I was back on the street last night after so many months being away; it was good to be back. But that is not the reason for recording this memory. The reason I hold this memory in place is because of the stench that is still within my nostrils; a stench that awakened me this morning; and a stench that has awakened my pen for the Lord.
It was a busy night for prayer. After the message, the team is given assignments, but this night, I would never leave the spot that the assignments were given. We were in the process of encouraging the second person that had come to us to pray. I heard him before I saw him, before I smelled him. His name, I will call him Richard, was very loud and very drunk. As he approached our group I still did not really see him with my eyes, but in my ear, Richard consumed my members. Just as he passed by our group he said, “I need prayer”, and laughed. All I need is an invitation and I will walk in. I turned from the circle I was in and placed my hand on his shoulder and said, “I will pray with you”. He laughed again and said “Alright!” and laughed in his drunken state...
We circled up, but the Lord had me place my hand around his shoulder to hug him. As we introduced ourselves, I could smell the liquor on his breath, but more importantly, I could smell the emptiness in his heart. I began to pray words I cannot recall this morning. Richard and two others were in our group, so I prayed for all three, but it was Richard that stayed to be ministered to long after I said, “Amen”.
He told me how he had just been released from prison after serving a ten year sentence. He served the Lord in prison, but he said he stays away from churches because they don’t welcome him; they don’t hold him. He said he would love to be in a place where just one face would welcome him and not judge. I smelled the booze on his breath, but I was called to minister to the bruise in his heart. He told me many things that the Lord had done in his life and he was wowed to even be on the street, walking his dog and run into the street ministry and receive prayer. He was no longer loud as he said he wanted the power of the Holy Ghost so he could have power to live right and not wonder into trouble. As I prayed for him to receive, the spirits that were within him blocked his receiving, but I told him to desire and receive. I told him he needed a church home and a mentor. His eyes widened as he agreed then asked where he could find these things and where I went to church. I told him, “If you come Sunday, I will look for you and I will hold you. You can sit with me right up front!” He said he would be there, I pray that he comes…
How often do we have people like Richard that want to come to be healed in our midst, but we let their current state sour our witness? The Lord drew Richard into my spirit before I knew his name. It was not about what Richard had done, but it was about what Jesus had done for Richard, and all the other captives looking to be set free on the street.
People watch our testimony. As I ministered to Richard a young girl was watching me, I did not even know it. After Richard walked away she said, “Wow that was amazing.” I said “Yes, God is”. I spent the next hour ministering to her and she said she too needed a mentor, I offered W.I.S.D.O.M. Ministries and she was glad.
God can use us to expand His Kingdom; we must get out of ourselves long enough for God to step in and have His way. I think the Lord wanted me to get an understanding how a stench can become a sweet savor for Him through the power of intercession. I pray my intercession was pleasing to the Master and to the men.