At a place I used to work, there was this lady. I would smile and say hello to her, and she would scowl and walk by me.
My first instinct was to be mad – to get defensive and think how rude she’d been to me. After all, what had I ever done to her? Did she have something against happy people?
Then it occurred to me…maybe it wasn’t me. Maybe she just really wasn’t happy. I had no idea what was going on in her life. Maybe it was all she could do in the morning to get out of bed. Saying hello to someone might have been beyond her strength.
So…battling all my instincts to dislike and judge her…I started praying for her. Whenever my mind wandered to her or to work in general, I’d try to remember to pray. It wasn’t very often. I can tell you that much. I didn’t pray on my knees for hours, but when I thought of it, I prayed.
Then the strangest thing happened. About three months later, I happened to see her in the break room. She worked in a different department than me, and I didn’t see her often. I had to do a double take. She was beaming with a smile, laughing and talking to her coworkers.
I wasn’t even sure if it was the same person and actually had to ask someone to make sure. “Wow,” I commented. “She looks so happy.”
“Yes! I don’t know what changed, but she’s been so happy lately.”
Could it be? Could my simple prayers, imperfect and sporadic as they were, truly have had an impact on a woman I barely knew? It seemed the proof was standing right in front of me, wearing a huge smile.
It makes sense though. After all, the Bible says:
“But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you,” Matthew 5:44.
In praying for this woman, I was blessed. Seeing her smile and witnessing the transformation encouraged me in faith and prayer.
So I’ve decided to do it again…to choose someone, in secret, who seems angry and unhappy and begin praying for them. If you feel moved, I encourage you to join me. It’s an amazing way to witness the power of prayer in our lives.
Learn more about discovering the power of prayer in your life here: 7 Day Prayer Challenge.