by Ernest Liu
about the author

  • Random Snippets
    • So many mixed emotions
      There’s just such a large number of different things going on in my life right now, like bag of jellybeans with a mix of good, bad, okay, and weird flavors.
    • Love by Confronting
      The phrase "We need to talk" is always a heart-stopping one. It comes in a variety of flavors, such as…
    • Happy Birthday to Me!
      To be honest, I almost forgot about my own birthday. I didn't realize it was coming up until a friend reminded me. I remember the days when I would count down to April 25th, my special day with friends and presents. I could relish the newfound respect as everyone acknowledged my age counter tick up. The irony is that…
  • Is it Bad that Most Christians Don’t Pray Like This?

    Tap. Phone loaded.

    Swipe tap. Messenger loaded.

    Tap tap tap. Friends get shotgun spammed with texts.

    I’m asking for prayer requests, and my friends are usually more than happy to accept free prayer. Over the years, people have asked me to pray for many different things, such as…

    • “Pray that I’ll do well on my finals this week!”
    • “I’d like prayer for my grandma. She’s in the hospital.”
    • “Pray for my contentment at work.”
    • “I’m going to share the gospel with Sally. Pray she’ll accept Christ!”
    • “Praise God for helping me find a job!”

    …and so forth. Most prayer requests I get now are variations of things I’ve prayed for in the past.

    But I rarely hear this:

    “Pray that I will love orphans and widows in their affliction.” Or, “Pray that I will love the starving, the homeless, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned. Help me love the unlovable, the least of these.”

    orphan

    True religion is this, to visit orphans and widows in their affliction (James 1:27). God tell us that those who love Him by loving “the least of these” will inherit the Kingdom. Furthermore, He condemns those who fail to love the least of these (Matthew 25:31-46).

    Think about that for a second.

    God explicitly damns people to Hell for this failure. He commands them to depart from Him, to join Satan and his wicked angels in eternal punishment. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to assume God takes this responsibility very seriously.

    Okay, fine. Maybe a lot of Christians actually do pray like this; they just don’t ask others to pray for them like this. How about you?

    If we really love God, then we must really love the least of these. Christ shows us the kind of heart we should have for the impoverished. We must emulate Jesus and provide for the physical and spiritual welfare of these people. Even the busyness of our middle class lives must not be an excuse for neglecting the needy.

    How about You?

    When’s the last time you fed the hungry? Have you ever helped the homeless or the naked? Do you make it a habit to visit those who are sick or disabled? Have you ever visited anyone in prison? Have you visited the orphans and widows in their affliction?

    If this isn’t something you usually pray for, perhaps now is the time to start. Ask God for a heart to love those whom the world throws away. Ask the Holy Spirit to move you into action, to do something. Because last I checked, taking a minute to feel bad for someone never actually helped them. Ask Him to move you to minister and serve and sacrifice for the least of these.

    Avenues

    I’d encourage you to find a local Christian ministry that enables you to serve these people. If you’re near me, join me at Street Life Ministries. This group has allowed me to exercise love to the homeless, to help them in a way that matters. You can also help people through Christian Aid or International Justice Mission.

    Let’s be a generation that rejects spiritual complacency to love those in the shadows.