parking lot prayers

Yesterday I was climbing out of my car in the parking lot of a store where my husband had bought jeans last week. The jeans were a no-go so I was returning. Before I got 20 feet from my car, a women stopped me saying she was job searching, very hungry and wanted money. My first reaction was to keep walking, but I stopped. I don’t carry cash so there wasn’t anything I could do for her. Or was there? I paused and asked her name. I explained that I didn’t have cash, but asked if I could pray with her.

In my brief parking lot prayer, I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to look up at the grocery store next door. I ended the prayer and invited the women and her husband to grab lunch at the store with me. There are circumstances when going with a stranger is unsafe, but after talking with the women I knew that she was honestly job searching and needing some refreshment. She intended me no harm – and God was directing. So I walked into the store to buy them lunch.

My time with this couple was a delight. I waved goodbye after getting them lunch and was on my way. At home, I pondered the encounter. Did I do enough? That’s always the question I ask myself. I did do what God asked – that’s what he wanted of me. But, later this thought dropped in my heart – Is food the most important thing?

In our culture it’s easy to see a surface need, like food, clothing and shelter, then feel compelled to meet that need. This is good because Jesus encourages us in this in Matthew 25:45 and many other places in scripture. But, there is one need that surpasses all of the rest – Salvation. Do we value our Salvation more than food? I realize that I met a surface need for this hungry couple yesterday, but if I could do more it would be to ask them where their eternal home is. At the risk of sounding strange, or ‘going too deep’, making someone uncomfortable, we need to serve the greatest need that exists in a human soul.

I continue to pray for this couple, as I prayed with them and served them in a small way, that it would be a seed to faith in Jesus Christ.

My challenge for you this week – look for a person in need, meet that need and then share salvation with them. It is the greatest need any one can have.

-Elissa

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