Awakenings by Alexander
Tuesday, August 21
The Wednesday before Sunday service about nine years ago I had prayed a prayer to accept Jesus into my life. An associate pastor at the church I was attending, for a reason I still haven’t figured out, called me at work and asked if I would like to pray.
I did not know what it was all about or what was going to happen if I prayed this prayer. I was at first surprised that someone would ask me to do such a thing at work. I was a bit embarrased.
However, the pastor asked if anyone was around and I said no. He said, “then just close your eyes and let’s pray.” I was asked to recognize that I was a sinner. Acknowledge that Jesus died on the cross to forgive all our sins and that He rose from the dead to give us resurrecting power. I prayed to follow His way the rest of my life.
I didn’t know if I prayed that prayer in earnest or not. I was still kind of scared because I was at work. I thought maybe I was supposed to feel something different now, but it didn’t really seem that I did.
My prayer over the phone at work story was told that Sunday by the lead pastor and got some chuckles and laughs from the congregation.
I showed up for Sunday’s service early and the associate pastor I prayed with over the phone greeted me with a handshake and his son-in-law’s Bible, which now was mine. The pastor said, “Welcome to the family” and “This doesn’t mean that life is going to be a rose garden.”
I grabbed my first Bible and sat in a cushy pew with not too many people around. I opened up the book randomely, and there on the first page I looked at were these verses highlighted:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
I quickly flipped through the used Bible that was in good condition and found that it was only one of two selections highlighted in the entire book.
I had been struggling with anxiety for 20 years. Prone to panic attacks in certain situations, I felt hopeless for any kind of resolve. But, here in the Bible, from the book of Phillipians, chapter 4, verses 6 and 7, I found a relief like I had not known before.
I sat in the pew with a warm glow, more comfortable than I had been in a long, long time.
I knew I was in the right place.