Friday, October 03, 2008

The Prayer Warrior and the School Teacher

The young school teacher works out three times a week at Snap Fitness. She first noticed the older man on the treadmill where, as he exercised, he read out of a “Billy Graham Hymnal” (her words) and was continually reading note cards.

As the teacher studied the older man, she realized that she had met him before; he had been in her school as a substitute teacher. The teacher introduced herself and was surprised when the older man said he remembered her. She apologized for not remembering his name; his name is Paul.

Paul told the teacher, “I bet you wonder what I do when I walk on the treadmill.” The teacher said she did and Paul proceeded to tell her. “These note cards are my prayer cards. I have people’s names on these cards and I pray for these people when I walk on the treadmill. I have your name right here.” Yes, the old prayer warrior had been praying for her by name since the first day they met at school. The old prayer warrior said, “I bet you think I’m weird.” The teacher replied, “No, I think it’s cool. Thank you. Yes really, thank you.” “You see” she continued, “we had a neighbor named Myrtle who was a prayer warrior and prayed for all the neighbor kids every day. When Myrtle walked, she would pray for the people in each house on the street as she passed by. If you waved to Myrtle when she was walking, she seldom waved back because when was so engrossed in prayer.”

“Look” said the older man, “I’ve worn out these note cards.” The teacher looked at the cards and they were tattered and worn. He said to her, “This is my second set. I left the first set in the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.” He went on to explain that he and his wife went on a trip to the Holy Land and he took his first set of prayer cards along and left them in the Wailing Wall. It is tradition to leave prayer requests in the cracks in the Wailing Wall. He said the requests are picked up and they are buried in the Garden of Gethsemane. This left a lasting impression on the young school teacher.

Jesus prayed this in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before He was crucified. John 17:13-23 - "I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, (this is us today) that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

The older man told the teacher that he hadn’t realized the power of prayer until a few years ago after his mother died. She was a prayer warrior and she used note cards to keep track of the people for whom she was praying. The older man said he wanted to carry on his Mom’s tradition. He now realizes how his faith has grown as he sees the reality of prayer and the reality of Christ.

What a blessing to be blessed by a man such as this. What an example has been set by his mother and now him. You see, that young teacher is our daughter Katie. Katie’s first prayer warrior was our Cokato neighbor, Myrtle Breitholtz. Isn’t God good? Isn’t God great? Let this be an encouragement and challenge to all of us.

Pray on, Christian; pray on. Amen

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