The God Of Hot Dogs

By Mary Nella McLaughlin • August 2, 2014

The most extraordinary prayer service I ever attended was at a church in one Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhood. The elderly saints in the church met once a week to pray on their knees for their pastor, and their neighborhood.

They prayed late into the night and sang the old spirituals. At the end of the service, they gave testimony to God’s faithfulness in their lives. One testimony I have never forgotten. An elderly woman stood to share, “I have been through life’s floods and fires. I have suffered loss and troublesome times, but God has always seen me through. I have raised eight children and children’s children and God never failed me.

“I set the table for dinner one night without a single thing to put on the plates. I told my children to bow their heads and give God thanks. They complained that there was no food to give God thanks for but I reminded them our job was to give thanks and God’s job was to provide. When we pray we say, ‘Give us this day our daily bread,’ so stop complaining, and start giving God thanks.

“At the very moment we bowed to pray, we heard hootin’ and hollerin’ in the street. We ran to the window to see what the commotion was about and here was a hot dog truck that had hit a hole in the street and its back door had flown wide open. The truck just kept going. We ran down into the street and got all the meat we wanted and plenty to store up.”

Since that prayer service so many years ago, I cannot say the Lord’s Prayer without pausing at, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Those who pray it and mean it are our teachers.

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