In a nation that seems to be trying to kill prayer in public places it is becoming daunting for a christian to ask to pray for someone that they do not know it a public place. I feel like if you have ever served anyone in any fashion there has been a sense from the Spirit of God to want to pray for that person. After we get that sense of needing to pray for that person we sit there and battle back and forth if it is appropriate, if it would be awkward, or if this as a God ordained feeling. Sometimes we do take the step forward and we say, ” Is there anything I can pray for you about?” most of the time the people will say, “No, everything is great.” Sometimes people will open up if you ask this way, but in our outreach experiences for the most part people are reluctant to open up for you to pray for them about specific struggles in their life… especially if you are in a public place like a restaurant or gas station, etc.
Enter the 10 second prayer. A pastor named Steve Sjogren has been serving people in practical ways for over 30 years and he claims to have never been turned down when he asks to pray for the people he is serving, but he does it a bit differently. Steve, after getting done washing toilets, raking leaves, passing out soda, etc. will say, “Do you mind if i pray a 10 second prayer with you?” The people always say yes to this request and then he asks if there is anything specific that he can pray for. If they tell him specifics he prays (with his hand on their shoulder) for no more than 10 seconds for God to meet their requests. If they do not have anything specific he thanks God for letting him meet that person and asks God to bless them in the name of The Father, The Son, and The Spirit.
This way for praying for people has revolutionized the way that we pray for people on our outreaches. A few weeks ago we were putting on a free gift wrapping outreach and a man was sharing with one of our servers named Ashley that his daughter (who was not beside him at the time) has had kind of a tough Christmas season because it was the 5th year anniversary of her husband who had tragically passed away in a car wreck. Ashley finished up wrapping their gifts and asked, “Can I say a 10 second prayer for you?” The father and the daughter who had just walked up agreed, but they did not ask for anything specific to be prayed for. The father, daughter, and Ashley huddled together in the middle of a shopping store and Ashley prayed a quick 10 second prayer and was done. The family walked off with their presents in hand and with tears in their eyes. We got back to work wrapping and about 10 minutes later the father came back in and gave Ashley a big hug and told her how much it meant to their family that she prayed for them. This was a special moment that God’s spirit moved in a 10 second time period to comfort someone through their struggles. Since I have been asking people if I can say a 10 second prayer for them no one has turned me down and God has moved through simple words for 10 seconds in spectacular ways.
Tomorrow we are going to be serving people in a practical way by raking their yards for free and telling them that Jesus loves them. We will hand them a card that says ” We hope this small gift brightens your day. There are no strings attached. We just want to let you know God loves you.” After we are done raking we will send one or two people back to the door and ask them to say a 10 second prayer with them.
Come serve with us, no matter how comfortable you are with talking with people there will be something for you to do. Raking leaves does not require much skill or an outgoing personality, but we have asked God to pack our rakes and our bags with his kindness that leads to repentance. We are meeting at the Weatherford Public Library @ 10am and will be done by 12pm. Hope to see you there!