“Never stop praying, especially for others. Always pray by the power of the Spirit. Stay alert and keep praying for God’s people”—Ephesians 6:18 (CEV).
Waiting to checkout at the grocery store recently, I noticed an older woman—probably in her 80s—in line behind me. Leaning on her cart, she was nursing what I assumed was a broken wrist. She looked up to see me watching her. I smiled. She acknowledged mine with one of her own.
Lifting up her wrist, she said, “I did something silly for an old woman. I wasn’t paying attention and caught my foot on a loose brick. I stumbled, fell and landed on my right arm. It’s not broken, just severely cracked. I’m hoping to avoid surgery. Please pray for me.”
“I will,” I replied, acknowledging her request. After paying for my groceries, I gave her a hug.
Praying for Strangers
As I drove home, I thought about the woman I’d encountered. I don’t believe in coincidences. Somehow, she knew I was a praying woman. Maybe it was the cross I wear around my neck.
But, then, I remembered I’d forgotten to ask her name. However, I knew it didn’t matter. God knew. I knew.
During the rest of the day and through the next, when God brought her wrinkled, but serene face to mind, I lifted her up in prayer. That was on a Thursday and Friday. Saturday, I was busy and forgot.
A Reminder from God
On Sunday after church, I had lunch with a friend. Leaving the restaurant, I was ready to put my car in reverse, when I noticed a vehicle pull up and park behind me. At first, I was frustrated. Then I noticed the driver had walked around the car to open the passenger door.
“Patience,” I told myself. “It’s probably someone elderly or handicapped person the driver is dropping off before parking.”
As the passenger shuffled by my car window, I smiled. It was nothing more than a God-appointed encounter with the same woman I’d met at the grocery store three days earlier.
Encountering the Living God
Pushing the button to lower my window, I grabbed her attention with the words, “Do you remember me?”
“Yes,” she replied. “Are you still praying for me?”
“Yes, I am,” I said, “but I forgot to ask your name.”
“That was my grandmother’s name,” I exclaimed.
The Beauty of Praying
Stunned by this encounter and learning the woman’s name matched my grandmother’s left me in awe of our mighty God. It was a blessing lingering through the day and a reminder to continue praying for Ms. Lillie.
While I may never see Lillie again—at least this side of heaven—I have no doubt God brought us together. Maybe, it’s His way of revealing Himself to two souls in need of encouragement.
I came across this quote on prayer by Pastor E.M. Bounds. “Prayer should not be regarded as a duty which must be performed, but rather as a privilege to be enjoyed, a rare delight that is always revealing some new beauty.”
The Privilege of Prayer
Prayer is a privilege. It brings us into the presence of our Heavenly Father, a father who loves us so much He sacrificed His Son for us.
As Christians, we’ve all been adopted into His family. When a “family member” asks for prayer, consider it a privilege—even if they’re a stranger.
It’s a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.
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