populated prayer…

Starting this past November, we’ve been encouraged to choose at least one day each month where we spend the entire “work day” in prayer of some sort. In December, I spent my day at Allerton Park in Monticello. In January, I spent my day walking around Durley Campground in Greenville, IL…praying for the teens of our conference, and for the event FROSTBITE 2010, taking place there that weekend.

So here we are in February, and I’ve chosen to spend my prayer day surrounded by people. I couldn’t do this in Decatur, as there’d be too many people I might accidentally know and be tempted to spend large amounts of time in conversation. Not that I’m against conversing with someone near me if they begin one.

Like the conversation I’ve just had with the older couple next to me. Jim and his wife are visiting from Peoria, for an auction nearby on President Lincoln memorabilia. We talked briefly about Lent, and they were surprised to hear I’d celebrated Ash Wednesday with our youth. Jim told the following story about temptation:

“There once was a man who’d given up coffee cake for Lent. He loooooved his coffee cake. So much so, he prayed one morning, “God, I know I’ve given up coffee cake, but if the bakery I pass on the way to work has an empty parking spot, I’ll know it’s you giving me permission to eat it today.” So he got into his car, and headed to work. It took about 9 times around the block, but he eventually found an open spot.” 🙂

Jim’s wife talked a bit about a program they’re helping sponsor to encourage young people in Peoria to become active citizens. Jim talked about reading the obituary page every day, noticing how many people claim a church where they worship; then rambled a bit about this “Lunatic Obama” who claims we’re a secular culture. 🙂

I love people. I will pray among them today, and hopefully talk with a few more. 🙂

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