We were unloading our groceries into the back of our cars. I casually remarked, “I’m trying to finish shopping and get home before it rains again.” The woman next to me replied, “I wish this was all but I have to go to the hospital to be with my sister. Her Dad had a heart attack and she’s a mess”. She continued to tell me that it has been a bad year – she herself had open heart surgery in January. I had stopped loading my car by this time and focused on her. I told her she looked great and then thoughtfully asked “Could I pray with you?” She reached out her hand as I asked her name and we prayed right there in the parking lot.
In the book of Acts chapter 3 we read that Peter and John were heading to the Temple to pray and preach the Good News. A man lame since birth sat at the gate begging for money….
4 Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!”5 The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money.6 But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”7 Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened.8 He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them. Acts 3:3-8 (NLT)
This woman was a total stranger. I simply listened to “H” share what was going on in her life. I couldn’t solve her problem but I offered what I had…a listening ear and a connection with The Father. As she got into her car I reminded her that God would be with her…she replied, “God is good all the time”.
I sat in my car and thought, “what just happened?” Was I just used by God to lift up a sister in Christ? I didn’t ask her about her faith. The conversation went so smooth and natural. This interaction was a Divine appointment. It wasn’t something I specifically prayed for that morning but God used me as an instrument of His grace and peace.
5 Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity.6 Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone. Col 4:5-6 (NLT)
I’ve always appreciated the power and privilege of prayer. When I was in college, I had an open door policy. The girls on my dorm floor knew I was willing to pray with them about their concerns. Over the years I’ve had opportunities like praying with a co-worker going through a divorce and another caring for a sick parent. My neighbor appreciated my praying with her when her husband had dementia – though years before she had said, “I have my religion”.
My previous blog expressed how God is available 24/7. We can come to him in a break room, at a kitchen table or in a parking lot.