A Prayer to Make the Most of Our Time with People - Your Daily Prayer - February 20

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A Prayer to Make the Most of Our Time with People
By Lynette Kittle

“As has just been said: “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” - Hebrews 3:15

Sadly, hearing of the loss of someone we know or love brings regret, thinking that if only we had known beforehand of their soon passing, we would have reached out, reconciled, or spent more time together. Sorrow and grief bring so many thoughts of missed opportunities discovering too late that they wouldn’t be with us much longer.

Especially as Christians, when hearing of someone’s passing who didn’t know the Lord, our first thoughts often turn to, “If only we had known they didn’t have much time left on earth, we would have made sure to share the gospel with them.”

Having Time to Decide
My husband is a hospice chaplain, so in many ways, those who are given time frames for their end-of-life, are given the gift of time to make decisions. But sadly, for those who pass away suddenly or unexpectedly, time has slipped away. An end-of-life timeline gives individuals and their families time to say the things they want to say, to spend time together, and much more. In many ways, considering real-time death gives people precious opportunities to take care of important matters while still living. In his ministry to patients and families, my husband helps to reconcile them to God during the time they have left. As well, to settle family issues, reconcile with loved ones, and ask and receive forgiveness from each other.

Each one of us has this opportunity to do the same, as God has called us to do so. “All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). Sitcoms often show characters in situations where they think they are going to die, confiding in each other, clearing the air, and sometimes even professing love for one another, all to be rescued by the end of the show. Still, these make-believe portrayals can motivate us to make the most of the time we have with those we love while we still have the time to do so.

Sharing Christ Today, Like There’s No Tomorrow
In Luke 16, a rich man passes away and sees the beggar Lazarus in paradise with Father Abraham.  Calling out to them, he asks for him to send Lazarus over to comfort him, but Abraham explains. “Between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us’” (v.26). The rich man then pleads for Abraham to send Lazarus back to his family to warn them of where they’re headed. ”He answered, ‘Then I beg you, Father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment’” (v.27). But Abraham explains how it’s not possible, and there are people already sharing the gospel if only they would listen and receive.

Although we can’t go back and regain opportunities to share the gospel with those who have passed away, we can learn from these sorrows and make an effort to share Him with others from here out, like there is no tomorrow to come. Because the truth is, we aren’t given a guarantee that they will be here next year, month, or week or even tomorrow.

Let’s pray:

Dear Father,
Thank you for giving us the ministry of reconciliation and the privilege of being able to lead individuals to You with the message of reconciliation through Christ Jesus. Forgive us for the times we’ve let slip by in reaching out to others. Free us from the sorrow, regret, and grief experienced through these missed opportunities. Open our eyes to see, our ears to hear, and our hearts to recognize the times we are given to share You with those we love and those we meet along the way. Help us not to miss telling others about You but to be ready and willing to reach out to one another in every opportunity You bring before us.
In Jesus’ name, amen.

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/shapecharge

Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, StartMarriageRight.com, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.

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