As a self-proclaimed atheist/agnostic, the last thing i would have thought i would catch myself doing was to pray. Yet, circumstances had changed. I had become aware of a person who desperately needed help. I really wanted to give aid, but helping was circumstantially impossible. That may have been one of my first experiences with sincere, unconditional compassion. There was nothing i could do. Or was there? As the situation got worse for my friend, i got desperate. There remained only one thing i could think of that i could do, and that was to beg to the God, of whom i didn’t acknowledge the existence, if indeed He existed at all, for help. Now, how’s that for a sentence? Anyway, i went out on a limb with my philosophical principles and prayed, although, at that time, i refused to call it praying. It went something like this:
Desperately, I Prayed: ”God, are you real? Are you there? Some people think you are, and they say you hear when people talk to you. If you are listening, can you prove it? Would you please, please help my friend?” I felt nothing except a vague sense of relief that i had exhausted the last possible solution.
And, in a short time, He showed up!
It wasn’t long before the situation improved dramatically. Only God could have worked in this precise and exact way! It was NOT coincidence nor superstition! Those arguments - my old crutches – could no longer be applied. I knew it had to be Him! I could feel the truth being made manifest in my heart. He was saying “Yes, it’s Me, yes, I am here, I Am!” Then He made sure that i knew it was Him through miraculous signs and wonders keyed just for me for the next several weeks. Actually, He has never stopped!
I had opened the door a crack and He stepped in. I am certain that the Holy Spirit was responsible for helping with my decisions as well as holding off the enemy until i could stand on my own. That’s not to say i can do much of anything on my own, for i rely on His strength every day. On my own efforts, i probably would never have offered that first prayer.
Six years later, i know that a prayer in behalf of someone else is called “ intercessory prayer”. ‘Standing in the gap’ in sincere, unconditional prayer for others is important. So is ‘the sinner’s prayer’ – an admission of guilt and a plea for mercy . So are prayers of praise and of thanksgiving. But that one short, confused, desperate prayer was integral in leading to my redemption, salvation, rebirth, and transformation. Thank you Jesus! And thanks be to God that in desperation, i prayed.
Read the short poem by the same name here.
By the way, i sometimes refer to myself as “i”. That is because i don’t like to glorify my own name. I would rather reserve that for I AM – for Him. I hope it’s not too distracting, but if it is, i’ll consider standard form, lol.