Have you ever wished to change one thing about yourself?

Let me clarify. I’m not talking about changing your hair color or nail polish. I’m talking about something internal. 

Do you wish you were more talkative? Perhaps you’d like to be more outgoing or friendlier. 

Maybe you’re hoping to be more carefree in social settings instead of being uptight and worried about what you will say when asked a question.

I have been asking God to change one thing in me. 

It may sound silly to the person who is fluent in this. But for me, it’s a real struggle.

What is it you’re asking?

It’s talking to strangers.

My husband has no problem with this. He thrives in social settings and loves talking to just about anyone about anything. 

I’m a one-on-one kinda girl. I could meet you as a stranger, but knowing we’re getting coffee sets my heart at ease, and by the end of our conversation, we leave as friends.

I want to be better at conversing with anyone. 

Recently I read Ephesians 6:18. It says, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and pray for all the Lord’s people.”

Hmmm? Pray on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers for all the Lord’s people. Occasion-prayers-people. Be alert, Jamie!

Do I do that? I questioned.

I mean, I pray regularly. But on all occasions, with all kinds of prayer for all God’s people?

I was convicted. I know this about myself. I check off my to-do list with little concern about who is standing in line next to me. When I do errands, it’s pretty much me doing exactly what I set out to do that day—leaving no room for the unexpected. 

I want to be willing to talk with a stranger, pray for them or give them a word of encouragement.

When the cashier at the grocery store asks me how my day is going. I always answer, “I’m Good, thank you.” As I fumble through my purse for the means to pay for my goods. Talk about self-focused.

If you read my post from last week, I told you about my friend Grace, who can talk and pray for anyone anytime. Don’t get me wrong, if I see someone hurting or in a car accident as I pass by, I initially go to prayer for those circumstances. But I think the Lord is asking me to step out of my comfort zone and be willing to speak the love of Jesus to a stranger.

So it happened.

It was Wednesday morning.

I don’t go to Walmart very often but I needed something in particular.

Sadly, Walmart was out of it. But before leaving, I grabbed some personal items in the makeup department, and for some reason, I needed to pay for these things at the little checkout counter. I handed the older woman the makeup, and just like a recording, she asked me, “So how’s your day going?” And I realized: here it is, the moment when I could be more intentional and not be so focused on myself and the things I have to get done. I answered, “My day is going well. How about you? How’s your day going?” I insisted. She began to tell me that a lot was going on in her life. “But I’m awake today and alive, so I just have to deal with it.”

She raised her voice. As I shoved my credit card into the magnetic reader to pay. I knew this was an opportunity to pray for her.

 Her name tag read “Lynn.”

“My middle name is Lynn.” I shared. She sweetly asked, “What’s your first name?”

“Jamie.” I stated.

“Jamie Lynn, what a beautiful flow.” she giggled.

I laughed and quickly asked, “Can I pray for you?” Her eyes lit up. She promptly reached and grabbed my hand and said “Yes.” I said a brief prayer and at that moment I realized, this is what God is asking me to do at all times and on all occasions.

When I was done praying for her, my heart was utterly full. It was probably the shortest prayer I’ve ever prayed, but there was so much joy. 

 “I needed that prayer,” Lynn expressed. I observed her face as she pulled her mask down and smiled. She had a pin on her Walmart vest that said “Jesus is the reason for the season.” I smiled. She said, “Isn’t it wonderful when God’s people get together to pray?”

Lesson learned. 

The truth is, we never know who God wants us to reach today to offer the plan of salvation, words of encouragement, or a simple prayer.

So what’s your one thing?

Praying for you today. 

Hugs, Jamie.

@September 3, 2022