I remember the first time the Holy Spirit urged me to pray for a stranger. I was in a Subway and I had no idea who this woman was, what she might be going through, or why I couldn’t stop feeling/hearing pray with her. What if she thinks I’m crazy? What if she doesn’t even believe? How will I know what to pray?
Shortly thereafter I was pulling away and the pit in my stomach was awful. I felt disappointed in myself and that I had literally walked away from God in that moment. Why didn’t I pray for her? Why was I so scared?
That was the last time I ever ignored the nudge, guidance, or leading of the Holy Spirit. It has led me to stopping on the side of a highway where 3 young girls were stranded. I was able to pray over them, teach them some safety rules, and comfort them while their ride was in route. These nudges have resulted in paying for groceries of those who just came up short or whose card didn’t work, giving encouraging words to strangers, or buying school supplies for a family in need. I never know when, how, or even who, but since that day, I have never said no.
Today, while standing filling out my address cards at the post office I overheard a woman at the counter. I could tell she was flustered and upset. As I looked up I heard her sharing with the teller that she had received some unexpected news from her doctor before coming into the post office. Pray with her, pray with her, pray with her. There it was, the nudging of the Holy Spirit. This was the first time since Subway that I had been called to pray over someone in public, in the Post Office, 4 days before Christmas.
As God would have it, there were many opportunities I had been given between then and now to grow in my confidence in Christ, my discernment of His voice, and the absoluteness in valuing His opinion over the worlds. I made it through the line quickly and as I walked up to the woman who was finishing up at a table off to the side, I asked, “Ma’am, could I pray with you?”
She appeared puzzled but then said, “uhhhh yeah, sure.”
“Great, thank you, what’s your name?” And after she answered, I took her hand, placed my other hand on her shoulder, closed my eyes, and began to pray. I wasn’t concerned about the growing line of people, or those coming in and out, walking by. I wasn’t worried if they thought I was crazy or if they overheard my words of prayer. I wasn’t concerned with what words would come out and if they would make sense. Jesus says not to be worried as you go before others in His name. He will give us speech and wisdom that no one will be able to contradict. As I prayed the Spirit welled up inside of me, it was almost like waves of His overwhelming presence. Every word intricately woven together providing this stranger to me, but a daughter of God’s, exactly what she needed to hear. As I finished praying, tears were streaming down her face. “Thank you, just thank you.”
As I looked down to grab my keys I saw the extra book I had accidentally brought in sticking out of the top. I carried in three but only needed to send two. I smiled, and said, “well I thought this was by accident that I brought in this extra book, but I should’ve known God’s hand was upon it. This must be for you”, and handed her a copy of Open with Your Broken.
We hugged and I left, overwhelmed by the love God has for us. Thank you Father for entrusting me with this opportunity to serve you and impact that woman in such a profound way. If we are obedient to His calling, then through us, He will meet people at the exact time, like a Friday afternoon in a busy Post Office right after they received some really hard news from their doctor. This divine providence allowing Him to let us know we are loved and not going through life alone. She needed that and praise God that I was able to be His hands and feet for just a moment to deliver His message of encouragement and love.
Sometimes we can get so caught up in the world, what they might think or say, we forget that we are called by the Creator of the universe. He knows what each person needs at just the right time, and if you are obedient, if you listen for His voice, you can be an amazing part of spreading that message in miraculous ways.
Love you people.