'Pray for me' - Maryknoll Lay Missioners
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Judy Walter

Have you ever been asked to pray for someone? If you have, then you know what a humbling experience it can be.

It was early on a Sunday morning, before daylight, and I was on my way to the 6:15 Mass at the mission church, about a 15-minute walk from the House of Prayer, where I live and work. I had hesitated because of the dark, but then decided to brave it.

I was half way up the hill to the church when I was approached by a stranger. “Are you going to church,” he said. A little shakily, I answered in the affirmative. There was a silence as we stood in the dark for a few moments, then with a breaking he voice he said, “Pray for me,” and moved on.

I carried that stranger to church with me. I placed him on the altar with the bread and wine. I consumed him with communion. All day long my thoughts returned to that brief encounter and the impact it had made on me. Two vulnerable souls meeting in the dark — one in fear, and the other in desperate need of divine intervention.

The stranger had given me a mission. “Pray for me,” he said. That was all. It had felt like a divine mission that morning. We had encountered God in our mutual vulnerability.

Judy Walter
Judy Walter is a spiritual director at the Lake House of Prayer, a retreat ministry in Mwanza, Tanzania.