I met a guy a few months ago one night as I was walking home with some milk I bought at Safeway. He was actually passing me when he said “How’re you doing”, the regular phrase of greeting that people use here without necessarily having any interest in listening to you. Since it was a while ago I first met the guy I am not sure how our conversation evolved out of his initiation, but I did ask him how he was doing in some way and he let his heart out to me as we continued walking.
He was high, stressed, confused and alone. He had recently been in prison, had accepted Jesus as his lord and savior while in prison, and had since then tried to get clean from his drug abuse. That particular night he was heading to an address where supposedly his girlfriend was staying. I listened to his lamentations and asked if I culd pray for him. He accepted and we prayed together. I also gave him my contact info since he asked if I could help him. I said I could introduce him to people who could do that and told him to call me.
I received no call.
over the following week I shared this story with people and in some settings we again prayed over this guy I met that day. I heard nothing for many weeks. I spent many hours at a library at a university close by studying for some upcoming tests last week. Since my car is not insured and shouldn’t therefore be driven, I decided to walk to the library that day. On my way there I felt the need to visit a restroom on the way and since I was walking past my local grocery store I decided to use theirs. It appeared that the visitor before me had had a terrible day or simply could not aim vertically, so I walked out of the restroom and just use one at the library. In the exact moment I was turning from the restroom to head out from the store I notice a guy nodding at me with a smile on his face. It took me a moment to recognize the same guy I had met so many weeks ago. He had changed. He told me about his transformation of leaving drugs behind him and how he is changing his life around. It was such an amazing moment of witnessing how God had answered our prayers during a time when I had no idea what had happened to this guy or why he never called me. I just felt so blessed by the fact that God had let me meet this man twice: one time to encourage him and the next to rejoice with him.
What God showed me was that there is great blessing in prayer. One blessing is that He blesses the one who prays by answering the prayer. Another blessing is the joy we get when we participate in the Lord’s working through praying for one another. It is a couple reasons why we ought to be more engaged in prayer. Pray, and when the prayers are answered there is rejoicing!
If you ever have woken up really early to see the sunrise, the event of the emerging sun seems to be more engaging and enjoyable when you have anticipated it for a while. In the same way receive joy and passion for the workings of God by anticipating his work through prayer. We can do this if we believe that God listens and acts because we pray.