Monday, June 13, 2011

The Power of Prayer

The Power of Prayer

I set aside a few minutes each morning for meditation and prayer.  I try to reflect on God’s word and what it means in my everyday life.  Then I pray for God’s guidance to put the things that I think he expects of me to good use. This past Saturday I had an experience that reminded me that God is listening and he does answer prayers. 

While in my morning meditation, I remembered something that I have recently heard.  I’m not sure but I think it may have been Pastor John Hagee on Glenn Beck’s program.  In any case, I remember someone maintain that the best way to serve God is to serve God’s children.  To me this means to do good toward others is to serve God.  As corny as it may sound this is like the Boy Scouts striving to do a good dead every day.  But that is what I thought about during my morning meditation; we should look for ways to help those around us in need as a way to serve our Lord.  I ended my meditation with a prayer.  I asked God to guide me and to bring me to someone that needed help so that I could better serve Him.

That afternoon my wife and I went on a quick trip to Wal-Mart to pick up a couple of things.  Going to the check-out counter, since I only had four or five things in my cart, I went to the express check-out.  At every open express counter there were, as usual, three or four shoppers waiting in line, except one.  An elderly lady was the only person at that particular counter, so, of course I chose that lane.  The lady was in one of those shopping scooters that Wal-Mart provides for their disabled patrons.  As I stopped my cart behind her and started to unload the items from my cart onto the counter the cashier was just finishing ringing up the lady’s purchases. The elderly lady had a bit of a struggle to reach from her seated position to reach the credit card scanner, but she managed to do it, however, she could not reach up to sign the electronic signature pad.  Without giving it much thought I stepped forward to see if I could help.  Fortunately the clerk saw the lady’s struggle and quickly offered to print out a sheet for her to sign so the elderly lady sat back in her seat obviously relieved.  When the cashier handed the lady the piece of paper to sign and a pen a new problem presented itself.  She had no surface upon which to rest the paper to sign it.  This too the cashier quickly noticed and picked up a one of several DVD packages that were for sale on the counter.  Since I was already beside the lady, I took it from the cashier and held the case so that the lady could sign the credit card charge without having to get out of her seat on the shopping scooter.  I then took the slip of paper and the DVD case and handed them back to the cashier.

 It was a small thing to do and I can’t imagine anyone not doing exactly what I did under the circumstances.  But when I finished I saw my wife and the cashier both looking at me with big smiles on their faces.  The cashier thanked me in a very sincere voice and said, “God bless you.”  My wife just smiled at me and patted my arm like I had done something heroic.  I felt a little embarrassed.  I didn’t do anything special; I just helped someone that needed help.  Suddenly it hit me; this was exactly what I had asked God for that morning.  I was a little stunned for a minute then suddenly I felt God’s love surround me.

 Everything had fallen exactly into place to put me there at that moment when someone needed help.  If I had not spent the few minutes that I did looking at some tools in the hardware department we may have gotten to the checkout counter before the elderly lady and been gone.  I would have never known that the elderly lady had needed any help.  Had I taken more time to pick out the new house slippers that I went there to buy the lady may have, though with difficulty, finished her purchase and left before I arrived at the counter.  Then again, I rarely go to Wal-Mart with my wife.  But today I wanted to buy something that my wife may not have been able to find for me.  And what about the fact that all of the express checkout lines were crowded, but not the one where the lady needed my help? 

When it all came together, God had guided me to be at the spot at the time when I could be of some help to one of God’s children.  I have no idea who the lady was.  All I know is that I asked God to give me a chance to help someone today, and He saw to it that I had just such an opportunity.

John A. Wilson