A few months ago, I decided to add a very specific prayer to the time I spend with the Lord each morning. It goes like this, “Lord, please help me to represent You well today through my life and words.” I’ve found that prayer to be simple but profound!
What I’ve discovered is that praying that prayer makes me more aware of people around me. You see, I ride the line between extrovert and introvert, so I’m normally content on a plane, at the doctor’s office, or in line at the grocery store not talking to the person next to me.
But since I’ve been praying that prayer, God has been doing an exciting work in me. As I’ve become more aware of who’s around me, I find that I’m more likely to engage them in conversation. Sometimes, it’s just to greet them warmly and smile.
“So what?” Well, by making those tiny changes in the way I’m seeing and engaging with people, I find that God is giving me more compassion for those around me. I’ve also had numerous opportunities to talk with people about the Lord. This is how I imagine Jesus lived when He was on earth. (E.g., the woman at the well, Zacchaeus, Philip, Matthew, and many others.)
For instance, the day before yesterday, I was in a shop that sells art. The proprietor approached me and began explaining what I was looking at. I immediately detected a faint accent and asked her where she was from. “Linz, Austria,” she said. So, I began speaking German with her and you should have seen her eyes light up!
We talked about the beauty of Austria and some of our memories from there. We simply had a very pleasant conversation that lasted perhaps five minutes. When I left, I told her in German that it had been a pleasure to meet her, to which she said I had made her day. I was humbled and awed by that simple encounter.
This may shock you, but I don’t think God intends for us to verbally share Christ with every person we meet. It’s just not feasible. Sometimes it’s simply a pleasant exchange, a kind gesture, a generous tip, or some other expression of God’s love for that person. We’re representing Christ to that person.
I’m not trying to weasel out of a genuine opportunity to talk to someone about Jesus. I just don’t think that it’s possible to do so in every encounter.
I urge you to begin praying that prayer, “Lord, please help me to represent You well today through my life and words.” And see what happens!
Here’s the punch line. If you’ve read any of my other blog posts or my little book, The Simplicity of Disciple-Making and 7 Ways We’ve Complicated It! then you may recognize that prayer. Because that prayer defines what it means to make disciples.
If we are consistently representing Christ through our life and words, then we’re discipling others. Think about it.