Image courtesy of Flickr user:vonderauvisuals
As they approached the left hand turn island, the light turned red. She looked for a snack bar to give to the tall man standing to their left.
She remembered that the Union Rescue Mission employee had told her to not give money. Plus, she had given money in the past, and then discovered later it had not been a wise decision. It was a hard choice.
The man wore a baseball cap, seemingly clean clothes, and a big scowl.
The last time she met him, she had given him a snack bar. He had been polite and thankful.
Today, as she scoured the car, she couldn't find a snack bar or any ready food. She felt awkward as he glared at them.
Then he got angry, approached them, and spit on their car. Her young daughter in the backseat got scared, and she instinctively picked up her Bible, and put it over her face.
She knew that he was not the problem (Eph. 6:12). It was a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:10-18) so she needed to use a spiritual weapon: prayer.
"praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints," Eph. 6:18 ESV
She felt a little silly but she prayed aloud for the man to get help and to be changed by Jesus' love. Gratefully, the light changed and they drove away.
For the next several months, she prayed for the man whenever she saw him, and whenever God brought him to mind. He now stood on a different corner.
She wondered if praying made a difference, but she reminded herself of God's promises regarding prayer(I John 5:14-14). She knew she was praying according to God's will as God wanted this man to be restored.
But she also knew God gave each person a free will. Enough thinking. Do what you know: just pray, and leave the results up to God, she told herself.
Then several months later, she thought she saw him coming out of an R & R (recovery ministry) meeting at her church as she was driving into the parking lot.
And then last Friday, as I was serving food at our church's R & R meeting, I saw him and his baseball cap. My heart beat a little faster as I prayed. Would he recognize me?
It had been at least a year since I began praying for him. I still don't know his name. The line of people was moving past the table of food, and we were trying to quickly serve them.
I gave him a serving of beans, he stopped to ask me what another dish was, and then he walked away.
When I started praying for this man, I never imagined that I would be serving food to him at church one day. God has a sense of humor.
God encouraged me as I realized that He had been working in this man's life. There were probably other people also praying for this man.
I share this story to encourage you to pray for others, even strangers. I hope to write more about praying for strangers in another post.
God willl use a prayer, even one uttered with the tiniest bit of faith (like mine), because He is gracious and merciful.
Most of the time, we may not see how God uses our prayers, but it is a nice surprise when He gives us a peek.
So grateful that He gives us the gift of participating with Him in prayer. The mystery of it.
Would you please join me in praying for this man and for those struggling with addictions and deep soul wounds? Please pray for their healing and change.
How have you experienced God working through prayer in your life or someone else? Is there someone you can pray for today?
Need a gift?...To buy Emily Wierenga's lovely artwork on a journal, t-shirts and mugs, please visit http://www.cafepress.com/tspoetry
Linking up with God-graced sisters: wonderful Jennifer of Getting Down with Jesus, encouraging Emily of Imperfect Prose and her wonder team, and marvelous Michelle of Graceful, and my newest linkup with Michelle of Thought Provoking Thursdays at htttp://intentional.me .
© Soul Stops/Dolly Lee 2012. Creative Commons License: Okay for noncommercial use if you attribute this post to me and link to my permalink and