"And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet."
-- Jesus (Matthew 24:6)

As it has been said, "we live in perilous times," and our country has been since September 11, 2001 (II Timothy 3:1). "War clouds loom" over our nation, and potentially, the world. People are taking this to heart, and God's people are renewing their commitment to HIM. We don't know what is going to happen, but God's Word tells us not to fear the future. We may anticipate and prepare for it, but the Just shall live by faith, NOT fear. (Romans 1:17, II Timothy 1:7)

In the Church world, we are seeing an upsurge of fasting, prayer, Bible study, and church attendance. We are also seeing a new attitude in financial giving and ministry to others. God is changing us. He is making us more sensitive the needs of the suffering. Perhaps in the back of our minds, we wonder if we may be next and we hope that someone will have compassion for us. Or perhaps we realize that our free ride is about over. We have been a very blessed nation, and until we suffered our first terrorist attack, we took those blessings for granted.

The fact that we have been the freest country in the world has its flip side. We seem to be the most vulnerable country as well. Our shorelines have been relatively open. It has been next to impossible for the Coast Guard to patrol every mile of it. Our airports, up to a year ago, have been easily accessible. People could come and go without interference. Unfortunately, flying isn't so carefree anymore.

We have to have wisdom in our choices, now. Even a simple thing such as opening our own mail can prove hazardous.

Whether it is fear, or a spiritual wake-up call, America is changing. People are beginning to see their NEED for God. I see people willing to bow their heads and pray in public places without embarrassment.

Recently, at my local grocery store, I overheard a man say... "I'll see you if or when I get back!" As I drew closer, I saw a young soldier leaning down to pick up a loaf of bread. I said, "Where are you going, young man?" Without hesitation, he answered, "Iraq, Ma'm." As he stood up to look at me, I could see fear in his eyes. I told him that I was a pastor and if he'd give me his name, our church would pray for him. He told me his name, and I said, "If it wouldn't embarrass you, I can pray for you right now." He agreed and bowed his head. I touched his arm and prayed out loud right there between the Italian bread and the hot dog buns! After "Amen," he hugged me and said "Thank you Ma'm." I gave him my card and told him that he or his family could call me anytime. As he walked away, I saw an "Airborne" patch on his shoulder. I had such a heaviness of heart and prayed, "Oh God, please protect him and bring him safely home." I felt like he was MY son, and fought back the tears.

The next evening, I was sharing this story with my sister, who lives in Arizona. I was telling her about how moved I was with compassion toward this boy and how desperate I felt for God to protect him, when I heard all this commotion from her end of the phone. To my shock, she said that the same thing had happened to her with a waiter in a restaurant! He also was being shipped to Iraq! She asked to pray with him. He also agreed without shame, then hugged and thanked her. She too, walked away with tears and heaviness in her heart for him.

What are the chances of two sisters living on opposite coasts, meeting two strangers, in the military, being shipped to Iraq? Two young men whom we were moved to pray for in public, who agreed, thanked and hugged us; and we each walked away with heavy hearts and tears. Is this mere coincidence? No... God is working through His people. There will be more moves of God, even greater than these, in the future. Along the highways and byways, in places of business, and in the marketplace, people will be seen in prayer.

Praying for people in the grocery store, or other public places, happens frequently to Spirit-led Christians. It has happened to me several times. A while ago, I was at the same supermarket when I ran into an old acquaintance I hadn't seen in a long time. As we were catching up, she began to cry as she was telling me about her two teenage sons who were giving her some problems. Right there in the produce section, we bowed our heads in prayer. A lady walked by and said, "Preach it, sister!"

I expect to see more of this. We may not have to wait till the millennial reign to be shopping and hear an announcement over the intercom: "Attention shoppers. For the next 15 minutes, there will be a Blue-Light Special over in the produce section. Without money and without price, Sister So and So will be teaching the Word of God, Brother So and So will be praying for the sick and the lost, and the So and So family will be baptizing new converts!"

Sounds farfetched? Not from what I have already seen. There are dark days ahead for this world, folks, but glorious days ahead for the church. You will either be one of the prayers or one of the prayees! Why not ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins, accept Him as the only Son of God, and receive Him into your heart and life. Join the Army of God so you can help the rest of us in the Harvest field, reap souls in these last days, and enjoy His protection and provision for yourself and your family.

Jesus loves you. He died for you. He said that "whosoever is willing" may come to Him, just as you are, without money and without price. HE has already paid the price, for all of us, for eternity. (John 3:16)

Don't put it off, friend. Do it before it is too late. Do it while there is still time. There is no way to know, that for you, there may not be another Blue Light Special!

Rev. C. L. Moser -- 2/12/03