From the archives of Oral Roberts
There was a successful man, with a lovely wife and children, who was doing well in business. He had a life that many people envied. One day he stopped going to church. For him, suddenly nothing was right. The sermon wasn’t right, the singing wasn’t right, the praying wasn’t right. He just didn’t want to go to church any more. Then he fell in with some of his business buddies who were drinkers. He took his first drink, then another, and at the next party, he drank more. A few parties later, he drank himself under the table.
He broke his wife’s heart, and she took the children and moved them out of his life. He became a man without a job, a man without a wife, a man without children, and eventually, he became a street person.
One day he decided the whole thing was impossible. But the Spirit of the Lord that had dealt with him when he was going to church had not forsaken him. The Holy Spirit just won’t completely leave. The Holy Spirit moved in him and said, “Do you remember the church you passed the other day that had a sign that read, ‘Come in, and pray’? Why don’t you go over there, go in, and pray?”
He staggered into the church, went up to the altar, knelt down, and prayed a prayer — the same prayer — three times: “Jesus, this is Jim. Jesus this is Jim. Jesus, this is Jim.” Every day he went back, knelt, and prayed that same prayer.
The janitor of the church called the pastor and told him there was a man coming in every day, dressed like a street person, who was praying a strange prayer.
The pastor hid behind the piano, and in came the man, who knelt, raised his face, and again prayed his usual prayer. Then he quickly got up and left.
The next morning, the pastor was reading his morning newspaper and noticed the account of an accident. A street person had been run over and taken to the hospital and was not expected to live.
The pastor said to his wife, “I wonder if that is the man who has been coming to our church and praying. I’ll go see him and see what I can do.”
Sure enough, when the pastor walked into the hospital room, it was that man. When the pastor introduced himself, the man said, “Oh, Pastor, I’m so glad you came this morning. I’m so glad because early this morning, just as the sun was rising, I woke up, looked over at the window, and Jesus walked through it. He came over and stood by my bed, right where you’re standing. He looked down at me and said the same thing three times: ‘Jim, this is Jesus. Jim, this is Jesus. Jim this is Jesus.’”
The man said, “Pastor, everything is going to be all right now. Everything is going to be all right.”