A Grateful Heart

by Rhonda, March 29, 2022

I was riding in the back of an Uber, traveling towards the airport for my flight home.  I'd never been to Maryland, so I was looking out the window, enjoying the sights.  The scenery was fascinating to me, and I enjoyed the views even when we weren't in the greatest of neighborhoods.  

We were driving along our route, nothing out of the ordinary, when something caught my eye.  Near the highway, someone had put a small shed-looking structure in their front yard.  It had the words "Prayer Stop" painted on the front, with two lawn chairs sitting in front of it.  I looked again at the two worn chairs, facing each other, sitting in front of what resembled a children's playhouse.

I smiled.  I couldn't help it.  Who would put a Prayer Stop next to a busy highway, in their front yard? I wondered why it was there.  I wondered if anyone had ever stopped at the Prayer Stop.  I wondered what happened when you stopped at the Prayer Stop.  There were two chairs, clearly set aside with purpose, to allow someone to pray with you.

I knew I was already late to the airport, and I figured my Uber driver would think I was completely crazy if I asked him to pull over.  So, as I watched the Prayer Stop fade into the distance, I wondered about the stories it held.  I bet God had used the Prayer Stop, and I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall to see his work.  

I came home, googled The Prayer Stop, and found the history behind this structure:

This tiny prayer stop was allegedly built by a man who's life was ruined by alcohol. Once he hit rock bottom, he felt that God had saved him. Showing how grateful he was, he decided to create a tiny prayer stop on the side of a busy street so any motorist could stop and pray.  "There's no condemnation in the Prayer Stop. I committed most every sin myself before the Lord delivered me, and now I know true joy."

Who would put a Prayer Stop in their front yard?  Someone radically transformed by Christ.  Someone with a grateful heart.  

I wonder if my heart is so obviously grateful.  

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

In the craziness, the busyness, of this life, do we live as if we truly know Jesus paid an enormous price so we could be set free?  No matter the depth of our sin, God is always finding ways to pull us back into relationship with Him.  He never gives up on us.  God's very nature is to heal, restore, and forgive, even when it requires the utmost sacrifice. 

The more we truly believe the truths in the Bible, the truths that actually set us free, the more grateful we will be in this world.  Remember, its not the voice you hear that determines the type of life you have, its the voice you believe.  Let us truly believe God's promises to us.  Let us truly understand He is our Savior today, tomorrow, and forevermore.  Let us be continually reminded that His purpose is to show up when we need Him most.

Then, let us be grateful.

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