"As an experiment, we should mentally ask God if any person we pass in our daily activities- grocery shopping, going into the pharmacy to pick up something, getting gasoline, people we deal with in our jobs- needs to be in His presence."Her excellent suggestion reminded me of someone I have been praying for every morning on my way to work. I drive about 32 miles one way, most of which is through the forest, so I pass by very few human beings that early in the morning. I may happen to see a family of Sandhill Cranes,
However, on school mornings I often pass by a few kids waiting for the school bus. Actually, only three are out at that hour, and they are spread apart by a couple of miles between them, so they each wait alone in the semi-darkness for the bus that will take them on a ride for at least twenty miles to their high school. One in particular has caught my attention. I have no idea who he is, or anything about him except that he looks sad. What made me take notice is that he always stands rather carelessly close to the road, not looking at anything in particular, and most of the time he is hanging his head and slumping his shoulders, allowing his very stringy, greasy, unkempt longish hair to hang over and cover his face, looking very much like a lonely, unhappy, miserable young man. My first thought was that I wished I could wash and comb his hair and pull it up and out of his face. Then one day I noticed that his face was covered with pimples, which could explain why he wants to keep it covered...but it could also be why he has the pimples in the first place. Yeah, I was being somewhat critical...and then God challenged me to pray for him. My heart began to break for him as I started to pray and request God's protection, strength, encouragement, and love to embrace and cover him. I prayed for the light of God's love and salvation to reach through the darkness of his life and draw him close. I've prayed for his family, whoever they may be or whatever situation they may be in, that they will be drawn to the Lord, and if there are any serious issues, that they may be healed and strengthened.
As I said before, I don't know who this young man is, and I have no way of learning unless I stop the car and talk to him, which would probably scare the wits out of him to have some crazy lady pull off the road at 7:30 in the morning and ask him who he is and tell him that she's been praying for him for several months now. I've actually thought about it...but haven't gotten the go-ahead from God to do that yet, so I think I will just keep praying for him as I drive by. He won't even look up at me as I pass so I can't even smile at him. But I pray that he will somehow sense that God cares about him, and that by some miracle he will gain the encouragement and confidence he needs to succeed in his life...and that he will turn his heart to Lord before it is too late.
Interestingly, the other two students that are waiting for the bus further down the road are just the opposite of this particular young man. One is a young girl, (teen), and she looks rather bored and vulnerable sitting there alone waiting for the bus. I do smile at her as I pass by, and she has now started to smile back at me. I pray for her too, that her day will go well, and that God will watch over her in all that she does.
One mile later I pass by another young man, with a clean hair cut, stylish clothes, sunglasses on a cool looking strap around his neck, and he's usually standing there texting his friends on his smart phone while he waits for the bus. He doesn't look at me either, but that's because he's too caught up in his social life in the palm of his hand. I can imagine that he's one of the "cool" kids...and I pray for him that he will be kind to the boy from down the road who looks like he needs a friend.
I wonder if my prayers are making any difference in the lives of these three young people. They are nameless to me, but not to God. Somehow I believe there is a reason I have been directed to pray for them. Now I even pray for them on the days that they aren't there waiting for the bus as I pass by their individual stops. I may never know the reasons why until we all reach heaven...but that is the desired end result...that we ALL reach heaven.
Has God placed anyone in your path lately that may need your prayers? It only takes a moment...you don't even have to close your eyes. (Definitely not if you are driving! :) ) Imagine what a difference it could make in the lives of others (and ourselves) if we paused to pray for someone we pass each day. Imagine what a difference it could make in your life if someone paused to pray for you each day!
Hmm, this could be another one of those "strengthening" exercises I have been talking about for this year!
Have a blessed day...and take a moment to pray for someone you see along your way.
POSTSCRIPT: CLICK ON THIS LINK FOR THE AMAZING RESULT OF THIS BLOG/PRAYER THAT HAPPENED JUST A FEW DAYS LATER!