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, a man came down the aisle, the minister frowned as he saw that the man hadn’t shaved in awhile. His shirt was kinda’ shabby and his coat was worn and frayed. The man knelt, bowed his head, then arose and walked away.
In the days that followed each noon time came this chap and each time he knelt just for a moment, a lunch pail in his lap. Well, the minister’s suspicions grew, and robbery was his main fear.
He decided to stop the man and ask him, “Watcha’ doing’ here?”
The old man worked down the road. Lunch was half an hour. Lunch time was his prayer time, for finding strength and power. “I stay only moments, see, ’cause the factory is so far away; As I kneel here talking’ to the Lord, this is kinda’ 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 Every day. So, Jesus, this Is Jim Checking’ In.”
The minister feeling foolish, told Jim, that was fine. He told the man he was welcome to come and pray just anytime. Time to go, Jim smiled, said “Thanks.” He hurried to the door. The minister knelt at the altar, he’d never done it before. His cold heart melted, warmed with love, met with Jesus there. As the tears flowed, in his heart, he repeated old Jim’s prayer:
“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 Every day. So, Jesus, this Is Me Checking’ In.”
It was past noon one day, the minister noticed that old Jim hadn’t come. As more days passed without Jim, he began to worry. He went to the factory and asked about Jim and found out 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, a joy contagious.
Changed people, his reward. The head nurse couldn’t understand why Jim was so glad, When no flowers, calls or cards came, not a visitor he had.
The minister stayed by his 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 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, I Think about You Each Day, and So Jim, this Is Jesus checking’ In.”
“Prayer is a conversation and like any conversation, doesn’t have to be formal but it must allow both parties to speak.”