A minister, passing through his church, in the middle of the day
Decided to pause by the altar and see who had come to pray.
Just then the back door opened, and a man came down the aisle.
The minister frowned—he saw the man hadn't shaved in a while.
His shirt was shabby, old, and his coat was worn and frayed.
The man knelt and bowed his head, then rose and walked away.
In the days that followed, at each noon time came this chap.
Each time he knelt just for a moment, lunch pail in his lap.
The minister's suspicions grew, robbery his main fear.
So he stopped the man and asked him, "What are you doing here?”
The old man said he worked down the road; lunch was half an hour.
Lunchtime was his prayer time for finding daily strength and power.
"I stay only moments—the factory is so far away.
As I kneel here talking to the Lord, this is what I say:
‘I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD, HOW HAPPY I'VE BEEN SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER'S FRIENDSHIP, AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN. I DON'T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY, BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY. SO, JESUS, THIS IS JIM, CHECKING IN TODAY.’
The minister, feeling foolish, told Jim that was just fine…
Told the man he was welcome to come and pray just anytime.
“Time to go,” Jim smiled and said "Thanks." Then he sped to the door.
The minister knelt at the altar—he’d never done it before.
His cold heart melted, warmed with love, as he met with Jesus there.
As the tears flowed, in his heart he repeated old Jim's prayer:
“HOW HAPPY I'VE BEEN, SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER'S FRIENDSHIP AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN. I DON'T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY, BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERY DAY. SO, JESUS, THIS IS ME, CHECKING IN TODAY.”
Past noon one day, the minister noticed old Jim hadn't come.
As more days passed without Jim, he began to worry some.
At the factory he asked about Jim and learned he was ill.
The hospital staff was worried, but he'd given them a thrill…
The week that Jim was with them brought changes in the ward.
His smiles were a joy contagious, changed people his reward.
The head nurse couldn't understand why Jim was always glad
When no flowers, calls or cards came; not a visitor he had.
The minister stayed by Jim’s bed. He voiced the nurse's concern:
“No friends came to show they cared; he had nowhere to turn.”
Looking surprised, old Jim spoke up and with a winsome smile;
"The nurse is wrong; she couldn't know, that in here all the while,
Everyday at noon He's here, a dear friend of mine.
You see, He sits right down, takes my hand, leans over and says to me:
“I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, JIM, HOW HAPPY I HAVE BEEN SINCE WE FOUND THIS FRIENDSHIP, AND I TOOK AWAY YOUR SIN. I ALWAYS LOVE TO HEAR YOU PRAY, AND I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERY DAY. SO JIM, THIS IS JESUS, CHECKING IN TODAY.”
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14 NIV
I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray. Psalm 17:6 NLT
The LORD is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:8 NLT