Prayer connects people

By Philip W. Calvert | Oct 18, 2022

Who are they? What is their deepest need?

Those two questions ran through our mind as we watched countless cars pass by our campus on one of the busiest roads in the city of Casa Grande. That car right there … who is that person and what is going on in their life right now?

We struggled with answering those two questions despite our church’s many weekly activities open to the community and numerous advertisements on the radio, in the local newspaper and even on Facebook. Those ads reached people, but not necessarily the ones driving right past our church every single day.

For some time, we had a vision to offer a place to pray in our parking lot, but we lacked the necessary volunteers. This year, however, the Lord opened the floodgates of ministry opportunity after we studied the book Developing a Powerful Praying Church. One of the authors, Rick Fisher, spoke at Trinity to encourage us on our journey, and it lit a fire under us!

At the start of the summer, we started Drive Thru Prayer in our parking lot. Each Wednesday, we meet at 6 a.m. in our sanctuary for a brief devotional and time of prayer, and then we offer prayer to the community between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.

In the beginning, we didn’t know how it would go, but we knew that the Lord wanted us to step out on faith and do it. We didn’t know what kind of prayer requests, if any, we would get. Afterall, have you ever pulled into the parking lot of a random church to ask total strangers for urgent and immediate prayer? You’re in good company. None of us had either! But we knew the Lord called us to this ministry.

To the glory of God, the results have been nothing short of spectacular!

We have consistently averaged 10 to 12 volunteers each week who give sacrificially of their time. Every week, we have had people drive by, turn around and pull into our parking lot to ask for urgent and immediate prayer.

The vast majority of those who stop for prayer do not attend church as far as we can tell by what they say, and they have no connection whatsoever to our church. They are in crisis. Deep crisis.

They need prayer.

As one young man said to us when he pulled in, “I drove by and pulled into the parking lot of the business up the street. I said to myself, ‘I need prayer. They are praying for people. What am I doing here?’ So, I turned around and am asking you to pray for me.”

Ask yourself these two questions about the cars that drive by your church every day: Who are they? What is their deepest need? Would you like to be able to answer those questions? Put simply, that was our goal. Who are they and what is their deepest need?

For many hurting people, we can now answer those two questions. We know their names. We know their deepest needs. We have encouraged them. We have shed tears with them. We have prayed for and with them. We can’t solve their deepest problems, but we can show them the way to the true God who can solve their problems.

Urgent and immediate prayer connects people at the point of their deepest need, and we have been blessed to introduce them Jesus … the only one who can answer their prayer requests.

For more information about Drive Thru Prayer, visit drivethruprayer.com. We are happy to help you get started.

Philip W. Calvert is senior pastor of Trinity Southern Baptist Church in Casa Grande.

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