Running to Prayer

I went down to New Orleans LA in order to help with Hurricane Katrina relief in June of 2010. The plan was to just do physical labor in order to be the hands and feet of Jesus. This was a mission trip that was service oriented and not overtly evangelistic. I had the opportunity to work on the house of a gentleman named Frank. Frank was not a believer. On Thursday of the week we were there, one of our team member’s daughters was going to have a job interview in Indiana and she asked if we would get together and pray for her. Our team decided that was a good idea and so at 11 AM the whole crew stopped working and circled in Frank’s front yard to pray for her interview to go well. Frank was outside, as I had spent the whole morning talking with him while we worked. We asked him to be a part of the prayer group and I thought for sure he would say he’d rather not because it would be too uncomfortable, but he said he would. As we were beginning to pray I heard something behind me. I turned around to see a man running down the street yelling that he wanted us to wait so that he could be a part of the prayer circle. He had been working on his house a few houses down and saw us gathering to pray. He wanted to be part of our prayer so bad that he was sprinting down the street when the temperature outside was over 100 degrees. We, graciously, allowed him to enter our prayer. I thought to myself, “when is the last time I ran to be a part of a prayer group because I didn’t want to be left out?” I couldn’t answer that question. Maybe we need to be a little more passionate about prayer.

We were getting ready to pray and our trip leader said we would go around the circle and take turns praying. He said if we were uncomfortable and wanted to pass, we could just squeeze the hand of the person next to us. I thought for sure that when we got to this gentleman and to Frank there was no way they were going to pray. We got to the guy that came running and he just started crying out to God in prayer for us. We were in an almost all African-American neighborhood and this gentleman thanked God for all the work we were doing in his community and for “bringing some color to the neighborhood”! He said this with a chuckle and I have to say that I never thought I would bring color to a neighborhood. How awesome is it that we can all work together and serve no matter the circumstances? We then came to Frank and I thought for sure he wouldn’t be comfortable praying, but instead he let out the most heartfelt prayer I had heard in a while. Later he would thank us for helping him in his spiritual journey. I don’t know exactly what that meant, but God was doing something in his heart. Supernatural things happen when we become the hands and feet of Jesus to people in need!