My friend, Stanley, is a prayer warrior. With a capitol PW. He works in the Treasury office of our church’s world headquarters, helping manage its resources all over the world. And he’s good at it. You can catch him in his office from early till late, but let me save you some time. Don’t go by to see him during mid-morning break. Or afternoon break. Or lunch break. During those times you’re more apt to find him in someone else’s office, kneeling by their desk, with his hand on their shoulder, or with tears running down his face. He’s helping pray them through a crisis, a hurt, a disappointment. I don’t know how he finds them, he just does.
Since we’ve all discovered ZOOM, Stanley has another tool in his bag. He loves to get a group of pray-ers together from all over the world and intercede with God for their needs. They may last for 24-hours. One evening Ruthie and I joined his ZOOM call, and he was leading an intercession session with folks in eleven countries. The Middle East, much of Europe, and all across Asia. His smile was nearly as wide as the ZOOM screen and it was reflected on the faces of the participants, even though not all of them could understand each other. In that particular event he was on line with them for four hours.
Another magnificent obsession is his love to pray for prisoners. For the last twenty years he has often spent Saturday night – all night – praying with prisoners in a nearby state prison. He has made arrangements with the prison chaplain, goes right in among the inmates and prays a blanket of love over one after another, many of whom can’t see that tomorrow has any hope. He knows many of them by name and his real-world caring comes through. If you see him first thing Monday morning you’ll know from the glow still on his face that he has helped lead a broken prisoner to the first feel of freedom he has had for a long time. Let me tell you about one of them…
A man named Juan responded to Stanley’s appeal to accept the blood of Jesus to pay for the sinful life he had lived. You needed to talk to Juan for only a few minutes to be convinced his decision was real. A few months later he was released early on “good behavior.” After some amazing negotiations he received a passport and headed for Jamaica. The reason was to get better acquainted with a young woman who had recently become a penpal. When her parents learned of Juan’s history they were deeply distressed. How could they give their approval when Juan had so recently been in prison? Juan suggested the parents phone Stanley. So they did. Stanley’s counsel was that they simply get acquainted and watch his life carefully. So they decided to follow his suggestion; the wedding is scheduled for early summer.
Stanley has a new favorite verse: “Then the king will say…I was in prison and you came to visit me…” Matt 25:34, 36.
By Don Jacobsen