Yesterday afternoon, I met up with some friends to pray for people downtown. We started from in front of Horton Plaza and followed where the Spirit led us. There were so many amazing stories of what God was doing, but as we were praying for one young man, God told me to write about him.
As we were walking along, one from our group stopped to talk to a man leaning against the wall. I’m not sure if anyone in our group wants to be named, so I’ll leave their names out, but after talking to this young man named Michael, I KNEW God wanted me to write about him, so I asked for his permission, and he said, “Yes.”
[Michael, if you’re reading this, I love you; we all love you; you’re an amazing young man; you’re not just an acquaintance; you’re our friend, so keep in touch; God has amazing plans for you!!]
One of the guys from our group started asking him if anyone’d prayed for him lately for the pain he had in his body. He was very polite and said, “No, sir,” and listened with an open heart. We gathered around to pray for him, and it didn’t take long for him to encounter God in a deep and personal way. He began to cry. After the prayers, he opened up about his journey.
Three months ago, he came out to California for a new start, but since then, has not been able to find a job and has ended up on the streets. He talked about how lonely he’s been. In three months, no one has stopped to talk to him. There’d even been moments of crying, and no one bothered to give him their time, merely made fun of him, and twenty minutes before we walked up to him, he’d been on the phone with his mom, crying.
He wasn’t sure how long he’d be able to handle it. He felt so hopeless, so alone, and his mother’d told him not to lose faith, that she was praying, and then we walked up.
He talked about how his mom was sick, so it was suggested that we pray for her right then, over the phone, so he called her and introduced us. To hear him talk to his mom on the phone was priceless. He called her “momma,” and it touched every part of the mommy-heart that beats inside me. You could hear the joy and relief in her voice, to hear that people stopped to talk and pray with him and that we called her to do the same, but instead of praying, we rejoiced!
We all started praising God: Michael holding the phone, the six of us gathered around, and Michael’s mom on the other end of the phone…all of us praising God at the same time. Talk about Power! It was such an amazing moment in time. No wonder God wanted me to write about it.
Michael was filled with hope, with goodness, with love, in a city where he’d been passed by, neglected, invisible. It’s so easy to love people. Sometimes, in church, there’s so much pressure in how to pray, in what the results should be, in what should be done…that people have a fear of trying it. Praying for people is as easy as blessing them with your time, with your smile, and with the hope laced throughout your testimony, and sometimes, you don’t even pray.
I’m so excited with what God is doing in the church, outside the church. I’m going to start coming alongside a youth leader, and we’re talking about taking the kids to the street to teach them how to talk to people, to pray with them…at such a young age. I’m so very excited!!
God is forever good, forever pursuing hearts, and forever transforming lives to look more like love.