Prayer Warrior

It’s a typical Hospital Gift shop, although more beautiful than most. I’ve been in gift shops where things are crammed into a small space and you have to dig around for what you’re looking for. Not so, at the hospital that I volunteer. It’s bright, with wide aisles that accommodate wheel chairs and walkers.

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Most of our customers are either hospital personnel or family members choosing a gift for a new baby or flowers for a loved one, but many of them are just killing time while a loved one gets a test of some kind.

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The most amazing thing about this gift shop, to me, is that it is a battleground for prayer. Every single day there is at least one story that I am told that prompts praise to God for a cancer that’s gone, or a test gone well. There are also people filled with fear and anxiety over crucial physical problems.

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My job entails stocking shelves and cashing people out at the register with their purchases, but my main job- not written in the list of duties, but one given to me by God, is to talk to every person, hear their story and pray- hard.

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When I ask customers how they are doing, or what they have going on today, they are open with the truth. “I am stressed because…” “We are joyous because…” I ask questions and they open up more, they look me in the eyes, and I see their need for human and divine contact. I have never been rebuffed and am always thanked for asking- for caring-for praying. I think that lots of people need an outlet for this emotional tidal wave that has hit them.

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The other day, a family of women of various age walked in. They were looking for a cap for their mother who had lost her hair from chemotherapy in her fight against breast cancer. As we spoke, their story came out about the rough three weeks they had lived through- not with their mother’s cancer, but with their father who was in a room in the hospital.

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The father had come into Emergency, been sent home, and then came back because he was desperately ill. One daughter told me that they had been planning his funeral as the doctors had exhausted all tests and he had not improved. Then, one doctor thought to try just one last test, a thyroid test. And as miracles happen, this doctor found the problem and the man was healed, ready to go home in a day or two! We praised God together! He lined up the steps of that doctor with this man’s needs.

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On the same day, some customers were looking for a gift for their grandmother who had just had surgery and had been pronounced cancer free! I praised God with both of these groups. It was so joyous! And these types of stories happen daily.

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Earlier, a woman came in, disoriented, just browsing, picking up this and that and putting it back down. As is my norm, I asked how her day was going. She told me she just found out her husband’s cancer was back after he had been in remission. She could barely think; she was so distracted. “I don’t even know what I’m doing,” she told me. I touched her arm and told her I would pray for her and her husband. She readily gave me his name- a believer who wanted God’s healing power on her loved one.

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I only work once per week as a volunteer in the shop, but every day I work there is prayer to be done. Sometimes I write down the names of people to pray for and sometimes, I just remember them. I am still praying for “Margaret” who was in cardiac arrest and was going to be taken off her respirator. That was a few weeks ago. I don’t know what happened with Margaret, but the Lord continues to urge me to pray for her regularly.

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I do not work, because of health problems, and that situation has given me a great deal of anxiety. I often ruminate about what I will do with my life, day in and day out. But recently I read a scripture in The Message (my favorite Bible version).

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“So be content with who you are and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God. He is most careful with you.” Peter 5: 6-7

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Miraculously, in me, when I spend time with these folks, I can’t ruminate about my own problems. Jesus replaces the focus from myself to others and ultimately to Him.
The Holy Spirit has given me this Prayer Warrior position. Is this my promotion?