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What Prayer Can Do: Close for Comfort

Her impulse to minister to a stranger turned out to be an answer to that woman’s silent prayer.

Jean Durscher
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Thank goodness I had my minister, Bill, with me while I waited out my husband’s kidney operation. I would have hated to be here alone.

The thought made me look over at the other person in the waiting room. A young woman sitting on the floor with an empty baby carrier beside her. I guessed by her attire that she came from Africa.

“Do you think we should offer to pray for her?” I asked Bill.

“That’s a good idea,” he said. “Go ahead.”

Me? He was the professional here. I didn’t have any experience praying with strangers!

I approached her timidly. I knew different cultures have different views on personal space. I didn’t want to offend her. “Would you like to pray with me?” I asked.

The woman nodded and moved to a chair. I sat down beside her. Without thinking, I put my arm around her shoulders and took her hand in mine.

Why did I do that? I thought. Hadn’t I just reminded myself to respect her space?

If she was offended, she was too polite to say so. The two of us prayed for several minutes and then chatted on and off for the next few hours. My new friend was from Nigeria. Her daughter, Grace, was having open-heart surgery. When the tiny baby was finally wheeled by on a gurney, the woman leaped up to follow.

That was the last I saw of her until a week later. I’d arrived to take my husband home but was a little early, so I decided to check on baby Grace in the neonatal intensivecare unit. Try not to throw your arms around her mother, I warned myself.

Grace was sleeping peacefully with her mother beside her. She would be going home soon. I knew that that news was an answer to her mother’s prayer. But it turned out it wasn’t the only one.

“That day in the waiting room I was so desperate,” she confided to me. “When you walked over, I had just asked God to send someone to put their arm around me and pray.”

 

Download your FREE ebook, A Prayer for Every Need, by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.

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