Houses of worship come in all shapes, sizes and denominations, but motorists driving by a drug store near Greenway and Dysart roads in El Mirage can receive spiritual guidance from a man of God operating out of a different locale.
Pastor Roger Couillard, who has posters on his Ford pickup truck stating “Prayer Here Now,” welcomes any and all passersby to take time out of their busy schedules in order to pray and reflect on any work, family, marital or spiritual issues that may be bogging them down.
Always a spiritual and religious person, the Surprise resident said it was God who ultimately stepped in and decided he was the best man for the job in helping others deal with everyday issues or simply join along in praying for a better tomorrow.
“People are willing to stop because they have a need, and the church isn’t always open for them to share what’s going on in their life,” Couillard said on a cloudy afternoon in which he met with two area residents by noon and prayed with them.
Couillard, who operates his ministry from about 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, said many of his prayer seekers are dealing with the loss of a job or their house and how they can best go about returning to a life of fulfillment and economic prosperity.
Others are looking for a sense of direction as they deal with issues of being better parents and employees.
On Wednesday afternoon, one of Couillard’s visitors included a Surprise woman who kept cruising north and southbound along Dysart Road by the pastor’s church, debating whether she should stop to seek guidance and direction for her teenage son.
“The woman is a born-again Christian and her son has known the Lord since an early age,” Couillard said. “But the ‘enemy’ is now attacking her son and putting him in depression and bringing about thoughts of suicide.”
The pastor said the woman has been seeking prayer from her church as her son has been admitted to an area hospital because of his thoughts and actions.
“There is no doubt God takes answer to our prayers,” he said. “If you don’t know who you are, then someone is going to take advantage of you.”
While some worshippers are in desperate situations and are seeking a higher being to address pressing individual or family issues, Couillard says others just stop to chat, ask for wisdom and advice, and pray that positive energies keep coming their way.
All those who stop to pray with Couillard receive the “20 Cans of Success” and a leaflet titled “Who Am I in Christ,” which includes Couillard’s contact information on the backside.
Couillard says the opportunity to help others find God and get back on their feet is what his mission is all about. “I tell everyone who has stopped to pray with me to honk their horn or wave when passing by,” he said. “It gives me a good feeling. It’s a blessing to hear the praise.”
Zach Colick can be reached at 623-876-2522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.