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Praying for Strangers During Lent

God guided her in creating a prayer habit that could go beyond the Lent season.

Praying hands in a car.

Last year I was looking for an activity to take on for Lent, instead of giving something up. I remembered a friend who said she had prayed for a stranger each day. My husband and I left town on Ash Wednesday for a cross-country road trip, so I decided to pray for people I met as we traveled.

I first noticed the maintenance people and cleaners at the rest areas. They’re not often thanked for working to keep things looking nice for those of us passing through. I said a prayer of gratitude for them.

Then there was the nervous new server at a restaurant who made a mistake with our order. I read his name tag and silently asked, Lord, help Tim develop confidence in his new job. A woman handed me a shark tooth on the beach. I asked her name and told her about my resolution to pray for a stranger each day. She stood straight up and quietly said, “Thank you.”

I never felt I chose the recipients; God gave me a nudge in their direction. He still does—Lent ended, but someone’s always in need of prayer.

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