Several times I have tried to preach on prayer along the lines of, ….what do we expect from prayer? Do we really believe God will hear and will answer? I have preached several times about how surprised I was at getting an answer very quickly and yes at times instantaneously. Wow! Yes! It does happen! Not always, of course, but how excited we get when it does happen. Today at work I had a marvelous answer to prayer. It took about 4 hours but it was a wonderful experience.
After our shift change report, I left the nursing station and went out to the day room where I sat down and began to watch the patients. I felt like I wanted to pray for each one of them and did so. I began to watch one of our patients who is 23 years old. He came to us over a week ago after trying to kill himself in jail. He has been so depressed since coming to us, just wanting to sleep all the time and not interacting with any of the other patients. I begin to pray for him, and I asked the Lord to help him find a way out of his stress and problems. After praying I went about my other daily chores. About 4 hours later after all the patients had gone to bed it was my time to do the 20 minute checks. ( We check the patients every 20 minutes, and we have to write down where they are at etc. ) I went into his room and he wasn’t in his bed. I called his name and he came out of the bathroom. I told him I was just checking on him. He took one look at me and said, “The Chaplin was supposed to come talk to me today, but he didn’t show up. I needed to talk to him about something.” I responded by saying, “The Chaplin?” He said “Yeah, you know, a preacher.”
I looked at him and said, “What do you want to talk to him about?” He looked confused, and then said, “I want to talk to him about my troubles. I need someone to talk to.” I then said, “I am a preacher. It is not my position here, but I am a preacher, and I will be glad to talk with you.” His eyes got real big when I told him I was a preacher. He then sat on the side of his bed and I sat on the chest beside his bed and he began to tell me many tragic things that has happened to him. His dad deserted his family, his mother got hooked on drugs, his twin brother got into serious trouble with the law, and his sister was unmarried and expecting a baby. He has seen many other troubles but I can’t list them all.He told me he has been living with his Uncle who is an alcoholic. This young man got drunk and was arrested for public intoxication. He said it was a parole violation and he has already been told if he got into trouble he could go to prison for 2 years. He said “I am so stressed out, and really feel like no one anywhere cares about me. I want to straighten out my life but I don’t think I can. He told me many other things and I talked to him at length about the only one that can help him change his direction. I said, “I will be honest with you. I was looking at you in the day room this afternoon and I started praying for you. I have been watching you ever since the day you were admitted. He was crying many tears.
I can truly say that this young man is not just fearing prison. He is fearing being estranged from God. He has attended church and at one time lived a Christian life.
He is being sent back to jail Thursday ( tomorrow ) I told him I wished he lived in Chattanooga and he could go to church with me. To make a long story short I then went up to the chapel where I take a supply of Bibles as often as I can. I consider that to be part of my ministry. I went and got him one and a little devotional booklet. I wrote my phone number on it and told him to call me when he really needs someone to talk to. About an hour later I had to go into his room to see about another patient. The young man was in his bed reading the material I had given him. He looked so content and happy. He certainly had not looked like that since coming to our hospital.
Now why have I said all of that especially at this late hour. I am so tired and worn out. It has been a very stressful and tiresome day. But I had to place this before you who believe in prayer. If you do not believe in prrayer, then this is not for you. Please pray for this young man who is so troubled. He will need much prayer in the days to come. I can’t give you his name. But “J.P.” will do. God knows his name. Pray for him to trust and call upon the one that can help him through all of his troubles. Lift this young man up in prayer as I have and will continue to do.
I Just a sinner myself and needing the Lord as much as this young man does. We all do, yes we all do.
In The Mercies Of Our Loving Lord,
Eddy A. Flick