Do you need prayer?
You may have recently seen a man standing close to the street corner of 25W and South Main Street in Corbin, and wondered to yourself, what is that guy doing?
“Preacher Mike, or just Mike”, as he asked to be called, (preferring to not use his surname), stands on the sidewalk about two hours almost every weekday, and sometimes on Saturdays. He’s out there, come snow or shine to offer up prayers for passersby who may be in need.
Cold weather doesn’t seem bother him. He just bundles up and goes on out to do what he says, “the Father has led him to do.”
Mike, 45, who is originally from Chicago, IL, grew up in Jacksonville, FL, and mentioned he has literally been all around the world.
He decided to settle in Kentucky about 10 years ago. He was traveling through and just fell in love with this place and never left.
The single man, a former truck driver, who now works at a local call center, started standing on the street holding a bright sign that says “Need Prayer?” one morning back at the end of October 2015 and has been doing it ever since.
He says he doesn’t really have a reason. He feels led to do it and he is just out there to spread the word of God to help bring people to God.
“If someone had told me that I was going to be doing this, I would say they were crazy,” he said.
Mike said it probably didn’t help that, in the beginning, his sign said ‘Need Prayer?’ with a small question mark.
He chuckled and said he gets ribbed by his pastor, Mike Asher, of Shield of Faith Church on Hwy 26, because people initially thought he was asking for prayer for himself instead of offering prayer for others. He said his pastor told him that he was the only person he knew that had the entire town of Corbin praying for him.
Being met with both believers and non-believers, he presumes he has received a full spectrum of emotion. He feels his experience has evolved significantly since the beginning.
Some people have been very loving and accepting.
Others, not so much. One gentleman told him that he couldn’t do what he was doing so close to the school. He felt it was very clear the man did not want him there.
He believes people now have realized that he is sincere and isn’t going anywhere. These days he is mostly met with waves and smiles.
He states people stop by to ask him questions, mention a prayer need, some are curious about what he is doing, and some are even suspicious of him. For the most part, though, people come to pray and talk to God with him.
One of the greatest joys that Mike gets is offering people hope. Particularly sharing love with his fellow man and neighbors and to really know what it is to love and expect nothing in return.
Mike feels he goes through the same daily struggles and temptations as everyone else. He acknowledges God has done much work in his life.
One of his greatest struggles is when he is faced with the tough challenge of loving people who are not so nice, and trying to remember that everyone is a sinner, just like Mike says he is, and all our sins are the same. He is just trying to not be judgmental to the brothers and neighbors who make life so difficult sometimes. He says he works constantly on trying to put God first before everything.
When asked about what he feels the problems of our community are, he said just like in most every community drugs and alcohol are a problem.
He referenced Jesus’ prophecy of the loveless church and said that some people have suggested that it is caused by a lack of faith. He said this is one thing that keeps coming up in his discussions with people on the street.
He says, “The book of James talks about it best and says faith without works is dead. I think in many ways that as Christians we have turned inside. We haven’t given the works to the Father for so long and so people have turned to drugs, alcohol, whatever their situation or problem is because people don’t know that good Christians love them, the
Father loves them, they don’t know that there is a better way and they end up in situations because they don’t have anyone to turn to.”
He feels people and children are just not involved in churches anymore. They don’t have guidance or leadership to show them the difference between right and wrong.
He says some kids may have parents who don’t go to church or have any dealings with the church. Although most young adults and teens instinctively know the difference between right and wrong, they don’t have the guidance to find their center. If there isn’t a good foundation or good roots, they get lost.
“Even a tree needs to have a good root system and a good foundation,” he said. “Children need a good foundation to be good productive citizens and Christians. Churches don’t really have a lot of children or even any in the congregations anymore.”
“I am reminded daily that none of us are perfect or pure. It is a good goal and we should strive to be perfect, but none of us will achieve that goal, however we should still strive for it,” said Mike. He continued, “It is not the will of the Father that any of his children should perish, and He loves you and wants you home. Find a church and come to know the Father, whether it is our church or someone else’s.”
He mentioned there have been some good people in the community who have donated to The Lord’s Prayer Ministry. “A good portion of that money has gone to people who are homeless, managed to feed people, and has done much good within the community,” said Mike.
“It is my prayer that leaders in the church and within our community can come and work together and get past their differences both in theology and ideology to work together for the betterment of our brethren.”
Also an important part of The Lord’s Prayer Ministry is to collect people’s petitions to the God – to pray for them. He writes the prayers down in a notebook, not recording names, just calling them brother or sister, and he prays for them.
He mentions The Lord’s Prayer Ministry has a Facebook page, in which people can send their prayer requests. If someone is sick, feeling down, or whatever the case may be, they can send their requests to him through Facebook, instead of having to wait until Sunday to bring it to church.