Can you pray for someone you just met?
A scary thought for many of us…
A couple of years ago, I went through a missions training session in preparation for a summer mission trip. It was a great opportunity to refocus not only on our trip, but also to draw attention to our every day life. As Christians, we are to be the good news wherever we go. There are people in need EVERYWHERE. Our ‘spiritual eyes’ need to be open to these promptings.
Have you been someone’s good news lately?
I was able to pray for three, troubled men in inner city Mpls. What an amazing opportunity God allowed me to be a part of. Let me tell you about these men…
#1 – The first man had just been released from prison the night before and was already drowning his anxieties in alcohol. His clothes were tattered. His face, covered in large dark sores. He was struggling to find a place to live and struggling with what he was going to do next. When I asked him if he wanted me to pray for him, he said, ‘oh yes,’ and said that however the spirit led me I should pray. I prayed with him for several minutes and then he went along his way. He was very thankful for the prayer.
#2 – Roberto, standing at the same bus corner, held 5 pairs of paper 3-D glasses in his hands. I went up to him and asked him if he was planning on watching a lot of 3-D movies. He laughed and said a lady at the convenience store had just given them to him. Most of us would have probably thrown them away not seeing much use for them, but this feeble-looking man held on to them as if they were a treasure. These paper glasses were what drew me to talk with him. After a brief discussion about the glasses and where he was going, I asked him if I could pray for him. “Yes, I would like that.” He said he wanted to show me something. He started to lift up his sweatshirt and I wondered what I was about to see. He pulled out a small, blood-filled plastic device that was attached to his stomach. He asked me if I had heard of HIV and told me that this was his food. He wasn’t able to eat and could only get food through this device. He asked to be healed of his disease and pain and he asked for prayers for his family. The bus was almost there. He asked me if I would get on the bus with him and pray because there was more time. I did. I prayed over him and his family and made sure that he heard the good news of the gospel before he departed off of the bus.
#3- Tony was a 35 year old broken young man. He dressed like a gang member and probably wasn’t very approachable by many. While I was praying for Roberto, he turned from the bus seat a head of us and asked me, “Are you a pray-er?” I said “Yes” and he asked immediately for prayer. I told him that I would pray with him as soon as Roberto’s prayers were complete. When I sat down next to Tony, his eyes pierced into me as I spoke with him about his hurt over the separation of his wife. I’ve never seen eyes so vibrant in my life. His skin was very dark and normally, his eyes would be dark as well, but these eyes were on fire. His eyes were yellow, orange, and red and seemed to glow out from his skin. His pain was so evident through these brilliant eyes. I prayed over him and after I was done, I told him about Jesus’ love for him. He intently stared into my eyes as words of hope and a future came from my lips. God wanted him clean of alcohol and drugs and instead be of a clear mind and filled with His spirit. Before he departed off of the bus, he promised me he would read his Bible. He reached out to me and hugged me like a little child would hug his father or mother.
Did God answer these prayers?
I don’t know. All I know is that I have faith that God called me to pray for these men and that God will answer the prayers of His faithful in whichever way He wants. God’s ways are always best.
“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. As you make your requests, plead for God’s mercy upon them, and give thanks. “1 Titus 2:1
Regardless of whether these men were or will be healed, find homes, be released from drugs/alcohol, or be united with a loved one, I know one thing for certain. God calls us to step out of our comfort zone and help the poor, the sick, and the broken-hearted.
“Help him to defend the poor, to rescue the children of the needy, and to crush their oppressors.” Psalm 72:4
So, would you step out of your comfortable zone and do one thing for God… pray for others?
Often I’m not as brave as I was this day. I don’t know what gets in the way sometimes. I pray for the strength to be this bold everyday and I pray it for you too.