“This is ok,” Becky said, “but it would be so much more fun to knock on people’s doors and offer to pray for them.” Josh agreed.
We were participating in 24 hours of prayer for a church and their upcoming evangelistic meetings. Prayer-walking the neighborhood was included. We were praying for the residents to know Jesus and to come to the meetings.
Shy and uneasy speaking to strangers, I reacted with fear to Becky’s idea. I imagined angry people slamming the door in my face. Becky and Josh agreed that they would knock on doors, while I could safely stand behind them writing down the prayer requests.
At the first house, a young woman opened the door. Suspicious, she asked what we wanted. Becky explained, “We’re from the Adventist church down the road, and we wondered if you had a need for prayer.”
“I can’t believe you’re here!” she exclaimed. “I was just telling my husband this week that we needed to get back to church, that we needed God. My husband has been out of work for a year, and I have for six months. The bank took our home back. We’re here living with my husband’s parents.”
Becky prayed with her. Shaking our hands, she asked, “What church did you say you’re from, and what is the address?”
Feeling brave, I knocked on the next door. With stomping feet, a large woman appeared, shouting, “What do you want?”
I immediately jumped off the porch. Josh and Becky didn’t move and met her glare with big smiles. “We’re from the Adventist church down the road,” Josh piped in. “Do you have a prayer need?”
Still yelling, she said, “Yes, you can pray for me and my whole family! My son just died yesterday!” After we had prayer with her, she said in a quiet voice, “Thank you for coming. I’m a Baptist, but I know God sent you here today.”
We needed to head back to the church. But as we passed by a house, a young woman got right in my face and asked what I was doing. “We’re just going around offering to pray with people,” I whispered.
“You’re praying with people?” she announced loudly. From the garage, a young man pointed and said, “You need to pray for the people in that house. Their son died yesterday.” Josh told him we’d already prayed with them and then asked, “How can we pray for you?”
The young man looked at his bottle of alcohol and shook his head. “There’s no hope for me. I’ve tried to quit. I just can’t.”
Immediately Josh said, “Yes, there is hope! God saved me out of alcohol and drugs. He can save you! Can we pray with you?”
Shocked, the guy asked, “You mean now?”
“Do I have to pray?”
“OK, I guess you can,” he agreed. After all three of us prayed, his eyes filled with tears. “Thank you! What church are you from? Do they have help for people like me? Where is it located? How do I get there?”
It felt like God was shaking me, saying, “Janet, will you get out of your shyness! There’s a world out here that desperately needs to know I love them and I have a better life for them.” In this issue, we will explore reaching out with kindness and love to our neighbors and communities. I hope you will join me in spending quality time with God, asking how He wants you to reach out and love people to Him.