Do you have people who ask you to pray for them that don’t know the Lord? What about people who know you are saved, so they ask you for advice? How about people who see how you live your life and commend you for it, even giving credit to God, but they aren’t saved? These were some of my thoughts today when I read these two verses from Jeremiah.

Neither he nor his attendants nor the people of the land paid any attention to the words the Lord had spoken through Jeremiah the prophet. King Zedekiah, however, sent Jehukal son of Shelemiah with the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah to Jeremiah the prophet with this message: “Please pray to the Lord our God for us.”

Jeremiah 37:2-3 (NIV)

On the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus had this to say about those who follow him.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)

Peter, in his second letter, echoes this notion. 

Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

1 Peter 2:12 (NIV)

Whenever someone asks for us to pray for them, we should pray for them. However, some people pray later on in private without the person who has asked them to pray for them. I encourage you, instead, to include that person in your prayer for them right then and there when they ask. Another thing I encourage you to do is to try and be mindful of the words that you use. We can go to God just as we are, but as Christians, we have a different vocabulary than the world. Just as I use words like “saved” and describe my relationship with God as a “walk,” these terms, and many others like them, may seem alien to those who don’t “follow” (See? Another word) Christ. When I have been asked to pray for someone, and I pray for them right there, it’s typically a positive experience.

If someone asks you for advice. Be clear that the wisdom you impart comes from God. James gives us this reminder.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

James 1:5 (NIV)

We also must remember that all wisdom comes from God. 

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Proverbs 2:6 (NIV)

Indeed, not only does all wisdom come from God, but every good and perfect gift comes from the Lord (cf. James 1:17). Therefore, we must always point to God and proclaim that he gets the glory. Although we might not see it, those who come to us for prayer and wisdom might, in error, think that we are the ones to credit. Scripture shows us that this is possible, not only for those who are unsaved but even for those who should “know better.”

As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.”

Acts 10:25-26 (NIV)

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!”

Revelation 22:8-9 (NIV)

When people come to me and ask for prayer or wisdom or even notice the life that I lead in Christ, I am encouraged because I know that the Lord is working in their lives. I pray that you, too, recognize the move of God in and through you and that you give him the glory! Thank you for stopping by.