Saturday, May 13, 2006

Idea: 10 Seconds of Prayer


Here’s an approach to serving others that doesn’t cost a thing, yet it’s powerfully impacting to those that it touches. It takes some finesse and great sensitivity to do this one. I have been doing it for the past couple of years with great success. When I go into retail stores, when no one is around, and it seems appropriate (I usually wait until I get an “inspired inkling” to do this)—this is after I have engaged the person in conversation for a bit—30 seconds is all it takes… I ask them if I may pray for them for “just 10 seconds.” Obviously, if you are going to do this you need to have great sensitivity to the other person and to their situation—they could possibly get in trouble for this sort of thing if they were caught “praying on the job!”

I never approach a person cold turkey and blurt out, “May I pray for you for 10 seconds…” That would never work. I start out by showing genuine interest in them. I tend to shop in the same places over and over again in the community, so I see retail employees consistently. I’m not just buttering them up so I can pray for them. I really care about them!

Recently I was in a large electronics store. A young guy was helping me purchase some iPod accessories. As I was talking to him I learned that he was a pre-med student, a junior and had a 3.85 GPA. I told him, “That’s almost good enough to get into Med School.” He said, “What do you mean almost good enough.” I told him that I had almost gone to Med School myself and was aware of how competitive it was getting into a good school. I told him, “What you really need on top of a high GPA is the favor of God. If you have that on your side, doors will swing open that are simply amazing.” Then I said, “I am a Christ-follower—I’m not kooky or anything, but sometimes when I pray for people big things happen in their lives. May I pray for you for just 10 seconds right now?”

This is interesting. Out of the 100+ people that I have prayed for in situations like this, NO ONE has turned my offer for prayer down! I took his hand and prayed for him for 10 seconds (I kept my word)—I asked for God to open doors that no man can shut and that on his first day of Med School he would remember this moment and give great thanks to God! I looked up and he had a tear in his eye.

Of course he asked me where I go to church. Then he asked me if a person like him would fit into this church (as almost everyone asks!) I assured him he would and walked out of there about 6 inches off the ground!

Listen to those “inspired ideas” and see if God doesn’t use you, as you are oh so delicate in your friendliness, to plant some powerful seeds!

Steve Sjogren
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2 comments:

PastorBruce said...

Great idea. We call those "grace collisions". When we sense "God's nudge" we try to obey and respond. Thanks for your example.

PastorBruce said...

Great idea. We call those "grace collisions". When we sense "God's nudge" we try to obey and respond. Thanks for your example.