The longer I am a Christian, the more I realize that Gods commands, like being humble are not hard to find; they are hard to obey. Obedience is not difficult because Gods law is bad, but we are. Even though we as Christians stand righteous in Christ, we still in this life wrestle with sin. These commands are sometimes hard to obey, but if we look toward the Bible and the word of God, we can find strength and guidance on how to be obedient.
The text for today comes from Philippians 2:3-4, and says, Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Selfish ambition can ruin a church, but genuine humility can build it. Being humble means, we have a true perspective about ourselves. It does not mean that we are putting ourselves down. It just means we should put other people first and as the scripture says, value them above ourselves. Now, this is a difficult thing to do, think of myself less and others as more. We are however commanded to do this in this life with each other. The command was given by Jesus to love each other; putting others first is the essence of love. We must be patient and kind to other people. We should be slow to anger and quick to listen. Servant leadership is the key to humility, by putting others needs, desires, and self-interests ahead of my own I’m fulfilling the command to be humble.
Humility comes naturally to some people, but it is usually something that needs to be learned and is deliberate and intentional. We become humble by being around humble people and by acknowledging that we are not number one all the time. How can we do this and understand we are not all that and a bag of chips, lol…I want to submit to you that one way for us to remain humble is to pray for other people. Humble people are praying people. Humble people are happy to admit their own limits and their own strength and to cast their burdens upon God, but they also pray for other people. Truly humble people don’t just pray for themselves, but they pray for others as well. When we pray for others, it reminds us that we are not the center of the universe. When we are intentional about praying for others, we are reminded of what those we pray for are going through and their individual needs and desires. By praying for them, we place their needs and desires above our own. If you looked at your prayer life over the last few weeks, would it seem like you only pray for you? If God answered all your prayers, would anyone’s life but yours be different?
So how do we start praying for others? I mean who should we pray for first? Well asking the Lord for guidance and discernment is a great place to start, but you can also start with your fellow church members. Pray for the overlooked widow in church, the tired pastor, the anxious college student, the blue-collar worker, the wealthy business person, and those who are closest to you. Each one of these people can use your prayers! Pray for the lost family members who are missing out on a relationship with Jesus Christ and are not experiencing the peace that transcends all understanding. Pray for the person on the mountain high, that they would stay there and be a blessing to others through their witness. Pray for those in the valley low, the ones who are struggling with depression, anxiety, financial issues, addictions, sin, guilt, shame, fear, and inadequacy. Pray for our nation’s leaders, that they would make Godly decisions that are pleasing to our Lord.
The reality is there are so many people who need our prayers, and the Bible says, “the prayers of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James, 5:16).
These are just a few ideas of how to get started today praying for others. It might feel awkward at first to humble yourself and put others first, but in time it will become natural. Wherever you start the key is just to start and enjoy praying for others.
Does your prayer life include praying for others or just for yourself? Where do you need to humble yourself today and put others first? Where do you need to begin and how? Today is the day the Lord has made so rejoice, be glad, humble yourself and ray for others.