And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
I stepped out onto the porch, closing the door behind me. It was early on a Saturday morning, there was no traffic, few people out and about and the cool air beckoned me on a peaceful walk. I intended to walk one of my fave routes that takes me past some of the loveliest homes in our neighborhood. But God had other plans.
As I picked up my pace on the sidewalk in front of our neighbor’s house, I heard the word “Khalil”. Not with my physical ears but with my spiritual ears, the way you hear the Spirit’s nudge. He is my friend and I like him very much, I’m just not in the mood to talk. I was looking forward to a quiet peaceful time of prayer as the Spirit might lead me. I had a little conversation with myself. God doesn’t really care which route I take does he? Of course He does, He cares about every detail of my life. Maybe God wanted me to speak again of Jesus to Khalil, invite him to church again, somehow continue my believer’s witness to him. But I really want to walk this other street; I can walk down Khalil’s street any time, maybe later this afternoon. Just not now. I wanted to have my prayer time.
I kept walking, up “throw-up” hill and back down again, where I’d have to make the decision which direction to take. “I want you to take the path by Khalil’s.” Sighing, I knew I needed to obey God, even in these small things. Maybe especially in the small things. Yes Lord, not my will but Yours. I took the turn toward Khalil’s.
Several blocks later I rounded a corner onto his street. He is usually out in his yard early in the morning, always with a friendly smile, an invitation to see the latest improvements to his garden and a friend’s broken lawn mower to bring back to life. But today his garage door was down and there was no sight of him. That’s strange, I thought, I hope he is okay. I said a quick prayer for him and his family.
As I passed by on the opposite side of the street I glanced over at the house I was in front of. A young man sat on a stool in the yard, sanding some kind of material in his lap. “Hi” he said softly. I smiled and said hello. I hadn’t taken two steps when I KNEW I was to pray for that man. The Spirit gave me the words, and I began to pray that he would not take his life, that he would fight the demons of depression and let the Lord show him there is hope. I prayed for his salvation, or if he was a believer that He would turn to the Word and find the comfort, strength and hope waiting for him there. I was absolutely, totally convicted that I must pray for this stranger. I asked God to send him a special visitor, or letter, or an angel to be with him today, to move him to pick up a Bible and read it, to show him the way through and not let him settle on a permanent solution to a temporary problem. My prayer that he be given strength to make the decision to accept the transforming love of Jesus, to turn to God before he died so that he would be with the Lord and not in a place of forever torment, put goosebumps on my arms. Arms and legs pumping, my heart was pounding as well. This was serious, and I felt the enormous responsibility of interceding for this man.
Turning onto the last leg of the walk, my spirit began to settle and I began to cry.