"Call to Me, and I will answer you . . ." (Jeremiah 33:3)
People who have known me for a long time will tell you I am a prayer warrior. I have walked and talked with God on a daily basis for 40 years. All those years I have taken Ephesians 6:18 seriously, "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. . . " Because of this, I have seen a fallen tree stand up, an non working air conditioner begin to work, a lawnmower that wouldn't start, begin to start with prayer and a sink unclog. . .without cleaners!
Besides just talking with the Lord throughout the day, I have also practiced going down on my knees in the prayer closet to have those deeper times with the Savior. For about the last 6 months though, I have had a desire to go even deeper. God has blessed me with an answer to that desire. Without saying a word to anyone, a friend gave me a book several months ago called Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala, the pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle. It's main message. . .Prayer. Then I became interested in the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. They have quite a story of their own! For Valentines Day, I received their new music CD simply titled, PRAY. When I received the CD in the mail, it came with two band bracelets with the simple word. . .
I shouldn't be but I am still always amazed when He answers so quickly and so precisely; just like He did on this day.
This morning before I left for town to run errands, I put on this bracelet and I prayed, "Lord, send me someone who needs prayer." An hour later I was standing in the cereal aisle when there was a tap on my right shoulder. I turned around and it was William, a homeless man I befriended a long time ago and lost touch with him the beginning of last summer. I had been worried about him. And now he was standing there tapping me on the shoulder needing, wanting prayer. He proceeded to tell me about a lot of serious, physical ailments and that surgery was probably in his future. Despite all his problems, he was working in this store. That should tell you a lot about him right there. "Kris, he said with tears in his eyes, I'm afraid, I don't like surgeries, I'm scared. " He wanted prayer. And so I put my arm on his shoulder and we went before the Lord and prayed right there in the isle next to the Cheerios. He was blessed and so was I. I felt like we were standing in the presence of Jesus. . .and we were! God meets you wherever you are, even next to cereal boxes.
I pondered all the way home about what had just happened and why it doesn't happen more. I get so busy when out running around, thinking of my own things I need to do, the lists I need to get done, and my own worries swirling around in my head. But isn't everyone else doing the same thing? How many faces have I've passed by in the stores, in the restaurants, who were worried, sick, upset and I walked right by them, a Christian, a prayer warrior, and just walked on by?
It was such a blessing to see my old friend, for him to show up when I was waiting for the Lord to send someone and he needed someone. What a blessing to be available!
I'm reminded of another book I read a couple of years ago, Praying for Strangers, by River Jordan. She felt led by the Lord to spend an entire year picking someone, a stranger, every day and pray with them, for them. And so many wonderful stories came from that, she wrote a book about it all.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, what a blessing it is to be available, to be obedient, to be open to others, hear what they're saying and go to the throne of God on their behalf right then and there. I don't do it near enough but I hope this year will be different.
So if you're out to lunch with me and I happen to go hunt down a waiter or waitress. . .how about going with me? I think the biggest blessings come when you least expect it and no matter what side of the blessing you are on, God will be glorified and honored.
That's what it's all about. Blessing others and glorifying Him, Lord of Lord and King of Kings, Immanuel (God is with us). . .even on a grocery aisle.
Is there something you need to be more intentional about?
Pray about it. He will show you.
And don't be surprised if it comes with a tap on the shoulder.