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Pray Anyway
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“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

“What’s that music box you’re carrying?” asked the new resident at the Senior Center.

“It’s so I can play music CDs for the chapel service,” I responded. They hadn’t told him about the weekly service.   

“The King James Bible is the worst book ever published!” he exclaimed, looking toward my Bible bag. He then told me of his Jewish heritage (“non-practicing”) and of his lineage that extended to long before the Jews became a nation.

“I actually have an English translation of the Hebrew Torah in my bag. You’re welcome to borrow it. It includes the New Testament, though.”

He ignored my offer and went on to talk about his troubles and the chain of events that brought him to this place as a wheelchair-bound “guest.”

I listened quietly for over two hours, silently praying and asking questions only for clarity or commenting briefly to indicate my understanding. He lived in the world of secret societies and the supernatural. A wave of his hand could open and close doors.

As his story wound down and I indicated my need to leave, his self-confidence seemed to waver. “Please… pray for me,” he asked.

Please Pray for Me

“I will,” I said, wondering why he would ask me, a Christian, to pray.

When I got to my car, I asked God about it.

The response to my inner hearing was instant: “I desire this man’s heart.”  

Praying often during ensuing days and enlisting the aid of my prayer partner, I wondered what words of hope and encouragement I could offer this new friend. Then it occurred that I had the book just right for him: my Complete Jewish Bible.

I’d already marked favorite passages, like Psalm 139. I began placing text markers, in both Old and New Testaments, that I thought might comfort and encourage.

This time I sought him out. He was grateful for a visitor. His week had not gone well. Before I left, I offered the Bible. “It’s yours if you want to keep it.”

As he reached his hands to grasp the book, he suddenly turned his head away. Only then did I realize he was crying. In that moment I glimpsed God’s heart for him.

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God" (Romans 8:26, 27).

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By Lois Pecce. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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