Praying for Those Who 'Wait'

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Lesli NolenBy Lesli Nolen

Published January 2013

If you’re reading this then I guess the world didn’t end, so welcome to 2013!! Once again the holidays are behind us and we are taking in a new year. I hope 2012 was good to you and am hoping 2013 will be your best year ever!

I started a project back in August  and I thought this would be a good time to share it with you.

It all started one morning when I was listening to my radio station K-Love and a lady came on the air to share her story. She began telling the DJ’s she wanted to witness more to other people but didn’t know how. One night she and her family went out to dinner. They always pray before they eat, but this night, the lady had a nudge from the Holy Spirit to ask her server if she had any prayer requests. So when their server brought out their food, the lady asked their server, “Ma’am, we pray before our meals and were wondering if you have any prayer requests you’d like us to pray for this evening?”

The server was bit stunned at first and then began to share her story. Yes, she needed prayer. The family then prayed for her and her situation. As the lady on the radio shares this story, I immediately think to myself, “Wow—I can do this!” The lady continued talking for a few minutes explaining how this simple act of kindness and prayer has changed their lives and those around them. She said every time they go out to eat they do this. Many times, the servers are hesitant and don’t need prayer, but there are some that really open up and let them prayer for them. They often go back to the same restaurants and check in on those they have and haven’t prayed for.

This is where and how I got the idea. I couldn’t wait to go out to eat and see my family’s reaction and the servers!!

The first time we were able to do this, we were in Midland for a volleyball tournament.  We stopped at Taco Villa for lunch. Our server was shocked when we asked. She really didn’t know what to say and she began looking at her co-worker for help. By her reaction, I’m assuming she has never been asked that before.  Before she really started to panic we explained what we were doing and she finally answered, “Just general stuff I guess.” So we did—but we also prayed a little more for her than that.

The next restaurant we visited was Outback Steakhouse in San Angelo. We had a very nice young man as our server. He took our drink and food order and just as he was about to leave we asked the big question. Again, another surprised look appeared on our server’s face. He then smiled and stated, “To remain healthy.” We bowed our heads and prayed for this young man to remain healthy.

I meet with a group of wonderful ladies on Tuesdays at McAlister’s Deli at least twice a month. We were waiting on our food and I began telling them about what my family and I were doing when we went out to eat. I asked them if they would mind if I asked our server if he or she had any prayer requests. Of course they were on board and immediately wanted to participate. Our server arrived with our food. As he handed me my plate, I began the conversation.

“Sir, we pray before we eat and I was wondering if you had anything you would like us to pray about for you?” He looked stunned just as the others had, but something was different about this gentleman. He looked right at me and said, “I don’t know.” My response, “Do you know our friend, Jesus Christ?” He replied, “I’m beginning to. He keeps showing up. But I would like you pray that I have a good semester at college.” I told him we would be more than happy to pray his request.

Over the next two months we continued to meet there, but never saw the gentleman again. On this last Tuesday (Dec. 11) I finally asked our server if this man still worked there. She didn’t know right off hand, she was new, but would find out. She came back to our table and informed us he no longer worked there. All of us just kind of sighed.

We continue to pray for this young man often. We were so looking forward to find out how well his semester went and to see if God was still showing up in his life. Sometimes, we plant the seed, sometimes we water it, but all the time God gets the glory. I pray this gentleman now has a relationship with Christ and I am hopeful our paths will cross again.

In four months we have had one server tell us that she had been asked that before. She was gracious to share with us her request.  And once again we prayed on her behalf.

Since August, I have kept a log of where we have eaten, our server’s names and their prayer requests. I look forward to many more names and requests in 2013.

That is a good idea, but I realized the reason we sit on the furniture. I had to explain to her we might try it, but if I get on the floor and can’t get up she is going to have to help me up and we might have to have a different new tradition next year!  

Then, she answered the question on which tradition to exile. Of course it was the opening of presents only on Christmas morning. She suggested I start the new tradition of buying one extra present that is just for Christmas Eve. That way I wouldn’t be totally breaking the old tradition of waiting until Christmas morning! Gotta love the thought process of an 11-year-old at Christmas time!!

Well, now you know some of my family traditions for the Christmas Season. I hope that you make new memories this year with a few of your own traditions. But, no matter what you do this holiday season, remember Santa’s watching!
HO! HO! HO! Merry Christmas!!

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