Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels (angelous — ἀγγέλους) without knowing it (Hebrews 13:2).
In James 5:16 we are told to pray for one another. Joey Martin Feek is a sister in Christ for whom I’ve been praying for over a year.
In that time she has given birth to a baby girl with DS, been diagnosed and treated for cervical cancer and is now home recovering from surgery to remove a Stage 4 growth from her colon.
While Joey was in the hospital, Rory (her husband) would stroll through a nearby park with their baby, Indiana. One morning, Rory came across a wooden shack that sold confections. We pick up the compelling story from Rory’s WordPress blog, This Life I Live:
As we rounded the far side of the park, we passed a small wooden building on our left, and I heard a voice say, “Hello there”. I turned to the right and saw an older black man getting out of a car that was parked on the street. He walked a little closer and stuck out his hand as he asked, “Are you from out of town?” and I said, “Sorta … my wife is in the hospit …”, but before I could get the rest of the line out, he took my hand and said, “I’m gonna pray for you”.
And there on the sidewalk, this old man bowed his head and held my hands and prayed the sweetest, kindest prayer of healing for Joey and I. His beautiful prayer went on for about a minute or so, and I know I should have had my eyes closed, but I found myself staring at him as he prayed, wondering why he was here, and why I was here, and what kind of guy this was that would stop a stranger and pray for him without even knowing his story.
Then I noticed his eyes tearing up as he continued praying for “complete and total healing for this man’s wife, and peace for him and his child”. When he finished and we both said “Amen”, I think I was still staring at him. He smiled as he looked up at me. I thanked him for the prayer and asked him his name. He pointed to the little concession stand building and said, “I’m Willie, and this is my place”. Then he leaned in a little and said, “Wanna know a secret?” and I said, “Sure”. Then Willie said, “It might look like I sell snow cones, but that’s just a cover … this is what I really do. I encourage people. That’s what God has me here for”.
I couldn’t help but smile back as I said, “Are you here getting ready to open?” He shook his head and said, “That’s the funny thing … I don’t open for a couple hours. God told me to get in my car and drive here early this morning, and now I know why. I’m here to pray for you and your wife”. Then, with big tears in his eyes, he put his arms around me and gave me a huge hug.
The world is so distracting that it is difficult to just be still and listen to His voice. Maybe the Lord is calling you to be a messenger to someone in need.
— Commentary —
Hospitality to Christian brethren at a distance from their homes is especially intended (1 Peter 4:9): this was one manifestation of the “love of the brethren” (Hebrews 13:1). The prominence assigned to this duty in the exhortations of the Epistles of the New Testament was faithfully reflected in the practice of the early Church.
The Greek word for “angels” — messengers — of itself would serve to remind these Christians that, though the strangers whom they welcomed were but men, they might be special messengers of God. 
1. Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers, Charles Ellicott, 1878.
This Life I Live, Rory Feek, WordPress.
Facebook: Joey and Rory
Image: King James Bible Online.
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