So many Christians are like the boy and girl sitting on a coin-operated play horse in a store. The little boy said, “You know, if one of us would get off, there would be more room for me.”

We’re naturally selfish, aren’t we? From the time we’re born, we want to have things our way. We even take our selfishness to church. Sometimes I’ll have people come and tell me someone at church isn’t being friendly to them. I know it won’t be long before they leave the church, because they simply don’t get it. This isn’t an excuse for unkindness, but people aren’t supposed to be friendly to you—you’re supposed to be friendly to them first.

Paul wrote Colossians to a group of Christians he had never met, and he prayed for them as if they were his closest friends. Are you praying for others? If not, you’re being selfish.

You may be saying, “But Pastor, I have all sorts of physical and spiritual problems. I hardly have enough time to pray for myself.” Personal prayer is a huge part of the Christian life, but we are only fulfilling half our responsibility if we don’t also pray for others.

If we spent more time praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ, we would have less time to worry about the way they are treating us. We would have more opportunities to rejoice when God answers our prayers for them. And we would have more room for Jesus to work in and through us. Why don’t you pray for someone in your life right now?

We are all weak, finite, simple human beings, standing in the need of prayer. None need it so much as those who think they are strong, those who know it not, but are deluded by self-sufficiency. — Harold C. Phillips

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder