How to Successfully Partner with God

I’d stayed home from church because I wasn’t feeling well. Instead of a relaxing morning, an inexplicable urgency burdened my heart for someone I’d never met. Months earlier a friend had confidentially asked me to pray for this woman, but what did this mean? Was she in trouble? Why was I feeling this now? What was I to do?

“Should I ask for her number and call her?” I asked my husband when he returned home.

“I think you pray. When you need to do more God will show you.”

Monday morning Larry called from work. Sunday afternoon the woman had left a message on our ministry phone line. She wanted to meet with me.

Another time God burdened me to pray for a neighborhood teen that I learned had gotten involved with drugs. I yearned to talk to her. I reached out, but her mother wasn’t receptive.

One day as I drove home and spotted her house concern for her crushed me. I poured out my distress to God. Within days of that experience the doorbell rang. The teen I’d prayed for stood at my door, locked out of her house.

I invited her in, and God gave us a wonderful connection. I offered her something to take and read. She seemed genuinely grateful.

None of these burdens came at my bidding. But when they landed I had to pray. The urgency was all consuming.

You might think that after God brought each of them to me within a week of the intense urgency to pray I saw lasting transformation in each of them. I did not.

Deeper hardening followed temporary repentance in one. But since God loved these women enough to burden one of His children to pray for them and orchestrated opportunities for them to receive spiritual healing I can’t believe either of their stories with Him is over.

When we do our part we’ve successfully partnered with God, whether we see the results or not. Our part is to respond to His leading in the power of the Holy Spirit and leave the results to Him. We don’t know if our role falls in the beginning, middle, or end of someone’s story. It may be someone else’s role to gather the fruit of many people’s labor.

It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow” (1 Cor. 3:7 NLT).

Question: How do you measure success? Click here to comment.

It's not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What's important is that God makes the seed grow” (1 Cor. 3:7 NLT). #Success, #Devotional Share on X



Amy Carroll and Cheri Gregory talk about my book, Little Women, Big God, on How to Use a Change of Focus to Get Unstuck. They offer great thoughts on how to change from being problem-focused to God-focused.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Sometimes I link up with these great sites:

Tea &Word Tuesday, #Kelly Balarie & Friends#Recharge Wednesday, #Coffee for Your Heart, #TuneinThursaday, #HeartEncouragment #Dance with Jesus, #Grace and Truth,

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  1. Ann Musico

    I needed to be reminded of this today. There have been so many times I’ve felt the burden to pray for someone and then just never knew how it all worked out. But you are right – we don’t know what part of their story we are called in to – but to pray and lift them to the Lord is more than enough and we don’t have to know the details or how it ends – He does and that’s all that matters.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ann, seeing how God wove all of our roles together to make one amazing story may be one of the joys of heaven. It is helpful to remember that only He can cause growth. Thank you, Ann.

  2. Melissa Henderson

    We may never know the results of an encounter with someone. We may never know what seeds were planted. Yet, knowing we are following God’s calling/nudging to pray for someone, speak to someone, or even smile at someone, is truly a comfort and a blessing. Sharing His love is important.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Melissa, you’re right, we don’t know what seeds are planted. When I worked as a counselor and my client would say, “When you said…” Often I didn’t remember saying that. The pearl I thought I’d said they didn’t mention. 🙂 God may be using us most when we are least aware of it.

  3. Martha Heckenberg

    Sometimes when we begin to pray for someone God has placed on our heart things have a way of looking worse than better. I see that as God turning the heat up and that is part of the process called success. However, that can be very disappointing if we never see results. So we have to be prepared and just keep on following God’s prompting to share whatever it is that He wants us to share.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Martha, that is so true. It can look worse before it looks better. But we can trust God’s leading.

  4. Deen Busari

    ,Dear Debbie,

    Hmm! What a wonderful piece! I was quite excited while reading this just now. One passage of Scripture pop into my heart. James 5:16 “the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous man availeth much” If we walk in obedience to the holy spirit nudging he’s willing to use us a an agent of transformation in people’s live.

    Thanks for sharing Debbie, my the Lord continue to use you as a blessing to others, that brings relieve and comfort to others.

    Obedience is a principal thing in our walk with God. God help me to be willing and obedient just like you DID.

  5. Debbie Wilson

    Thank you, Deen. James 5:16 is a wonderful Scripture to remember.

  6. Dawn Wilson

    This is exactly what I’m writing about today, Debbie, in a blog post for another ministry (on obedience)! This sentence is exactly my thoughts: “When we do our part we’ve successfully partnered with God, whether we see the results or not. Our part is to respond to His leading in the power of the Holy Spirit and leave the results to Him. ” I’m learning to obey the Lord one yes at a time. Thanks for an insightful post.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Dawn, don’t you love it when He confirms the message He’s laid on our hearts? Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. Renee Peebles

    Loved this! I used to think I was a bit weird (well maybe I am lol ) but there have been so many times in my life I have felt what I call an impression on my heart to urgently pray for someone or send s note once I took a cake from a good ministry I was involved in, to a lady in Wendell. I did not know her, had never met her but her son was hit by a car while waiting for the school bus. It was a bit intimidating but I obeyed God immediately. I just wanted her to know God loves her & some white lady over in Zebulon was praying hard for her. Another time the Lird prompted me to drop off a bday gift to a lady in my neighborhood that is just hard to like? I did it Me Er heard a word back but I know I was supposed to do it.

    Trying to be obedient to what I call the nudges of the Holy Spirit . Leaving the results to him.

    Love your blog posts.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Renee, those are beautiful examples of obedient faith. I know you made God smile! And who knows what else was accomplished. Thanks for sharing them with us.

  8. Henni Towler Corbin

    When I believe I have done something to make God smile, then I have been successful.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amen, Henni!

  9. Rebecca Jones

    I have had that happen so many times. And like you, so so results, but I can’t do His job, I had to quit trying. Like Father’s Day, I thought I had written three post suitable for that weekend, but Friday afternoon, I felt that need to do one more and follow the Lord’s lead, sure enough when I mentioned it, I got a thank you from someone who said I obeyed the Holy Spirit, He does work in mysterious ways. Thanks, Debbie.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Rebecca, learning to trust our Shepherd’s voice and follow Him may upset our plans, but it puts us right where we truly want to be, in the center of His will. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Laura Thomas

    A great reminder to take action when we feel the gentle nudge of the Holy Spirit within. Thanks so much for sharing! Stopping by from #LetsHaveCoffee 🙂

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Laura.

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