Driving down the street in a twelve-passenger van, all of a sudden it skids to a stop and a couple of guys jump out and start talking about Jesus! They walk down the street and into random stores and start asking cashiers and employees about their faith life. The first thing one of the cashiers said to them is “y’all are crazy!” And laughed in their faces. Oh… and did I forget to tell you? One of those guys was me.
As part of my formation, I paired up with one of my brothers here in community and preached the Gospel of Christ literally in the streets. We encountered a few different people but, two employees from a dry–cleaners stand out in my memory.
We introduced ourselves as missionaries and already were getting funny looks. We ask them if they go to church, they respond honestly and say they don’t, but both believed they should. We also tell them that our missionary focus is teenagers, but also involve the people in our community with prayer and hands-on evangelization – inviting others to grow in their faith, and reminding them that they are loved.
By the looks on their faces, they didn’t really want to talk to us and were looking back and forth to one another and thinking, “Here we go again.” After talking about how important it is to spread the word of God, they were desperately waiting to ask us, “So, are you going to pray with us and invite us to your church?” Apparently, they have people walking in all the time inviting them to different churches and events, and asking for donations.
We let them know that, that isn’t our intention at all and that our mission is to help others better their relationship between them and God. Immediately they gasped in relief and apologized to us for judging us wrongly as soon as we walked in the door. One of them also said, ”Oh, now we can get personal.” They shared with us a little more of their lives and really affirmed us in the ministry we are doing.
Finally, we asked them “How can we pray for you?” They happily said “Our personal lives.” And we respected their short answers. They also asked how they can pray for us, and we told them “For strength and courage to continue this missionary life of evangelization.”
They gave us warm good-byes and invited us to “Come back again.”
The most blessed part of this encounter is that, whether we see them again or not, we have challenged them to grow in their faith. With us simply responding with how they can pray for us, we have already led them closer to Christ. When they pray to God for us, their prayer life itself increases.
Brothers and sisters, lets help each other increase our relationship with Christ by sharing our prayer requests and most importantly, pray for one another. Accept your call of spreading the Gospel and let’s make the word on the street be the name of Jesus.
How can I personally pray for you?
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