Ronald Olson -
Did you ever imagine that six little words could change someone's life?
During John’s first walk across America, he wore a “Pray USA” sign on his backpack and carried a small yellow flag. The sight of this man walking alone down a desolate highway or through a busy community, prompted more of its share of quizzical looks and curious stares. It also prompted people to stop and ask him what he was doing.
John would explain that he was praying for this country as he walked almost 5,000 miles from north-to-south and west-to-east. But he never left it at that. When he was done answering his visitor’s questions, he would almost always ask one of his own: “How can I pray for you?”
Almost without exception, people from all walks of life would be ready with an answer. And they would be eager, hungry, at times desperate to have someone care enough to listen to their needs and pray for them. And pray, John did.
Before he would continue on his journey, he would reach out to heaven on their behalf, voicing their concerns to a loving Father, and often ministering a word of hope and encouragement to the person in need. The responses from the people were heartfelt, and sometimes surprising.
Mothers with babies, businessmen and women, people young and old were genuinely thankful (and a bit surprised) that this stranger would be willing to show such love and concern for someone he had only met just minutes before. Even a tough, roadside construction worker broke down weeping as John reached out and asked him that simple question.
As I watched John do this on and off the walk, and began to practice it myself, I began to realize there were three things common to all of these people. First, they all knew what their needs were. Second, they were happy to have someone pray for them. Third, it appeared that no one had been asking them.
When Jesus sent out His disciples into the cities where He intended to go, He told them to pray for those they met, and tell them the kingdom of God had come near to them. The result was a wave of miracle after miracle as the disciples followed their call and released God’s love.
What would happen if every believer in America began to do the same thing? Without exaggeration, we would see an unprecedented revival across this country as the miracle-working love of God would be demonstrated in every town and city, and every sphere of society. And it can all begin with that simple question, “How can I pray for you?”
It doesn’t take a big organization. It doesn’t take any money. And it doesn’t take Jesus telling us again to go. (He’s already done that.) The world is waiting for the revealing of the sons and daughters of God, waiting for someone to follow the call of Jesus. The question is: What are you waiting for?