When an unbeliever asks for prayer, they are often in a situation where they feel somewhat helpless, hopeless, and alone. They may know that you are a Christian because they have seen God working in your life and hope that God can help them also. What a privilege to pray for someone like this, because it might be that God is working to bring this person to salvation. In any case, we are a witness to God’s grace, love, and sovereignty when we pray for others.
My husband and I have a Christian friend, David, who loves to travel. David often takes long drives to different parts of the country, taking different routes each time. On one of these road trips, he stopped to grab a coffee and a bagel before returning home. David noticed a man in the coffee shop that seemed distraught and asked him if he was okay. The man told David that he had an appointment across the street in 15 minutes. Across the street from the bakery was the county court house. David did not ask specifics but got the sense that the man had to go for a divorce hearing. David asked the man if he would mind if he prayed for him. The man’s look was one of surprise and then a glimmer of surrender. The man could not carry the burden alone anymore. After David prayed with him, he told the man he would be praying for him throughout the day. The man thanked him and proceeded across the street to his appointment. The outcome of the appointment may not have changed but the man was no longer alone. He knew that someone cared enough to talk to God about him.
I’m grateful that God gives me opportunities to pray for people because it keeps me in a prayerful mind throughout the day. Sometimes I don’t see an immediate answer to prayer. There are people that I have been praying for for years because God just puts them on my heart. This kind of prayer can be hard, especially when it is someone I love that I know is hurting or struggling and there is nothing I can do about it. It is this kind of prayer that helps me grow in faith, knowing that God knows what is best and will do what is best, even if the result is not what I hope.
Recently a close family member asked me to pray for them because they were struggling with their job. They had made huge financial sacrifices and worked hard to have their “dream job” only to see circumstances change that could crush those dreams. They have the skills to easily obtain other work that is more secure and pays more, yet for them, it’s not about the money. It would be easy to step in and tell them what I would do if I was in their shoes, but I didn’t. I realized that the path I would have chosen may not be the path they are meant to take. All I could do is pray. What a powerful thing! Why? Because it takes me out of the way of what God wants to do in their life.
It has been several months since they asked me to pray for them and God continues to brings this request to my mind several times a day. God has given us some answers, but I do not believe He is done yet. How has God responded so far? Well, the answer was not what we hoped, but this person’s chance of having their “dream job” is not gone. They will have to make additional temporary sacrifices, but there is hope their dream will be realized next year. In the meantime, they asked me to keep praying. They realize that they do not have to face this problem alone and that someone cares enough to talk to God on their behalf. It is my hope that God will use this to draw this person into a personal walk with God.
In His Name, Stephanie
Our staff is voluntold each week and with grace they share their thoughts.