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PRAYER FOR THIEVES


About 12 years ago, three men broke into our church building here. They didn't steal much, and they didn't really damage all that much (they broke a couple of doors, and stole a few small items) but we called the police and reported the incident. After the police left, our youth minister at the time and I were talking in the youth room and a thought came to me.


"Brad," I said, "you know those guys are going to get caught some day. Wouldn't it interesting if -- once they were arrested -- we got the chance to talk to them about Jesus?"


Brad agreed and we decided to pray for that specific opportunity.


The next day, the men were arrested. And two of the men called US! They didn't call the other churches they broke into. They called us. And they wanted to talk to me.


So I went down to the jail and the men told me they wanted to ask our forgiveness for breaking in. I responded that "Well, forgiveness is what we do... but would you be open to doing Bible study with me?" They jumped at the chance.


We met every week for the next few weeks, and as a result we baptized one of them, and -- last I knew -- they were involved in the church their family went to.


Like I said -- I don't think I've been praying enough for that.


(From a sermon by Jeff Strite, God's Idea of Church, 5/2/2011)

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