I began my ministry at the Oasis Nursing And Rehabilitation Center with a room visit, an all-to-short room visit.
For his privacy, I will call the first man I prayed with, Mr. K.
Even in his old age, I could see, as he lay on the bed quietly looking out the window, then surprisingly looking over to me, that there was light in his eyes and strength in his arms and shoulders.
I introduced myself, hoping to pray with him but ready to keep my mouth shut and listen.
He shook my extended hand with a strength that, moments before, I could only see and began to pour out his heart.
He’d spent his life as first, a son who’d honored his mother and father the best he could, even though he admitted to a few issues along the way.
He became a man, putting away childish things, and joined the armed forces.
He didn’t join the armed forces, not to dodge the draft or even for a free ticket to college; he joined the armed forces because he believed that joining the armed forces was what God called him to do.
I think he was right.
There were nearly sixty thousand American casualties in the Vietnam War, but Mr. K survived.
God kept him.
He got home, back to that small town, and married the woman who’d waited for him, and from there, God called him into Law Enforcement.
He told me that through the years, he’d tried his best to be a cop that his community could depend on, and judging from the many flowers and get-well-soon cards draping his bed, I believed him.
That is when he asked me to pray with him.
And boy, did we pray.
We prayed for his wife, who drove home from her weekly visit to her husband as we prayed.
We prayed for her safety on the way home, for the Lord to give her traveling grace, and we prayed that the Lord would give his wonderful wife favor as a shield.
We prayed for her health, asking the Lord to strengthen, help, uphold, establish, protect, and guide her.
Mr. K had done well financially and bought a big house, but now his wife was alone in that big house, and I could hear through his fervent prayer that being away from her didn’t only worry him but angered him.
I asked the Lord to give him peace.
We continued to pray.
He didn’t ask anything for himself. He only prayed for others, his wife, adult children, grandchildren, and friends he’d known.
We even prayed for people he’d arrested throughout his career, praying the Lord would visit them to help them to overcome and be set free.
We prayed that the Lord would bless his family, give all of them, his kids and grandkids, the gift of salvation, pleading for the Lord to be with them, to guide them.
He’d spent his whole life hoping in Christ, so he wasn’t afraid of death but didn’t want to leave his wife.
I remember him repeating over and over again.
“I don’t want to leave my wife.”
We finished our prayer nearly in tears, begging for the Lord’s Kingdom to come and for his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven before we said Amen, and I left him so he could get some rest.
I am not much.
I have failed more than I have succeeded, and I still struggle with sin.
It took nearly fifty years of failures before the Lord revealed that my purpose is to pray, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
As I prayed with Mr. K, I realized how thankful I am for every failure in my life, every failure that led me, on that day, to pray with Mr. K.