Frank Laubach recommended a great prayer. You can use it at work, you can [use] it at home, and you can use it anyplace where you are around people. It`s this question:
Can I help you? Can I help you?
Before you say this out loud to another person, say it in your mind. Really look at the person tomorrow. Talk to God and start with the little prayer to Jesus:
Jesus, what are you trying to do in this person`s life? Is there a way that I can be a part of that? Can I further your work in this person`s life? Could I encourage them? Could I listen to them? Could I speak bold truth to them? Could I love them? Could I touch them? Jesus, could I help you in what you are doing in this person`s life?
You can do that. This is not rocket science. You can do this! Then maybe to that person, you will ask that question out loud:
Can I help you?
Maybe there will be some people for whom you will love doing this¨people to whom you`ll love asking this question. Maybe there will be some people you dislike, and you`ll think,
Maybe I ought to avoid those people, because tomorrow is Jesus` day and it would be good for me not to be around them at all.
Actually, it would be a real good thing for you to be around some of those people. That`s what Jesus says. Jesus specializes in loving enemies.
Another place where you will meet Jesus is in people. Jesus talks about it in Matthew 25. He says
The day is coming¨the Judgment Day is coming¨when the human race will stand before God and God will say to a lot of people, ?I was hungry and you didn`t feed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink. I was in prison, and you didn`t visit me. I was naked and you didn`t give me any clothes,? A lot of people will be confused by this, and they`ll say, ?No. That never happened. When did we ever see You like that? If we`d seen You like that, we would have done something! And then God will say, Whatever you did not do for the least of these,? ''Matthew 25: 31-45''
Of course, to God there are no ?least.? To God, everyone matters. But we all carry around in our own heads a little list of the ?least:? Folks who are poor, Folks who are needy, Folks who have been the victims of injustice, People who are treated unfairly, People who grew up without the advantages that a lot of us in this room grew up with.
We can start thinking, We have merited what we got, who we are, what we`ve achieved and what we possess. We start thinking, I`ve worked hard. Why couldn`t the ?least? have worked? We get so confused.
So he came to a city of Samar'ia, called Sy'char, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and so Jesus, wearied as he was with his journey, sat down beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. There came a woman of Samar'ia to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samar'ia?" For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." The woman said to him, "Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, and his sons, and his cattle?" Jesus said to her, "Every one who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw." Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here." The woman answered him, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You are right in saying, 'I have no husband'; for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband; this you said truly." The woman said to him, "Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain; and you say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ); when he comes, he will show us all things." Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am he." Just then his disciples came. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but none said, "What do you wish?" or, "Why are you talking with her?" So the woman left her water jar, and went away into the city, and said to the people, "Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?"
( John 4:5-29)