[Risk No. 177] Sandra was our waitress. It has now become second-nature to ask our servers for his or her name (and to share mine). Something shifts when I know a name with a face. God knows both. My friend was kind to pick up the lunch bill and I asked Sandra how we could pray for her. She asked me to repeat myself – wanting to be sure she actually heard me right. It’s so interesting, that though I live in the Bible Belt, it seems truly rare that Christians offer to pray for strangers. I have to be very careful here. Pride would love to come in and deceive me with thoughts like, “see, Chad, you are special!” “The church is really in a pitiful state!” Lies. There’s only one thing to do with a lie: rebuke and disown it.

What would the world look like if every Christian – the whole world over – made a point to pray for one stranger that God brings their way on a daily, even a weekly, monthly, annual basis?

“Pray that I would make it thru the day!”

I had the feeling she was stressing out over a housing situation so I asked. She wasn’t. I was wrong. God is still good. Confess and move on.

I didn’t pray for Sandra as she was notably busy and preoccupied with the lunch rush (and honestly, I was thrown off by missing the word). I told her I would pray. My friend and I paused our conversation and immediately prayed for her. I fear giving someone my “yes,” only to walk away forgetting to pray. Lord, please help my yes to be yes and my no to be no.

On the way out, I whispered that she was an encouragement and that God loved her.