I’ve been considering the idea of prayer as an act of service the past couple of weeks.

There’s no telling what got this idea rolling in my head. In fact, I’m not entirely sure it’s my idea. I may have heard it from Kennon Vaughan and mistaken it as my own. If so, thanks, Kennon!

Either way, I like it. Prayer as an act of service.

“Service” isn’t real palatable to most of us. “Being served” is more up my alley than “serving others”. I make lots of excuses for why I can’t serve if someone asks me to serve in a way I don’t want to.

I can’t volunteer in the church nursery because I am around kids way too much as it is – my sanity depends on me not serving in children’s ministry.

I can’t help at the local food pantry because my children are too young to bring with me. They’d just get in the way. And it’s not like I have free childcare available anytime I want it… … … (please don’t mention the 4 grandparents, the aunt and uncle, or the numerous friends that would gladly watch my kids while I serve somewhere…)

I can’t pick up trash around my neighborhood because eww. Yuck.

But prayer? as an act of service? Sure! I can pray on behalf of others. I do it all the time.

Well, not all the time. I mostly pray for myself, come to think of it. But if all I have to do to check the service box on the list of things Christians ought to be doing is pray, I can handle that.

Except my kids are too noisy and needy for me to get time alone to pray for very long. And when I do get a quiet moment, I’m more apt to fall asleep than pray for others. I can’t help that God made my body need sleep. And I need to take care of my body – that’s in the Bible.

Sometimes get tired of my excuses. That’s when I know it’s time to change.

Why do we serve others? Because Jesus served us and asks us to serve others (Matthew 20:28). Jesus’ love for us drove Him to sacrifice all for us. Likewise, our love for Jesus ought to drive us to serve others sacrificially.

And praying for others is a sacrifice. It takes time and mental fortitude. We must make it a point to pray for others – it doesn’t just happen naturally. We have to prioritize prayer if it’s actually going to get done.

Intentionality. For others. Effort. Sounds like service to me.

I can serve the street children in Ethiopia by praying for them.

I can serve the missionaries in Uruguay by praying for them.

I can serve my church by praying for it.

Who will you serve through prayer today? How can I pray for you?