circle of influenceI once declared, “I won’t do anything without talking with You about it first, God.” The statement came after a terrible time of grief and pride, and as the only reasonable response to a stunning and specific, yet amazingly gentle, correction given to me by Our Father.

I’d like to say that I have made good on that promise 100%, but that would not be true. However, our Counselor reminds me of that vow when I “go and do,” but neglect my conversations with God. I have noticed that the pattern holds: as I pray about personal, marriage, parenting, friendship, church and ministry, vocation, political issues, etc., I see His praise-worthy creative power at work. However, when I neglect my privileged responsibility to pray over my spheres of influence, I hopelessly witness not only my own but others’ terrible times, grief, and pride.

Remarkably, God Himself made nearly the same statement to us as I made to Him. Amos 3:7 (NIV) says,

Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.

I believe the reason He does this is to provide the reality of the difference He makes in our and others’ lives. Our spoken prayers toward Him make a difference in our perspective of the world. Also true is that His spoken word—transforming us internally and manifesting externally through us—makes a difference in how He and the world relate to one another. Powerfully, we are in God’s sphere of influence!

Our faith is the only one which states that overcoming this world’s degenerative problems is not just possible, it is the ongoing fulfillment of an eternal promise (John 16:33)! God’s part of the conversation, often given through His disciples, is powerful and effective; He provides correction, encouragement, love, and every good thing.

Many Christians I have known struggle with the words “witness,” “testimony,” and “prophecy”; they sound like they belong to other people and other times. However, John’s Revelation (19:10 – ERV) message, “…the truth of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” is for all disciples of all ages to experience! When we think about it, to witness simply means to provide “public affirmation by word or example,” especially, of our belief in the doctrine of Christianity (the teachings of Jesus and of His Apostles) to those who need the Truth.

Jesus encourages disciples with His timeless declaration, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 – NIV). The world is large, and our problems in it can seem overwhelming; however, the pattern of God’s power in overcoming remains. It is our privileged responsibility to pray about religions and politics, work and recreation, friends, and family; because, these spheres touch and overlap. Praying, we witness God’s influence throughout the world. Beginning with our own little circle, we’ll increasingly see how He changes lives in every good way!

This post was written by Tina Crowson.