The Prayer
By Dick Duerksen

“There is someone here among us today who needs our personal and group prayers. His name is David and his kidneys are shutting down. The physicians have done all they can, and now the length of David’s life depends on finding a perfect match for a new kidney. David, please come forward so we can lay hands on you and pray for you.”

David answered the call and came forward, a tall bearded Caucasian man in an Hispanic church convocation. Few noticed him. They were already raising their hands and praying for David, a fellow human who was in great need.

David, slightly embarrassed and fully overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, stepped up onto the platform and into a tight circle of believers. Hands and arms wrapped around him as pastor Cesar de Leon began praying.

At first, the prayer was just for David, the pastor pleading with the Spirit to give this man hope, courage, healing, and peace. Then the pastor shifted his focus to all of those who were present, inviting anyone who would like to be included in the prayer to come forward and kneel before The Lord.

Many came. Some crushed closely around the pulpit. Some knelt in the aisles. Several knelt directly before the pulpit and poured their hearts out to God.

One, a woman whose face I did not see and whose name and situation I do not know, came late. She wriggled through the crowd, approaching as closely as possible to the knot of praying believers on the platform. She was desperate to climb the steps, to place her shoulders beneath the hands of the pastor, to reach out to David, to feel the prayer flowing through her soul.

But the crowd was too tight.

As the pastor’s prayer words soared, she leaned forward on the steps and stretched her hand as far as it could reach, through a maze of black leather shoes right onto one of David’s tennis shoes. She squeezed his toes and then relaxed, her voice adding to the symphony of love. The prayer was now her prayer, prayed together with David, pastor de Leon, and hundreds of others. Prayed one-on-one with God.