definitely like your point about it’s because I’m not being used the way I want! There are so many needs all around us. Some we can only carry in prayer. Others we can physically help. Others we can emotionally or spiritually support. I want to live with my eyes open to others! Thanks Sharon. 🙂

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