Updated: Oct 18, 2022
Part of my position in the church office is to give food out from our food pantry ministry. We sometimes get people gas from a local gas station or get someone a room at a local hotel. Just before I was going to clock out on my lunch break, a woman called asking for help to get home. I will not get into the details, but all she wanted was some gas for her car. We made the decision that I would meet her at the gas station. Earlier that day, I was going to get gas at that same station, but it was full of cars and I did not have the patience to wait.
During the fueling, I talked to this woman about what was going on in her life. It seemed that it would be in her best interest to get back to her home and get on with her life. We said goodbye, and then, I asked her if I could pray with her! If you know me, I am not one to pray with strangers very often. With children, I will often lead a prayer when we are in a class, or about to eat. In the rest of my life, I usually ask for others to pray for a situation. My sons almost always ask for people to be safe while driving and to keep the roads clear of animals. I will pray with my kids, and I will sometimes pray out loud with my husband, but I usually just let others take the lead. I meet often with strangers, those who are needing something physical like food or gasoline. Yet, I still do not usually pray with them. I may pray for them before or after our encounter, but not during.
Back to this latest time. This feeling to ask if I could pray with this woman had to only have been from the Holy Spirit. I did not hesitate (which I usually do), but just stepped forward and said "Can I pray with you?" She allowed it, and we did. Afterwards, she felt she needed to go because there was another vehicle who needed the gas pump. I gave her a hug and she pulled out of the gas station. The man in the next vehicle reassured me that he was not in a hurry. I explained to him that I was from our church and that I was praying with her. He said, "Oh! Does your church have a food bank?" In my head, I was thinking that this man needed food. Instead, he asked if we accepted donations. Yep! I gave him the church information and went on with my business. I ended up telling the cashiers inside the station about what had happened outside. This could all only be done in the Holy Spirit! I was at first hesitant to even help the first woman because I was going to go home on my lunch break, and instead, I was able to share the love of Jesus to several people today.
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. John 14:15-17 (English Standard Version)
And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. Mark 13:11 (English Standard Version)
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. Acts 1:8 (ESV)