I first spoke with this man seventeen years ago.
He is a long time minister. He called one day when I was in my office in Kansas City, Missouri and said, "I want to recommend you to a wonderful church." The church to which he referred was a good church, in another part of Missouri, that he had served for many years. His ministry there had not only made a significant difference in the church but in that community as well. We discussed this for a few minutes and then he told me that he would be praying about the opportunity.
He went on to tell me about how he had prayed a number of years earlier while he and his family were living in California. He told me about having the opportunity to move to that church and spending time in prayer regarding that possibility. I was impressed at how he prayed regarding this situation.
We moved but to Waco, Texas instead of the other church. About a year after we moved here, a routine visit to the doctor revealed that I had a large tumor very near the top of my spine. I went into the hospital for surgery. One of the first things that I remember after getting out of surgery was this minister calling and praying for me over the telephone. I was deeply moved. I had never had such an experience. (The tumor was benign and there have been no further issues with this.)
However, because of the close proximity to this minister, we were able to have lunch together on a number of occasions over the years and developed a friendship. This man has been an encourager for many years.
Last night, I talked with his son who lives in the Nashville, Tennessee area. His son was a part of our church in Kansas City. We had not talked in a long time. We talked about our families, our children, the past and the future. At one point, I talked for a few minutes and then he responded. His response was interesting. He said, "This is something that I will pray about." I could hear in his voice that this was a very genuine, thoughtful response. He was serious.
I thought of his father some years ago. I thought of the conversation last night. That father and that son are people who pray. I wonder how this father influenced his son to be a person of prayer? I wonder how prayer became so important to him? I wonder what he might have seen in his father?