Can I Change the World?
by Pauline Hylton
Oftentimes, as I read the headlines, I can’t breathe. At night, while snuggling up to my husband in a warm, dry house, pictures of my brothers and sisters curled up in a dark cell, separated from family and friends—beaten, hungry and exhausted appear in my head.
Haggard men on street corners holding signs about homelessness and food make my gut hurt.
What can I do, Lord? I live in the middle of nowhere. There are many days I don’t leave my home. How can my life make a difference?
This is how the Lord answered me.
“All I can do is pray!” I hear myself say to a problem or tragedy. Pitiful.
I believe when we are in heaven, we’ll be able to see tangible ways each and every prayer we prayed in faith, according to God’s Word, was answered. Probably, we’ll be speechless and fall on our knees—but, I digress.
Read a quote from Crosswalk.com about Maryam Rostampour and Marzieh Amirizadeh who were imprisoned for their faith in Tehran. It’s a long read, but worth it:
Marzieh said, “I would like to thank them [prayer partners] for their prayers and support, and the letters they sent us. During this time it wasn’t just Maryam and Marzieh who were imprisoned, but all these prayer warriors. This was a great encouragement for us. We felt their presence alongside us. So please keep praying for those who are in prison for their faith, believers in Afghanistan and Pakistan…Don’t think that your prayers are unimportant.”
She added, “We heard that people sent us letters in prison, but we didn’t get any of them. Just hearing that people sent us letters, was a great encouragement to us. And what’s interesting is that the guards who opened our letters, read the Bible verses and the prayers, and were impacted. We know this because they told us and mentioned some of the verses from the Gospel. I can’t thank them [those who sent letters] with all that is in my heart; I can say ‘thank you,’ but this is not enough.”
Maryam concluded, “I thank them. It’s true we didn’t see the letters they sent, but we knew there was a large group supporting us. This was a huge encouragement to us and helped us to stand firm. We heard from our guards that forty to fifty letters were coming every day. They saw how Christians stood together to support their own. This was something that gave us hope.”
For 2015, I’m redoing my prayer cards. I have one for each day of the week plus an everyday one. I’ll add cards as I hear of needs. And I’m going to pray hard. And faithfully—because prayer changes things. And it changes me.
“The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16b, ESV
Another way I’m going to change the world is to share. I’m praying for more opportunities to share the Gospel. It’s the only “Fixer” for this world.
In college (when phones still had cords and hung on the wall), I toyed with the idea of being a lawyer. I figured out that you can’t legislate men’s hearts. True justice comes from the inside out. The treasure of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Listen to this passage in 2 Corinthians 4:5-7:
“For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (NIV)
I’ve decided not to get involved with charities that don’t share the gospel. I’m going to invest my resources in eternity, not just a Band-Aid to cover a splinter. Not that I won’t share my resources as I see a need, I just want to share what they really need. I want to get to the heart of the problem.
Years ago, I was washing my hands in an airport restroom and noticed a lady standing next to me. A voice inside my head (not the crazy one) said, “Tell her about Jesus.”
My voice said, Are you crazy? I don’t know this woman. She’ll think I’m crazy!
She walked out into the airport and into eternity. I’ll never forget that. I’m glad that God is sovereign. He found somebody willing to obey. I lost that privilege.
Other times I’ve listened to the Holy Spirit and shared Christ. I never feel confident when I begin; but once I start, I sense the Spirit guiding my conversation. Plus, obedience always produces blessing.
How about you? Will you pray, and share, and dare.
Here’s my guarantee—you will change the world. And the Lord will change you.
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