Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pray for Them

Do you ever walk into a store, look around you at all the people, and wonder about them and their lives? I have a habit (not sure if it's good or bad) of wondering about different people. I wait in a Starbucks line and see all the different people in line and around the room. There's a group of girls laughing and giggling, an old man by himself, a few different men and women rigorously typing on laptops, and I wonder who they are. I wonder if they know the Lord, if they are struggling right now, or if they are celebrating.  It really is none of my business what their lives are like, but somehow this wondering helps remind me to pray for them.

I wait in the check-out line at Walmart. The lady keeps swiping different cards; none go through. She had to take her groceries to the customer service desk. My heart goes out to her. I pray that God will provide for her. I don't know her situation, or why none of the cards worked, but I know it's frustrating and I pray.
The cashier mentions something about getting back from maternity leave and the man in front of me says, "Did ya have twins or triplets?" She replies that she only had one to which he replies with sarcastic shock, "What! Only one. You should have had twins or triplets." She looks away. He leaves and her face is downcast. She looks sad and discouraged. I pray for her and her baby. I pray for the man that needs to learn a little tact. There's not much I can do to help her. So I pray and make sure I congratulate her about her baby. She smiles.

Everyone has struggles. Even the toughest cookie you meet has struggles and moments of discouragement, regardless of whether they hide it or not. It's not my job to pry and make their business mine, but I can pray for them. It's not that I have some amazing, compassionate heart. No, it wouldn't be hard for me to just ignore them like I used to, but God has changed my heart. Rather than dwelling on my own circumstances, He has helped me to think about others and pray for them. I will probably never know if that lady was eventually able to pay for her groceries. I will probably never know how the cashier and her baby are doing. But I can pray for them. I can pray that God would lead them and that they would come to know Him if they don't already. God doesn't always place witnessing opportunities in your lap. Sometimes you only have 30 seconds to tell someone something before they're gone. But that doesn't mean we can't pray for them. They need our prayers and love. We need to get over ourselves and start thinking about others. Sometimes it's hard. I know, I've been there. Let me tell you though, it is far more fulfilling to spend that time praying for others than thinking only about yourself.

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