READ: Luke 10:30-37
NO BLAME: People with problems need not be at fault (v30). It is important to be free of negative attitudes when dealing with difficult situations. Let's pray for a positive attitude towards people who are facing difficulties.
NO TIME: Jesus tells of two people who, for whatever reason, were not prepared to give time to a needy man (vs 31, 32). One even came and looked before moving on (v32). Let's pray for an ability to rightly prioritise our time.
COMPASSION: The key to the third man's involvement was compassion (v33). He came, looked and was inwardly moved. Let's be honest with each other about our own reactions to people with problems and pray accordingly.
TREATING WOUNDS: The bandages, wounds, oil, wine, animal and inn (v34) have often been explained in terms of spiritual parallels. The important thing is to treat the wounds - regardless of their type or cause. With emotional wounds, the oil and wine could be truth and kindness and the bandages ongoing support. For a victim of crime different remedies may be required. Let's pray for the ability to be relevant in every situation.
PROVIDING TRANSPORT: Sometimes we think that we need a degree in counselling before we can be of any use to anybody - it is tempting to point out that even the Samaritan's donkey had a part to play (v34) but imprudent though such a comment might be it reminds us that if transport is the need, a car (or even the bus fare) is more important than a qualification in psychology. Let's pray that we will never be intimidated by the circumstances but will always find a way to play our part.
STAYING ALONGSIDE: Once the Samaritan had taken the injured man to the inn he stayed and took care of him overnight (v34). This is a different kind of caring. Being alongside is as relevant as treating wounds and providing transport. Sometimes the hardest thing about being alongside is dealing with our own feelings of inadequacy. So often we long to do more. Let's be open with each other about these kind of feelings - even if they only occur as a result of impatience in waiting for a response from those family members and friends we have come alongside to lead to the Lord. Maybe on this it would be good to pray for each other's encouragement.
ENLISTING SUPPORT: The Samaritan was wise enough to know when he had come to the end of his time resources and so handed over responsibility to another (v35). We need wisdom in our caring too so that we do not become unhelpfully overloaded. Let's pray that the Lord will make us into good team players.
MEETING THE COST: Giving our finance when we cannot give our time is also a way of caring (v35). Let's pray for a spirit of generosity.