Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Who Could You Pray with Today?

[This piece is an adaptation of a post presented here several weeks ago. The Logan Daily News, the paper that serves the community where I've come to be pastor of Saint Matthew Lutheran Church, features regular columns from area pastors. The columns are to be about 250-words in length. I'm next in the rotation.]

Not long ago, Vicki, the barber I went to for seventeen years in my former community asked me, “Why didn't you and I ever pray together?"

Feeling a bit flummoxed by her question, I suppose, I stammered around an answer. Vicki smiled at my discomfort and explained that after her mother suffered from a recent stroke, she got a call from a client. "How's your mother?" he asked. After she gave him a report, he suggested, "Let's pray for her." He then prayed while on the telephone.

"I thought that was so cool!" Vicki enthused.

Vicki’s reaction may be typical. Few people mind it when a caring person offers to pray with them. I know that I never have.

In 1996, my family and I bought a new car. When we prepared to drive it off the lot, the salesman asked, "Could we pray?" We were surprised, but agreed.

"Lord," he said, "please grant that as long as the Daniels family owns this vehicle, that it will give them quality service. Keep them safe as they drive in it. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen."

The car, now owned by our daughter, who lives in Florida, still runs like a top. Our daughter isn’t surprised. "After all, Dad," she tells me, "it's been prayed for!"

If done sensitively and respectfully, offering to pray with someone pats double dividends. First, we invite God to intervene in our friends’ lives. Second, we extend loving encouragement to our friends.

Who could you pray with today?

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