Last But Not Least Dec/Jan 1975/1976
“How Do YOU Pray?”
Joel of Jerusalem
I must go back in the army for a short time, and then I will be finished for a while. I’ll be at home, but I don’t know for how long.
This past week when we had to go on an early morning patrol, there were nine of us. This time we had with us some religious men, and they refused to go on patrol. The officer in charge asked them why they refused to go, and then warned them that if they continued to refuse, they would all go to prison.
They replied, “If you want us to go without any trouble, give us one more man, so we can have a minyon (10 men are required for prayer). We want to pray before we leave. If not, do what you want with us.”
The officer repeated that it was an order, and anyone who refused to go would be put in prison.
I asked the religious men why they were making trouble for themselves. “If you want to pray to our God, He will hear you, even if there is only one or two praying. You don’t need exactly ten men in order to pray. Don’t be a ‘show window’ for all people to see that you are praying. Are you praying to people or to God?”
Instead of answering my question, one asked, “How do YOU pray?”
“It is good to pray in a group, but we can also pray alone. God will answer our prayers if they come from the heart. The Lord said,
‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them’ Matthew 18:20.”
“Where is this written?” they questioned.
“ln the Bible,” I replied.
One of the men who knew me said, “Yes, it is found in the Bible, but not in the Bible we read.”
The conversation turned into an attack on me. But I was not afraid because God was with me. I told them they could say what they wanted, but one day they would know that I spoke the truth.
The officer was still with us and joined in our conversation. He asked the men, “Who agree with Joel and who agree with the religious men?”
One of the men replied, “We are not against Joel, but we are also not against the religious men. What shall we do?”
I told them that it would be good if everyone prayed from his heart in the name of our Lord. Afterwards they would feel from their hearts, and not pray just because they MUST do so. “Open your eyes and see that NOW is the time to come back to our Saviour and receive forgiveness. How can you, if not by the Lord Jesus Christ? Only those who will come and pray in His name can be sure that their sins are forgiven forever.”
One of the men asked me if I believed in the same God as they. I replied, “Yes, as it is written in Deuteronomy 6:4-9.” I asked them if they wanted to hear some verses, so I read for them Hebrews 9:1-28. They were glad to hear the verses, so I continued reading in Zechariah 3, 9 and 14. Now they began to be more interested in the Messiah.
One of the men asked me how I had come to believe on Christ and if there were more Jews who believed on Christ. I told him there were many in all places. We need to be witnesses for the Lord because of what is written in Isaiah 2:4.
They wanted to know more about Jesus and references to Him in the Bible. This gave me a great opportunity to give a witness for the Lord. Our conversation was long but the men thanked me and asked me for books to read.
Please remember these men and others like them, who are becoming interested and are willing to listen to the Gospel.