Do you remember the song we used to sing as little kids? The song with the lyrics, "It's me, it's me, it's me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer. Not my father, nor my sister but it's me O Lord, standing in the need of prayer." We typically would sing this song right after we sang the lyrics to "Jesus Loves Me." We used to sing these songs a lot, in the middle of Sunday school or at some point in summer Bible School. I wonder why we stop singing these songs as adults? Why are these songs sung most often by children and not by adults?
Since Mount Vernon Place is located in the center of a major city, we often have people who come in the doors in order to request something from the church -- a few dollars for the Metro, some money for food, or directions to the nearest shelter. Yesterday, a young man walked into the doors with a simple request, "I need some prayer." I met him at the door, and he immediately began to share with me how he had recently been "down and out" with no job and two kids to care for. However, God has answered his prayer as he has just found a job. He now needs to be able to get to his job. He then said, "My only request is for you to pray that I will be able to get back and forth from work this week." He did not ask me for money for the Metro or fare for the bus. Instead, he said he knew that God would provide for his needs and said, "Will you please pray for me?"
It's been a long time since I have walked up to anyone and said, "Will you please pray for me?" More often than not it seems as though I rely upon my own ability to get me to and from work, to keep my body healthy, and to keep food on my table. I often forget that all of these needs are met not through anything that I do but rather through the resources that God has entrusted to my care. Too often, I turn towards my own strength and ability to meet my needs instead of saying, "I know that God will provide." I take so much for granted.
This young man reminded me of a lot I learned as a child. He reminded me that all that we have is a gift from God. He also reminded me that no matter what our needs are, that we should ask the Lord to supply them. He very poignantly claimed that God would provide his needs.
I took the man's hands yesterday, and we prayed together. It was a simple but powerful prayer -- the kind of prayer where you can feel God coming close in order to listen. And, there is no doubt in my mind that this man made it to work today...through the grace of God. I also made it to work today...through the grace of God.
At Mount Vernon Place, we are trying to create an authentic Christian community where all are welcome. We are trying to create a place where we can bring our deepest sorrows and are abundant joys. We are trying to create a place where anyone can come...just as they are. I yearn for a place where anyone can walk in and say, "I just need a little prayer," and be greeted by people who are prepared to pray, trusting that God really does supply our every need.
It's me, it's me, it's me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer.