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In the mid-1980s, I was rushing through an airport in Rome with a friend of mine who was a television producer. Suddenly, I spotted at the opposite end of the tunnel a short, stooped woman wearing a familiar robe.

“Paul,” I called to my friend, “Watch our stuff.” I threw my bags at his feet and ran to her. “My name is Mike Evans,” I said as I approached, offering my hand to shake hers. Mother Teresa’s dark eyes twinkled as she grasped my outstretched hand and said, “Mr. Evans, it is very nice to meet you.”

All the love of the universe seemed to drain from the atmosphere at that moment. It was as if that love was concentrated within her tiny frame and radiated through her. My flight and my friend no longer existed. Like a schoolboy, I stammered a few words about my current mission to Israel, then collected myself and asked about her recent trip to the United States. I thought I would sympathize with her for returning to the suffering in India after enjoying the comforts of the States for a short time.

“No, no,” she said with a sad smile. “It is in the United States that I am sad. I believe it is the poorest country on earth.” “But why?” I asked, stumbling in my attempt at small talk with this giant of faith. “Ah,” she said, “the United States is poor in spirit, and that is the worst kind of poverty.”

I have meditated on Mother Theresa’s profound statement in the years since that encounter and have come to understand it more each day. In a land of wealth and opulence, with every opportunity afforded us—from time saving gadgets to life-enhancing luxuries—our nation as a whole seems devoid of true fulfillment and lasting contentment. Even with all our computer-age technology, state-of-the-art communications satellites, multi-million-dollar universities, and Internet-ready cell phones, we still don’t seem able to rise to a level of greatness equal to our level of wealth. Like a good dream that doesn’t last until morning, personal peace is fleeting and achieving a fulfilling purpose for living eludes us. We seem a nation of people who, while struggling to know our divine destiny, settle instead for complacency, missing God’s power and purpose in our lives.

The great failure of God’s people in our days is that we do not come into His presence through prayer as we should. When we live our lives spending time with God to get to know Him and His purposes, opening ourselves to consider and be part of manifesting His kingdom on the earth, then we should have constant joy within, welling up and spilling out. It should be an infectious joy that makes others want to partake. It should be in us as it was in Jesus and should attract people to us as it did to Him. Just as people should know we are Christians by our love, so should they know we are different because of our joy. If we are truly walking with Jesus, allowing Him to guide our steps, then we should be constantly experiencing the benefits of His Holy Spirit. Just as those who were healed when Peter’s shadow fell across them, we should be more fully experiencing the benefits of the Holy Spirit as we follow closely behind Jesus.

God’s presence changes things, so if He is truly in us and we are abiding in Him, then His life-changing power should shine through us. Yet, instead, we are often indistinguishable from the rest of the world. Some might call themselves undercover Christians, but the truth is we’re not under the cover of His presence; we’re unchanged!

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The Jerusalem Prayer Team with Dr. Michael D. Evans exists to build Friends of Zion to guard defend and protect the Jewish people and to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. We pray for peace in Jerusalem because the Scriptures tell us to in Psalm 122:6. The Jerusalem Prayer Team was inspired from the 100-year long prayer meeting for the restoration of Israel held in the ten Boom family home in Haarlem, Holland. We are committed to encouraging others to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and God's Chosen People. Jerusalem Prayer Team members are also members of Churches United with Israel, Corrie Ten Boom House, Friends of Zion Heritage Center and Jerusalem World News. The Jerusalem Prayer Team mailing address is PO BOX 30000 Phoenix, AZ 85046 or you can call us at 1-888-966-8472. The Jerusalem Prayer Team is a dba of the Corrie ten Boom Fellowship. The Corrie ten Boom Fellowship is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization and is registered with the IRS, Fed Tax ID# 75-2671293. All donations to CTBF (less the value of any products or services received) are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Donations made to the Jerusalem Prayer Team are put to work immediately and are not refundable.