Years ago my daughter composed a sweet little song entitled “Lord, Give Me a Beautiful Heart.”  The second verse was penned, “Give Me a Heart More Like You.”  Jesus himself said that all 613 laws (which were impossible to follow!) could be simplified with two…”Love the Lord Your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.”  I’m so glad that God knew people like me were not that great at math!  Two is much easier for me to keep up with than 613!!  Among the hundreds of things we pray about, the prayer that lines up with God’s greatest commandment is sure to get His attention!

A couple of years ago I started to really pray the lyrics of my daughter’s song…”Lord, give me a heart more like you.”  He began the process of giving me a different view from my spiritual window.  He began to give me a “Kingdom” mindset over my “Comfort” mindset. He began to challenge my reasoning behind everything I put my hand too.   So many of my decisions were based on the fact that it was the “Christian” thing to do, even if it made little difference in my heart.  As I read the familiar verse from Isaiah 6:8 stating, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send and who will go for us?  And I said, Here I am, send me” I realized that this was not just a verse for those called to Africa or to the “ends of the earth” but God was wanting to send me..even if it meant right here in my community.  We applaud our missionaries as they come back on furlough.  We love their stories and feel  a part  of their mission as they thank us for our prayers and financial support.  My husband grew up in a fellowship where the annual convention honored the world missionaries with a “Parade of Nations” ceremony.  Missionaries were considered Olympians!  As I listen to the missionary stories or see their pictures thumb tacked to the world map at church, I realized that not only have I not gone to the “ends of the earth”…I have not even gone to the “end of my street!”

What (or who!) is at the end of your street?  Is it that neighbor who would love to have coffee with you?  Is it that elderly neighbor that could use some company to ease his or her loneliness? Is it a local daycare that could use a mom’s heart to come and read books to the children and just hug them? Is it an after school “Good News Club” program at the local public school that needs volunteers to do puppets, skits and Bible story telling to public school children? Is it doing yard work for a military spouse who has a husband deployed?  Maybe the Lord will prompt you to begin a neighborhood prayer group/Bible Study.  In a recent interview with the Heritage Foundation, Kay Cole James spoke of the four people groups that are incredibly needful of authentic Christianity.  The groups are:  minorities, women, millennials and the cultural elite.  Do any of these groups find their habitat in your neighborhood?  They are your neighbor…and they live in my neighborhood too!

As you pray, “Lord, give me a heart more like you” trust Him to guide you perfectly where He wants your heart to go, and He alone will cause your heart to love what He loves….your neighbor, just down the street!

Article Written by: Alyson Shedd