the weblog of Alan Knox

“How can I Pray for You?”

Posted by on Dec 4, 2010 in love, missional, personal, service | Comments Off

“How can I Pray for You?”

Last Thursday, our family and some friends helped out with a local food pantry again. The food pantry provided food for almost 350 families that night.

For the most part, I “roamed” around the big room where everyone was waiting for their turn to get their groceries. I walk talk to the people (usually in groups of 2-4), get to know them, and pray with them.

Alot of people mentioned how difficult it was living in this economy. Whenever someone said that, I asked them, “Do you feel closer to God or farther away from God at times like these?” Most people said closer, but I appreciated a few people who said “farther away” or “a little of both.”

I tried to pray with everyone. A few times, the people’s number was called while I was talking with them. I didn’t want to delay them from getting their food and going home, so I didn’t make them wait for prayer. But, for most people, I asked, “How can I pray for you?” Then, I could look in their eyes as we talked with God about their situations.

Here are some of the responses that I got:

My health.

My husband lost his job yesterday.

My sons are on drugs.

I haven’t worked in two years.

Pray that my cancer doesn’t come back.

My boss keeps cutting my hours.

I have diabetes.

My daughter is in a wheelchair and just got laid off.

I need a job so I can pay child support.

I’m having an MRI tomorrow.

I own my own business, and business is very slow.

I haven’t worked in two years.

It can be draining – physically, emotionally, and spiritually – to talk to so many people who are hurting and in need. I’m glad that Margaret was with me for most of the night.

I know that I can’t solve all of their problems – in fact, I can’t solve any of their problems. But, I can care. I can be there. I can listen. I can pray.

What can you do?