Yesterday we talked about the simple door opener for sharing Christ: “How can I pray for you?”
I wrote that post last Wednesday when my family was in the middle of having some repairs made in our back yard. As the workers sweated away in the back yard, I typed in my office, happy in my air conditioning. I finished my post, writing this challenge: “Today, let’s you and I look for someone who needs our prayers.”
Looking out in the yard, I noticed a worker I hadn’t seen before; someone from a different company so I headed out.
That’s when I struck up a conversation with Jimmy.
Jimmy has not lived in Charlotte long. In fact, when he first moved here, he didn’t really like it; wanted to move back to where he was from. But he stuck it out. We dialoged for a few moments about the differences in the South and where we both were from and then I began to have that nagging, “I’ve got to get back to work” feeling. That’s when I felt that first nudge:
Pay attention to the person in front of you.
I decided to spend a few more moments listening to Jimmy.
After heading inside, I located my checkbook. As I began writing my check, I noticed my pen. My pen from my church. (I go to a church that encourages us to steal the pens!)
Ask Jimmy to church came my second nudge.
Ever take a spiritual gifts test? I have and evangelism isn’t one of them. I know asking someone to church and sharing the gospel are not the same thing, but I get scared doing both! I told God, “I’ll ask Jimmy to church if I see him again.”
When I looked out in my backyard, there was no Jimmy to be seen.
I’m sorry to say I felt relieved. I didn’t have to do the scary thing. As I walked through my back door, my eyes looked through my house, all the way out the front door.
There stood Jimmy; finishing packing up.
You can see Jimmy. More nudges.
I had to obey.
Heading down my drive, I decided to act like I was getting my mail. I actually was. When I reached the mailbox, Jimmy was busy talking to another worker.
“He’s tied up, Lord.” I thought as I grabbed my mail and prepared to head up the drive.
You saw Jimmy. I felt Him pointing out.
The Lord wasn’t letting me off the hook. I meandered over toward the workers. Feeling completely awkward, I joined the conversation until the other worker left. That’s when I started a new conversation, “Jimmy, you said you were new here. Have you found a church because you should check out mine?” and I handed him my pen.
Jimmy looked down at the pen and then looked up at me. I knew he wanted to say something. Honestly, I was so afraid of what would happen next.
What happened next was Jimmy poured out his heart. I shared with him how good God was and it would help him to find a group of guys to go through life with.
After a few minutes, I again tried to button things up so I could get back to work.
But you didn’t pray for Jimmy. I felt in my spirit.
“Here, Lord? In the middle of my cul-de-sac? What if my neighbors see me and wonder what I am doing talking to man?” I quickly prayed (or was that called reasoned).
That’s for me to deal with. I felt Him reassure me.
So, I simply said to Jimmy: “Can I pray for you?”
He said, “Yes!”
And then I did my best to pray the most unchristianese (I know that is not a word) prayer I have ever prayed, beginning with: “God, sometimes life can be stinky ….”
Yep, that is what I said: life can be stinky.
After I prayed, Jimmy looked up and said, “God is here. Right here! That was the most powerful prayer I have ever heard!”
Friends, I tell you this not to boast whatsoever except to boast in God. He is so amazing!
If we simply make ourselves available, He will show up.
Even in our cul-de-sac!
The winner of yesterday’s post, my first book, “His Revolutionary Love” is Sharla Marie! Congrats Sharla! Please send me your full name and address and I’ll get it sent right out to you!
I love this post. I struggle with how to share Jesus and this is a great conversation starter. Thank you!
Nicci Ramirez says
Lynn!!!! This gave me goose bumps!!!!
Lynn Cowell says
Me too! When I ran in the house I told my daughter, “Any one who says Jesus is boring has never let Him work through them! THIS is exciting!”
Nicci Ramirez says
Susan G says
Praise God! I teared up just reading this… This is how it’s supposed to be, how we all are to just show Jesus wherever and whenever. As I go throughout my week I am going to remember this post, and how God gave you the strength to be his witness, and how you were obedient…and I will be praying I will also be obedient!
Praying for Jimmy too!
Bless you as you continue to bless others!
Mindy Nichols says
I also teared up… thanks for being so honest that this puts us out of our comfort zone – yet if we are obedient then look how we can be Jesus to those around us.
Great testimony! So encouraging..
Renee Dye says
So incredibly amazing…that is what it’s all about! I was in tears at the end! Thanks for that reminder and sharing this with us. God bless! Praying for Jimmy too 🙂
Tami G says
I love God’s amazing grace! Thank you for sharing this and giving us insight into your daily struggles– they are my struggles too! It gives me courage to step out in faith that Jesus is with us, step by step! Prayer lifted up for Jimmy!
Thank you for sharing and encouraging us to ask others how we can pray for them.Thank you Lord for all of the prayer warriors
I absolutely love this post! I have also felt that nudge from God and I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t always listen to it. This story will inspire me to step out and be brave. Thanks!
katheryn camacho says
This is beautiful, I don’t alway know when GOD is speaking to me, may be its the nudges or the hunches, ether way God is good. Thank you! Can you please keep my daughter in prayers, Alice Camacho, she ran away from home Tuesday, June 28, tucson, AZ, please , I want her to come home, please Lord. Thank you for ur posts.
I came to your Blog through today’s BibleGateway Devotional. I was delighted to read this post about your recent experience. I don’t think Evangelism has ever been one of my areas of giftedness either, and it is HARD to do things outside our comfort zones… but that’s truly when we stop being self-reliant and God can grow us. Just this week, I had a similar experience, and it really helps me to see how vitally important it is for ALL OF US to share these kinds of testimonies. What could we accomplish if we weren’t afraid of looking foolish? If we weren’t afraid of rejection? Weren’t afraid of leaving the house? Weren’t afraid of ___fill in the blank____?
A few weeks ago my washing machine had a melt down. Old me would have had a melt down, too, but the me I am now, just says, “praise Yah that the damage to the floor was minimal; and that there is a laundry-mat 2 miles down the road.” I was planning to wash clothes later in the week but my Spirit-man said “let’s wash clothes today” so I packed up everything and drove to the laundry-mat. Just as I walked in the door, an older lady approached me and asked me to help her load up her clothes into the washers. She said she had bursitis in her shoulder and arthritis in her elbow and hands. She showed me that she couldn’t raise her arm very far and told me she couldn’t even reach up to brush her hair. I should have offered to pray for her right away but I waited until I had started the laundry. Honestly, I DID hear the Spirit prompting me to pray for her when I first walked in, but I said, “Lord, I don’t have the words.” And the Spirit said, “I’VE got the Words.” So, when I asked her if I could pray for her shoulder, she was very open to it. I am NOT in the habit of approaching strangers and asking them if I can pray for them. After all, I wasn’t being asked to convert anyone, but to simply show her love. And God already knew that I would offer up the excuse of NOT KNOWING WHAT TO SAY OR PRAY – and in His Sovereignty, (and good humor?) I realized later that He had invited me to pray for a lady who spoke English as a second language,and therefore, He was also able to teach ME that it really wasn’t about MY words at all. It was about my heart… and my faith. She said, “Oh, your hands are really warm.” I told her that was her healing. About 20 minutes later she was standing in front of the clothes dryers and looked at me across the room with the most surprised face! She kept raising her arm up over her head and patting her head and looking at me. I just started laughing and clapping and saying, “Thank you, Jesus” because what else can you say?! Faith took me to the laundry-mat today and allowed for that lady to be healed. She asked me then, if I would pray for her knees and her hips, too. LOL So, of course, I did, and told her that her healing came from God, and to give Him all the praise. She came back after she loaded up her car to thank me and hug me; and to tell me that her name was Lupe, and that she was going to tell everyone what God had done for her today. And this week, I too, am telling everyone what YHWH has done for ME. I am humbled and honored to have been used in this way. True faith takes courage… and trust …and love… like a child (Matthew 18:3) – whatever decade of life you are in!