“My servant Job shall pray for you.”
Job 42:8b KJV
Before sunrise, Pastor Troy unlocked the doors of Countryside Church. It was his custom to pray for the people before they arrived. He touched the back of the pew where Bessie customarily sat.
“Father God, I lift Bessie to you.” A tear trickled down his cheek….
Outside, the sun crested as congregants arrived.
Bessie asked Sue to keep a secret, “Pastor visited a liquor store.” She lifted an empty whiskey bottle from the trash….
Pastor glanced out the window, “Lord, I’m not worried about the tale she’ll spin. The bottle is in the church trash because I gave Buster a ride home. I’ll gladly help him again.”
Pastor read Job 42:8b “My servant Job shall pray for you.” Here, God was inviting Job to pray for three fickle friends. Job stood in the crossroads; his prayers could make a difference in the course their lives took. This gave Pastor the fortitude to pray for Bessie.
He realized each day he prayed his perspective changed. He now saw Bessie as broken but reachable. He didn’t see any changes yet, but he knew love would win.
Pastor read the words Stephen prayed as the crowd stoned him, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge (Acts 7:60b KJV).” Pastor recalled that Paul (Saul) had participated. Because of Stephen’s dying prayer, Paul had repented, and had become the most prolific Bible writer.
Pastor thought about Jesus’ dying prayer, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34b KJV).” While Jesus’ enemies gambled for His clothing, He chose to extend forgiveness.
“Father, forgive Bessie, too…” He hoped his prayers could help rewrite Bessie’s story. He brushed away a tear.
Pastor moved to the next pew section, praying blessings on all who came to Sunday service, calling in salvations, healings, marital restoration, and family unity.
Pastor walked towards the door.
“Father God, help me to make Jesus’ story real to every person You permit me to minister to. Help me to share Your Son’s gift of salvation.”
He swung the church doors wide.
“Welcome!” Pastor said, greeting each person with a hardy handshake. He knew a secret he longed for Bessie to learn—that God’s love transforms rivals into friends.
Lord God, help my prayers to be a wellspring of life for those who are far from You.
Published: Sept 7, 2019: Christian Devotions Ministries: Cindy Sproles, Executive Editor: Martin Wiles, Managing Editor: www.christiandevotionsministries.us
Diane Virginia Cunio is the author of The Kiss of Peace: The Bride’s Exploration into Song of Solomon (awaiting publication). Find her stories, devotions, and articles at: Christian Broadcasting Network, Christian Devotions Ministries, Faith Beyond Fear, Pentecostal Publishing House, The Secret Place, and other ministries. Contact Diane at: www.vinewords.net