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.

Grounded in Faith

Wouldn’t you miss this view? The photo above was taken at sunset from Sharkey’s On the Pier, one of our favorite local restaurants in Venice, Florida. It’s a place to leave your worries behind while dining with your toes in the sand.

And speaking of sand, perhaps you’ve read or heard about the growing trend of “grounding” or “earthing”. The notion is that we have literally lost touch with the sand and soil beneath our feet, causing us to disconnect from the earth’s vital energy. Many believe that we need to re-connect with that natural energy to restore our health and well-being.

No doubt, we are a disconnected society. But will we truly fill our need to reconnect by walking barefoot through a meadow, or sleeping on the forest floor?

Like a Rock

When I was a child living beside the ocean, I would run down the huge boulders behind my house. They were like stairs to me. I knew each one from memory, scrambling from patio to the sand in a matter of seconds. Talk about grounding! It was a miracle I never broke a limb.

But I trusted in those stones. They never moved. I knew them so well that I could probably navigate my way blindfolded.

Likewise, my faith is grounded on such a Rock. I trust in the One who will never be moved or shaken.

There is a hymn, Christ the Solid Rock, that speaks of this precious faith. The first verse and chorus came to my mind today:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ Name

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

Grounding can mean different things to each of us. For me, it is a deeply spiritual place of connection with Jesus. And it is where I find safety and security as I walk through my daily life.