Jan Johnson told the pastor she'd be glad to pass out brochures door to door. But when he handed them to her, she thought, I'd love to go home, curl up, and read a book. All her introverted, shy tendencies oozed forth. But because she'd agreed to pass out the material, she gritted her teeth and ventured up the walk to the first house.
As soon as a young mother appeared at the door balancing a toddler on her hip, Jan slipped into her habit of turning whatever's going on inside her into a prayer. Seeing the weary mom triggered it, because she felt like such a misfit when her children were small.
Jan showed her the brochure with the service times. Give her patience, God. This little one isn't potty-trained. When Jan handed her the pen with the church's name on it, the woman smiled. What a glowing smile-make Yourself real to her. As she left the house, she saw that her real task was to pray for everyone she encountered.
Soon Jan began enjoying this new role as pray-er so much that she stopped at homes abandoned due to damage from an earthquake and prayed for the people who used to live there. Living with relatives can be difficult, God. Sustain them. This task of going door to door, which started out as a dreaded duty, became a time of prayer.
We can turn the thoughts in our head and the urgings of our spirit into prayer. For example, Jan felt annoyed each time she looked at the basketball backstop in their backyard. Her friend's son, Justin, had pulled the basket down. When it broke, he laughed and said, "I guess it's not the kind that pops up." Now every time she looked at it, she felt annoyed with Justin. Then she felt annoyed with herself. Justin had been in a drug rehab center lately and had gotten out. His parents had their hands full. Why couldn't she use the broken backstop as a reminder to pray for Justin? So she did.
Dear Jesus, teach me to live with a spirit of prayer and see others with Your eyes.
"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful" (Col. 4:2).