Each week at our dinner for the homeless and poor at Grace, we have slips of paper for guests to write out their prayer requests, which are then typed up and emailed out. As I read through two weeks worth of prayer requests, my heart was stirred by the simplicity of the prayers – a job, a place to stay, healing, deliverance from addiction to drugs and alcohol, restoration of family relationships, provision for family members. These are things that I take for granted, things that sometimes seem so “normal” that they feel like rights. I have always had a home, a stable family, provision for every need, a car. But I didn’t earn any of that – it was all gift.
I was also stirred by the depth of the prayer requests – wisdom with how to use time and money, wisdom in raising children, a deeper understanding of the Bible, greater faith, a deeper relationship with Christ and greater obedience to Him. And I long for our church to be a place where these prayers our answered – we offer classes for parents on raising children, solid Biblical preaching each week, and we have wise men and women who could teach young Christians what it means to live life centered on Christ. There are businessmen and businesswomen who have an ability to create jobs and businesses that could sustain some of our friends.
I think that this will only happen as more people from our church attend the dinners on Wednesdays and build bridges across racial and economic divides so that our Wednesday night guests feel like they have friends waiting for them on Sunday morning, someone to walk into church with and to sit with. This will only happen as people from our church begin to feel the pain and longing of those without jobs and are stirred with compassion to do something about it.
I think that there are people at Grace who could be used as God’s answer to these prayers, they just don’t know it. I pray that God would do a new work in us as a Body, stirring even more of us to this work that He has for us.