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A Prayer to Grow in Hospitality – Your Daily Prayer – June 30

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A Prayer to Grow in Hospitality
By Megan Evans

“When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.” – Romans 12:13 (NLT)

In today’s world, the idea of hospitality can be intimidating. So growing in this area can feel monumental if our thoughts gravitate towards the standard of decorative Pinterest boards, recipe blogs, or the latest DIY tutorial. I’ve often wondered why we humans are driven to make our homes and tables beautiful, and I think it points to the way God made us for relationships and connection. But more than talents or trends, He calls us to love and serve others. The Bible has a lot to say about the heart of hospitality, and this is encouraging for any of us who lack the desire or courage to welcome and host today.

Romans 12:13 says, “When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.” I don’t know about you, but eagerness does not always describe me in this area. Sadly, sometimes, my first thought is about the work involved. Can you relate? It’s important to remember why we serve over what we serve. 

The word “hospitality” used in this verse comes from the Greek word meaning to be hospitable and to show love to strangers. Combine that with the readiness to help people in need, and we see the Body of Christ. Whether in our homes or out in the world, we show Jesus to others when we are gracious, generous, and genuine.

Jesus and his disciples depended on this kind of hospitality, as did the early church, for ministry and the spread of the gospel message. In each scenario, menus and rooms took a back seat to the greater focus of ministry. Doors were opened, needs were met, and people were loved for the sake of The Gospel. While our society is more cautious about strangers today, the basic principle remains. We are to love and serve with Christ-like affection, attitude, and action.

Jesus reminds us not to get lost in the distractions and details as we serve. In Luke 10:41, Martha opened her home and began to prepare Jesus and the disciples a big meal, while her sister Mary remained at Jesus’s feet, listening to his teaching. Martha was shouldering the work and asked Jesus to tell her to help. He replied “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Growing in hospitality is about growing our heart’s focus. After Peter was freed from jail by an angel, he ran to the home of John Mark’s mother. Many were gathered there in prayer and the fact that her servant Rhoda recognized Peter’s voice at the door would indicate this was a familiar setting (Acts 12:9-14). Later, Paul and others discovered a prayer meeting taking place by a riverbank where they met Lydia, who welcomed their message and opened her home (Acts 16:15). Additionally, Priscilla and Aquilla demonstrated hospitality on the go. They met Apollos in a synagogue who only knew of John the Baptist, so they made time to disciple him before their missionary travels with Paul began (Acts 18:26).

What does this look like today? How can we grow in hospitality? Perhaps the first step is to look around at the needs of our churches and community and then open the door of our hearts.

Parking lot and door greeters are some of the very first people church visitors meet, and once inside, they await more inviting smiles. What a wonderful way to grow in hospitality to engage and connect–take an intentional step this week by saying hello to someone new! Is there a need for welcoming arms in your church nursery to provide care and God’s love? Are there small groups in need of a meeting place? Maybe there is a friend or neighbor who would enjoy a cup of coffee at your kitchen table; never underestimate the variety of “riverbank” parks and coffee shops. Keep details simple and focused on Jesus, and remember to have fun!

Let’s pray:

Father God, help me grow in hospitality so that I may show your love to others. Make me aware of people around me who want a friend or have a need I can meet. Give me a desire to open my home and let all worldly comparison fall away. Forgive me for the times I have let details take over. My home is YOUR home, and I choose this day to be obedient in response to the lead of your Holy Spirit. Help me invite and welcome people, new and old, into my house or challenge me to host elsewhere. It is inspiring to read about the early church and the importance of having a place to meet, eat, and pray. Help me see Kingdom value in the ministry of hospitality to all ages. Grow in me a spirit of eagerness to practice hospitality and destroy all the lies of the enemy telling me that I am not talented enough or that my house is not trendy, tidy, or big enough. Open my heart and direct me this week to one way I can begin to serve and welcome others.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/mixetto

Megan EvansMegan Evans is a military wife, and a mother to three wonderful teenagers. She and her family live in Tennessee where she serves as the women’s ministry director at her church. An author and blogger with a heart for discipleship; she writes, speaks, and teaches women about enjoying God in each busy day. Check out her new book, “Permission to Walk: A 40-Day Journey to Unhurried Peace” and learn the daily pace of life that Jesus taught as we daily navigate this distracted and fast-paced world. You can connect with Megan at www.unhurrymyheart.com, www.instagram.com/megan.m_evans , and www.facebook.com/unhurrymyheart.

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