Operation: Light Rail- It’s a grass roots effort of volunteers to connect the reality of Christ to our communities in consistent, practical, reproducible and tangible ways at the intersections of everyday life. #OLR #loveunfiltered
(The names are changed. The stories are true.)
Two weeks ago I had the joy of bringing my Dad with me on a Friday morning as we served coffee and muffins to all the folks who frequent that intersection. My Dad & Mom pastor a Foursquare church in Santa Ynez, Ca and were in town for 10 days. It was such a blast to introduce him to the people we have been building relationships with over the past six months. When we arrived to set up the table and coffee I saw Sarah walking along the sidewalk with a black trash bag full of trash. I went over to see what she was up to. She told me she knew we were coming and wanted to clean it up for us. I was blown away! It was a gift of love on such a tangible and humble level that I will never forget it. We give out our coffee next a closed down strip club located in between a methadone clinic, a smoke shop and a bus stop. Needless to say the trash can really pile up around there as people walk by and toss their stuff. This was Sarah’s way of giving back to us and improving this area where we all hang out on Friday’s. The atmosphere was being changed by acts of kindness. I thanked her profusely and she came over for some coffee and conversation.
A little later in the morning my Dad struck up a conversation with Richard who was telling him about his high blood pressure problem. For fifteen years Richard has been fighting with high blood pressure and has not been able to get it lowered even with medication. He told my Dad that he was heading for some tests and was less then thrilled about it. My Dad asked him if he could pray for him. Richard said, “Sure”. So my Dad & Kalene laid hands on him right there. As cars were zipping by on their morning commutes down Aurora Ave they prayed for healing and a lowering of his blood pressure in the Name of Jesus. Fast forward to my conversation with Richard this morning. He couldn’t wait to tell me how his testing went. After two hours of testing with the heart specialists they couldn’t find anything wrong. His blood pressure was healthy and lower then it had ever been in over 15 years. He knew it was God who had healed him and had the biggest smile on his face as he told the tale. He asked me to make sure I told my Dad thank you for the prayers.
With this story God reminded me of the power of present tense prayers! When someone comes to you and I with a need, crises or problem it’s really easy to give them the classic Christian platitude, “I’ll pray for you.” If we are honest most of us forget to even do this once we have walked away. When I look at the Scriptures I never see Jesus or the Apostles doing this prayer delay. Let’s practice the power of present tense prayers. Let’s see what might happen if we pray in moment the need is presented. One guideline I use for myself is that if I’m feeling presently tense it’s time for a present tense prayer. Even if the one talking to you is not a Christian I have rarely found anyone who doesn’t want prayer. When all Hell is breaking loose, most people will take all the help they can get even if they don’t believe in God yet. It could be the very answer to that prayer that shows them God is real and loves them! If you decide to take me up on this present tense prayer challenge please respond to this blog. Share your stories. Let me know what happens, big or small, so we can encourage each other. Let’s expect that God is going to meet at these intersections. The truth is that when you show up, He shows up!