The Easy Way

Question to ponder…

When someone tells you they are sad, ill, or burdened what would happen if  you prayed with them right that very minute?

It’s really easy to say the words ‘I will pray for you’ and then go home and pray later.  But praying out loud with someone can be hard and down right scary for some of us.  For me personally I worry I won’t have the right words to say or sometimes if a lot of people are around I feel intimidated. There have been many times I have chosen the easy way to pray and said, “I am so sorry to hear about this and I keep you in my prayers”

About 3 weeks ago I had an experience of meeting a man and woman who said they were homeless. I was working at the church and they came walking in the front door. When they first came into the church the man was visibly upset and kept saying loudly over and over that his fingers were frozen and that he was sure that he had lost them. Upon inspection of his fingers it looked to me like his fingers were not frozen and I was not really sure if he was telling me the truth or not.  He was very agitated and the woman was upset and crying and mumbling saying she was cold and that she could not walk any further.  It was terribly cold outside that day but when I touched her hands they felt warm.  They also told me that they had been living in the woods and had walked to the church.

This next thing is really hard for me to admit…

That moment I wanted to run out of the building, jump in my car and get away as fast as I could.  Why? Well the truth is they smelled bad and they looked scary and I to be honest ….I was scared! I was not just scared of them, but also of the fact that I did not really know how to help them.   I have never dealt with anyone like this before. I was alone in the building and I didn’t know if they were telling the truth.  Plus they were not making a bit of sense as to what they needed. They were both talking at the same time and moving around the room in two totally different directions.

I was Feeling totally at a loss as to what to do.  I was starting to feel a bit panicky and inside my head I was saying, “God please help! Tell me what to do!”

Suddenly the words went through my head “Pray with them.”

Pray with them?? Is that all you’ve got for me?? Really?

As I said at the beginning of this story, Praying out loud with people is hard for me to do.  When I pray out loud I get nervous, what if I say the wrong thing or forget to say something?

The situation seemed to be pretty out of control right now and I really had no other alternative. So I said the words, “Can I pray with you?”…a look of surprise on the man’s face… and then “yes would you? please?”

He said yes?! What was I expecting?  A no?  I have to say, I was a little nervous not only about what to say in the prayer but also about closing my eyes while praying. The thought had crossed my mind of what if they really were not homeless? Would they clobber me over the head while my eyes were closed?

We all held hands and stood in a circle and I started praying…and yes I will admit it…. I peaked at the beginning of the prayer to make sure all hands that were not holding my hands were holding on to each other’s hands.   As I prayed the man jerked a few times and I heard him moaning what sounded like he said aaaah and I kept on praying.   When we finished praying both of them seemed a whole lot calmer and the man started holding his hand up saying “ look at that! My fingers are healed!”

I honestly did not know what to think about his statement. I am getting pretty used to this God stuff  but this was way different than anything I have ever encountered.  Healed?  Hummmmm…was he telling the truth?  It’s been a few weeks now and I have thought about this often here are the facts….

Fact number 1…Though I did not see anything physically wrong with the man’s hands he said they were cold and hurting. I prayed for them to be healed and he said they were healed.  So obviously he believed they were healed so why would I not believe that they were healed?  I believe that God can do anything so why would I pray if I didn’t believe that the prayer could actually work?

Fact number 2….After we prayed both the man and the woman were a whole lot calmer (and me too).  After the prayer I was able to speak to them and figure out what it was that they needed.  So there again prayer answered.

Where they telling the truth?  At first I thought they were trying to pull something over on me, but after a while I really feel in my heart that they were telling me the truth.  I never really could quite figure out what it was they needed other than a meal, a couple of stamps and a ride to town.  That just did not seem like a whole lot to  to me and I was puzzled they did not ask for more.  Later the thought came to me….could it be possible that what they really needed was for someone to pray with them?

What would have happened if when they came in I had said to them “I will put you on my prayer list?” and then I had sent them on their way planning to pray for them later?

I know this was a unique sort of situation but in our every day lives people tell people their burdens all the time and they are told, “I will pray for you,” and then are pretty much sent on their way never really knowing if they are prayed for or not.  I know this because it has been done to me many times, and I will admit I am guilty of doing the very same thing to people.

People want to know we have time for them and that we care, not that we are going to add them to a ‘to do list’.

I wonder what would happen if every time someone told us their troubles we just dropped everything and prayed with them that very minute.

It may not always be easy to do, but I don’t think God ever told us that this journey was going be easy.

So why would I ever think that I was allowed to chose easy?

I am ending this post with the same question I started it with…

When someone tells you they are sad, ill, or burdened what would happen if  you prayed with them right that very minute?

I challenge you to find out the answer to that question the next time the opportunity arises.

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

Have a blessed day, T

8 thoughts on “The Easy Way

  1. osarobohenry says:

    I really thank God for your life. Most times this always happen once you say that you are for God. People will always come with one problem or the other but the question as you said will be, do they want me to pray with them? How will they respond when I say let’s pray? Will they be comfortable with prayer? Do they really need prayer at this time? I can say that, you did the right thing by handling over the whole situation to God so that He can lead you on what to do. After doing that and you obeyed, miracle you did not expect happen and the burden was off their shoulder. When we pray, no matter how short it might seems to be, don’t doubt. More blessing and anointing to excel in the vineyard of God in the name of Jesus Christ.


  2. Juanita says:

    Very powerful story, Terri. You did what God wanted you to do and I am sure you reacted as many of us would. God bless you. Juanita


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