My friend and I spend a LOT of time at our local coffee shop. As a matter of fact, my whole family does. That being said, we’ve been very intentional about learning the names and stories of the staff there. Now, it’s pretty normal to get asked what we do for our careers, so most of the staff at this coffee shop knows that I am a church planter, and that I was a Pastor in the States. Last week, my friend and I decided it was time to take it a step further. We decided that we would be there on Tuesdays at 3:00 to read the Scriptures together, talk accountability, and to pray. And since we are going to be praying, why not pray for the staff? And, since we’re praying for the staff, we should ask them if there’s anything they would like us to pray about. Sounds simple enough, but try asking an acquaintance about prayer requests! You should have seen the look on the manager’s face when I asked if there was anything we could pray about for her! “Um, well, let me think, um, WOW, that’s nice, um, yeah, I can’t think of anything…” Then she looks at the other employees who were standing there, too, and had been asked the same question and says, “What about you guys? Is there something you need prayer for?” The shock then spread as the employees realized the manager had sucked them into this “weird” encounter! To defuse the situation, I told them it was okay, and I didn’t mean to put them on the spot. But, my friend and I would be here every Tuesday specifically to pray for them and the other customers, and if they thought of something, just let us know. Less than stellar response, and not what I’d hoped/prayed would happen. Well, at least not at first. I went back in on Friday while my oldest was at tutoring. I had just sat down when the manager comes over, kneels down by my chair, and begins to weep. She goes on to tell me that, after thinking about it a lot, she has a request for me. Giving me a little back story, she shared a request about her family, illness, and gets to the request. I was amazed. I guess when I stepped outside the paradigm, it gave her freedom to do the same. I prayed for her right there, and have continued to pray for her and her family every day. Since last Friday, we’ve had a couple other staffers share requests with us. It just goes to show, as “Patch Adams” suggests in the video below, when you care enough to step outside the parameters culture has imposed, you might just be surprised at who steps out with you, and completely changes the nature of your relationship.
UPDATE: On Tuesday, 1/29, we went to the counter to ask for prayer requests. One of the ladies working asked us to pray for some tough decisions she has to make, and the arrangements of moving to another city where lodging is super hard to find. She was excited to share with me.
UPDATE: On Tuesday, 2/5, we asked a staffer at the coffee shop what we could pray for. He was really confused about why we would pray anything for him. We were explaining the concept when the co-worker we prayed for last week comes over and says, “They prayed for me last week, and everything worked out perfectly! You should try it!” Here’s to hoping God becomes famous in this coffee shop!