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Mission Opportunities

Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up, and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. James 5: 13-16 (NRSV)

Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. Ephesians 6:18 (NRSV)

As a nurse, Cheryl A. Mart, from Texas, rides the hospital elevator often. Each day before going to her floor, Cheryl prays for visitors who will use the same elevator. Most visitors are not happy about being at the hospital. Some have traveled long distances, worried and concerned for a loved one.

When Cheryl enters the elevator, she always smile and ask, "How is your day going?" With these five words she can enter people's lives, and God's work can begin. Some will simply smile and politely say, "Fine. How is your day?" But sometimes the conversation goes deeper. Responses she has heard include: "My day is not good; my husband had a stroke, and he is not doing well" or "I am so tired: I haven't slept in days since my son was brought here after the accident." The elevator ride is quick, so Cheryl can only offer brief responses: "I am so sad to hear that this is happening to your loved one. I will pray for both of you today."

We don't need a passport or a plane ticket to go on a mission trip. Mission opportunities are all around us. With God's help we can find ways to share love and compassion with the people we encounter each day. It will be a rewarding experience.

Prayer: Holy God, help us to look for opportunities each day to serve those who need to feel your love, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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