7PM Friday 11/21/2008
Last Friday night my son and I hit Burbank. I had been praying all week for a new way to engage people in conversation. So here’s our “pitch” (an old busking term) We set up three chairs. One for my son, one for me and my guitar and one between us with a sign. We start singing.
The small 8×5 sign says;
NO $ PLEASE
Let us PRAY for you
NO STRINGS NOTHING WEIRD
(We get a lot of people trying to give us $) When people ask about the sign, I tell them that if they will give me their first name and something I can pray for, I will then pray every day this week for them. If they want I will pray for them right there or I will write it down. I then ask them if they have a relationship with God and go from there.
Here’s our report…
1) A young man said he wanted us to pray for him and his family because they are continuing to struggle with the death of his younger brother a year ago. He claimed faith in “God” but had trouble articulating what he believed. Right away a guy steps right between us and tries to get my son Scott to contribute to some charity. When he finally moves we start up again and another guy stops to listen. Then this other guy interrupts and says he’s a Christian and then starts to talk really loud with the young man. I smiled at him, extended my hand and asked him his name. He started to back away and I told him that I would like to pray for him. He backed up some more and than said something I couldn’t understand and then a swear word and ran away. (Really weird…) anyway I tried to salvage the conversation and the young man asked if we would be here next week and than said he would be back. I told him that we would definitely pray for him and look for him next week.
Another song and then three young girls stop and ask about the sign. I explained. They told me their names. The first couldn’t think of anything. The second asked if I would pray that she lose weight. (I explained that I would not because God had already answered her prayer) The third asked me to pray that her boyfriend and her would stay together. I asked if he was a respectable young man and she said yes and added that he was a real gentleman, so I agreed.
I than asked if they had a relationship with God. They were unsure. So I asked if they felt that they were good people and again they weren’t sure so I offered to give them a test (the good test) About half way through one said “help me out her you’re making me nervous” I promised her that I had good news for her but continued. In the end, when I asked the final question the young girl in the middle looked me in the eye and quietly said “were going to hell…” and the others agreed. We just stood there for a moment. Than I shared about the cross and a loving, merciful God who came to die and take our punishment, about trusting Christ alone and what it meant to repent – they really got it. It was one of those rare moments when time kind of stands still and none of us seemed aware of anything around us, almost like the 4 of us were in a bubble. I encouraged them and told them I would be praying for them. As they walked away one said, ” Oh, I think we missed our movie” and another “said that’s ok”.
Another couple songs and than a rather nice looking clean cut woman in a suit stops and asks about the sign. She was a true believer who was here from Canada to teach a woman’s seminar and really needed the power of God to move through her. We were able to encourage her in the Lord and committed to pray for her and the meetings.
A young boy stopped and listened to a song and than asked about the sign. He wanted us to pray for a test he had taken that day. He had been studying hard and was hoping for a good grade. We wrote down his name and request and I told him I would pray for him and then his dad came and said they had to go.
A homeless guy named Leroy, who I have shared with several times before, wanted prayer for a trip he was making to Detroit to be re-united with his wife. We laid hands on him right there and prayed for that and also that he would truly come to know Christ as savior and find in Him the strength to overcome his addictions. He hugged and thanked us and went his way.
Like the old song says, “it is joy unspeakable and full of glory” and to think I could have spent the evening at home watching TV. God help us all
8:45 My son gets tired (long day at work) We pack up