Monday, October 11, 2010

My Walk with God, Jesus and World Prayr

For most of my life, I had been a clueless Christian. I had faith as I grew up, but didn’t really know Jesus. I knew Jesus died for us to forgive our sins on the cross and was raised from the grave. I knew about Jonah, Noah and Daniel from Sunday school. For many years that was my knowledge of the Bible and Jesus. I couldn’t remember if I had been baptized or had asked Jesus into my heart. Little did I know the plan God had for me? My walk with Jesus began in earnest when I became involved with World Prayr through the social media site, Twitter.

During the spring of 2009, Twitter was making national headlines. Everywhere I turned, people were talking about this new phenomenon. I got curious. In March 2009, I joined Twitter and began to follow all sorts of people; mostly women. Soon people began to follow me and my followers got larger and larger. I have always admired how God gave each woman a unique beauty. I developed a short list of people I tweeted with on a regular basis. To be fair, I followed men, but not nearly as many as women. My wife and I had developed a policy that I could look but not touch women. I began to flirt with the women in a perfectly harmless manner. I was not looking to commit adultery but encourage and inspire these women. I began to write poems for those I shared with regularly and made a commitment to write a new poem every day. During this time, one of the first men I followed asked me to moderate on his Christian account to help re-connect a broken world.

I was surprised and curious at the same time. For a short time, I didn’t respond. The requests kept coming. They were persistent and aggressive. I responded, finally. I asked for more information, which I received promptly. I asked if I could pray about joining his team. One of the early women I followed was already a member of the team and that clinched it for me. I joined the World Prayr team and began to moderate. I began to help this very Christian lady in her duties with World Prayr. It was now May 2009. I started moderating three times a week in two hour shifts. Pastor Pat, the cofounder of World Prayr, was always asking me to change the days and times I moderated. He was doing this to add people to the team who would only moderate during a time I moderated. Being on Social Security disability, I readily agreed. At one point, I told Pastor Pat to move me around whenever he needed and let me know when I should moderate. Those early days with World Prayr were quite hectic, evolving and challenging. I endured and began to grow in my spirituality. I came to the conclusion I had to find a church to attend. I looked half-heartedly. I live in a gigantic town of twelve hundred. It’s so small that if you start to blink, you will miss seeing the town.

Unknown to World Prayr at the time, my wife and I were facing a growing financial hardship. We began to seek outside help. We were unsuccessful. Summer was passing and fall was showing its face. I began to earnestly pray for a solution. All the while, I moderated and kept assuming new duties for World Prayr. I was becoming a very busy retired person. I loved every minute of it. Finally, in late August, I told Pastor Pat most of my situation. It was humbling to ask another for help. I had pride, after all. What would people think? I began to have doubts. I was told to be patient, pray and have faith. Shortly after our discussion, I was told that World Prayr would assist me in my troubles. I became the very first person ever helped financially by World Prayr. They truly fulfilled their tagline with me. They reconnected me back to the body of Christ. As I look back, those were some very tough days, but God was always with me, helping me walk in faith. It was during this time, Pastor Pat and I began a weekly video chat session. These sessions have been a blessing for me and have helped me to grow as a Christian. Pat and I have become close friends as a result. He is my mentor.

People were always leaving World Prayr and Pat would ask me to help out. I eagerly accepted because I know there is no challenge too big for God. I have held several positions at World Prayr and each has been a stepping stone. The first months of World Prayr were like a baby crawling. Slowly we began to walk and talk. Today we are becoming like teenagers. I look forward to the day when we have matured as an organization. I now moderate one day a week. It is my first love because I am the first contact people have with an organization that is willing to help others if they are willing to help themselves.

All of this has been God’s plan for me. God had one more test for me. I firmly believe God put all these pieces into my life for this particular event. On Tuesday afternoon, December 29, 2009, my wife of nearly 25 years died from the result of a fall and hitting her head on something. Five days later, at church during the altar call, I asked Jesus into my heart. I haven’t looked back since. I was baptized three weeks later. It is by God’s grace that I had my wife for those many years. I could have been very angry at God for taking my wife, but I understand God needed her more than I did. I can live with that. I want to shout to the world that I have a very loving God as my salvation. I am growing daily in my walk with Jesus. Through all the sadness, God and Jesus are helping me to do more with less.

There have been some rough days that have followed. They were and are made easier because I have Jesus living and breathing for me more each day I awaken. God has made me aware of my gifts and I am starting to use them so I may glorify Jesus and God. I have a solid grasp of God’s plan for me. It began that first time Pastor Pat asked me to moderate for World Prayr. I and World Prayr have grown a lot during the days and months that have followed. I pray that as I continue to grow in my faith that World Prayr continues to grow in re-connecting a broken world. With faith and God’s help, we both will.

Robert Dodson
October 11, 2010