Prayers from a Stranger

Last week was busy . . . and stressful. My list of projects at home and at work had become a bit overwhelming. By Friday morning, I was was completely worn out and ready for the weekend.

I really didn’t have time for visitors in the office, but our sanctuary is always open during the day, especially for those wanting to pray. A pastor acquaintance brought some friends by to see our church, and to pray with them before they left town. Happy for even a brief chance to stand and stretch, I greeted our guests, and walked them to the sanctuary doors. The friends were siblings, a brother and sister from India, committed since childhood to lead others to salvation.

I was delighted to meet Brother Joe and Sister Jessie. I learned that their travels later in the day would take them to Dallas, Texas for a prayer gathering. Our church was their last stop on the way to the airport.

As much as I wanted to sit and hear more about their ministry, I needed to get back to work. They prayed together in the sanctuary for about 30 minutes, and then stopped by my office again to thank me before leaving. The exit doors clicked shut behind them, but a moment later I heard the door open again. Sister Jessie shyly came into my office and smiled at me. “May I pray for you?” she asked.

Heaven Sent

I have no idea what may have prompted Jessie to return and pray for me, but I know who did. This godly woman, who I had met only moments earlier, was prompted by the Holy Spirit to pray for me.

Sister Jessie stood by my side and gently laid her hand on my shoulder, praying words of love, strength and encouragement over me. It was like a soft, soothing rain shower falling on the parched desert floor. Tears of gratitude welled up in my eyes as her prayer concluded.

What do you say to someone who prays into your heart? I could only thank Jessie, and hope that she knew how her prayer had touched me. She asked me if I had ever been to India, and invited me to visit. We exchanged hugs and contact information, and then she was gone.

Connected by Faith

The rest of my day went smoothly. By 5:00 p.m. I had completed every project that had been weighing me down all week.

Kind words and a simple prayer — offered by a stranger — helped to lift the burdens that were weighing me down. Those healing words from Sister Jessie’s heart were a powerful reminder of the connection I share with all my sisters and brothers in Christ worldwide. We may be separated by the physical boundaries of distance, but our hearts are joined by our faith in Jesus.

For Our Veterans

Photo by Derek Mack on Unsplash

 

In Flanders Fields
By John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday later this month, it is important to remember and give gratitude to the service men and women who have paid for the freedoms we cherish.

Tomorrow is Veterans Day. Please take a moment from your day to thank a Veteran for their service to our country. Buy them lunch, or a cup of coffee, or make a donation to Wounded Warrior Project or another charity that supports our Veterans. And for the thousands of homeless Vets, your kindness and compassion can help begin to heal their invisible wounds.

Be sure to thank the families of those who are currently serving. They miss their loved ones, and we join them in praying for their safe return home. And if you know a Gold Star family, offer love, support and words of comfort. They will have an empty chair at their Thanksgiving table every year going forward.

Finally, if you are a Veteran reading this, please know that your service — and sacrifice for our nation’s freedom — is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your service. ❤️