Read Luke 10:25-37

Jesus asked, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”—Luke 10:36-37 (NIV)

I had called the help line to fix a computer problem and was placed on hold. The music began to play while I was waiting. Not being a person who wastes time, I decided to read one of my devotionals for the day. The story was about a woman who realized her prayer life was focused too much on herself and her needs. She prayed to be able to broaden her prayer focus. While she was out for a walk, she began to pray for neighbors she did not know well and even strangers.

As I continued to wait, I took her idea and began to pray for the man who was helping me. I’m sure he often has to deal with people on the phone who are displeased and difficult to satisfy. I prayed he would come to know God if he didn’t already. When our call concluded, I thanked him for his professionalism and wished him a good day. Even though I didn’t know him personally, God considers him my neighbor. God desires us to hear our concerns and prayers every day and wants to guide us, heal us, and forgive us. Our prayers can extend beyond our family or community and include everyone in the whole world. They are all our neighbors.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us extend our prayers to include people and situations we don’t know well so that we can learn to embrace all people as our neighbors. Amen.

Thought for the day: Everyone I meet is my neighbor.

—Lori Hulvey, Illinois