Answers to Prayer
For the past three days, I have been sharing with you about the power of prayer, and learning about paga, the Hebrew word for intercession. Today, I’m going to share four stories with you about answered prayer. First John 5:14-15 tells us: “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.” Let these stories boost your faith and confidence.
In her book, Miracles Happen When You Pray, Quin Sherrer shares the following testimony:
“Prakash, a crusade worker in India, looked at the lifeless body of his son and felt his heart collapse with grief.
“Prakash had been out in the field, sharing the gospel, when he received an urgent telegram from his wife. He rushed home and discovered that his son was nearly dead. They couldn’t afford an ambulance, so Prakash and his wife boarded a crowded bus and began the long journey to a hospital in a neighboring city. On the way, their son’s heart stopped beating. All the passengers on the bus gave him up for lost.
“‘I felt as if a big bolt of lightning had struck my heart,’ Prakash said. ‘My sorrow knew no bounds, and my wife was fully immersed in tears.’
“But in the midst of the tragedy, faith filled his heart with renewed confidence and power. ‘The child is not dead, just sleeping,’ Prakash announced with boldness that made the passengers on the bus laugh as if he were insane.
“Prakash immediately knelt down in the aisle of the bus and prayed over the body of his son. Ten minutes into his prayer, a pulse returned to the child’s body, and he opened his eyes.
“The passengers were stunned. ‘Your God is truly great!’ they said in amazement. ‘Tell us about Him.’
“Rejoicing in God’s miraculous answer to his prayers, Prakash shared the Gospel with a captive audience.” (1)
What a great story! I believe God will give us more signs and wonders that will, just as in this story, cause unbelievers to come to Christ.
In their book Praying Prodigals Home, authors Quin Sherrer and Ruthanne Garlock share the following two stories:
“At age 14, Dawn began showing signs of hostility toward my husband, her stepfather. Up until this time, she had called him Daddy and insisted on having her last name changed to his. But when she rebelled, she contacted the authorities at her school and told them she was going to run away if we didn’t allow her to live with her girlfriend and her family.
“The court got involved, and I lost custody of her. She became a ward of the court, then was placed in a succession of foster homes. When we would see her in court, she would swear at us and make obscene gestures. It broke my heart to see her like this.
“Because of her extreme hostility, the Child Protective Services suspected she’d been molested, and they thought my husband may have been the one who did it. Later we learned it was a friend’s 41-year-old father.
“The eight months that Dawn was out of our home were nearly unbearable for me. I became desperate before God. On Mother’s Day Sunday in church, our pastor spoke of the woman with the issue of blood and how she touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and was healed. That morning, in prayer, I pressed in and touched the hem of His garment - somehow, I knew God had heard my cry. Don’t ask me how; I just knew! I placed my daughter completely in God’s hands and trusted Him to bring about a miracle.
“Shortly after that experience, God began turning the situation around through some amazing events. My husband chose to forgive Dawn for her rebellion, and our relationship with her was healed. Then the court returned custody to us. Considering all the circumstances, it had seemed impossible that our prodigal would ever return home. But God is faithful, and He restored our family.
“Today Dawn is my best friend. When she was 24, my husband even got to adopt her. Only God could have put these broken pieces together again.” (2)
And also, from Praying Prodigals Home:
“For years, Evelyn had prayed Scripture prayers for her children. After Ken left home and moved back East, Evelyn went to visit him. He had backslidden. She was deeply grieved by his attitude and lifestyle, and boarded the plane with a heavy heart for her return flight home.
‘“Sitting on the plane, I talked to the Lord about Ken. She said, ‘I prayed, “God, I know all the Scriptures that are there to stand on for my family, but I need something new and fresh so I can fight the good fight for my son to return to You.”
“‘I opened up to Proverbs and began to read. Suddenly a verse seemed to leap off the page, and faith was born in my heart: “You can also be very sure that God will rescue the children of the godly” (Proverbs 11:21, TLB). I had never noticed that Scripture, but this was a Bible version I wasn’t accustomed to.”’
“She clung to God’s promise for 13 years that He would rescue her child.
“‘God kept telling us we should talk to Him more about Ken and less to Ken about Him! Ken’s life was becoming deplorable, but we kept loving and praying. Eventually, he began to trust us not to preach to him or condemn him, and he would turn to us when he was hurting. Once, he called and was hinting for us to pray for him. Then one day, we had the courage to ask if we could pray for him, and he allowed us to. That was a real breakthrough.‘
“Evelyn and her husband prayed that God would send people into Ken’s life who would have a positive influence on him, and it happened. Ken met up with a former friend who was a Christian and eventually agreed to go to church with him. When he called home to tell his mom, she just listened, not wanting to overreact or offend him. A few days later, he called again and told her he’d attended another church service. He said he felt the Lord told him this was his last chance. At that point, he repented and returned to the Lord.
“‘Finally, the day came when we were able to see our son,’ Evenlyn shared. ‘I’ll never forget the moment he rang the doorbell and I opened the door. There he stood, so visibly changed! Ken’s countenance, dark for so many years, now was lit up with that inward glow that only Jesus can give. Yes, our prodigal son had returned!” (3)
And lastly, our dear friend, Beth Alves, who is now in Heaven, shared the following testimony of creating a boundary (paga) of protection with her prayers. And what a story it is!
“An example of intercession in my own life involves a cousin I hadn’t seen in about ten years. I crawled out of bed in the middle of the night for a glass of water when a picture of my cousin canvassed my mind. Suddenly I dropped to my knees and began to cry out, ‘God, don’t let Mike move! Keep him still, Lord! Keep him still! Oh God, please don’t let him move! Hold him, Lord! Hold him!’
“Even though I was pleading on Mike’s behalf with my words, I remember thinking, This is really ridiculous. Why am I praying this? Then the words ceased. So I got up, drank a glass of water, and started back toward the bedroom. Again I fell to the floor and began to cry out with a grave sense of urgency. ‘Don’t let him move, God! Don’t let Mike move! Stay still! Stay still!’ The words came to an abrupt end. This time I thought, This must be a nightmare!
“I had no feeling inside of me other than the feeling to pray. I got up and began to pace the floor, wondering what in the world that was all about. One more time, I took a few steps toward the bedroom when again I dropped to the floor. Only this time, I was yelling, ‘Get him up, Lord! Get him to run! Run, Mike! Lord, help him to run…run…run! Let him run, God! Run, run, run!’ After several minutes, a calm came over me, and I returned to bed for the night.
“The following day, I called my aunt to see if she could help me put the pieces together about my puzzling outcries the night before. She informed me only that Mike was in Vietnam. The experience still made very little sense.
“Finally, a month later, my aunt called to read a letter she had received. The letter told how Mike, who was a pilot, had been shot down; he and his parachute landed in a tree. He had been trained to get out of the area as quickly as possible, but explained that just a few hundred yards from the crash site, he fell into a bush. ‘Mom,’ he wrote, ‘it was like I was pinned down. I felt like somebody was sitting on me. The Vietcong came and were unknowingly standing on my pant leg while looking up at my parachute in the tree. They turned around and began to slash the bushes with their bayonets. It looked safe, so I started to get up and run when once again, I fell into the bush as though someone was pushing me. I lay there for a couple of minutes when suddenly I had the impulse to get up and run. I heard a helicopter, so I sprinted through the wooded area, following the direction of the noise, to an open space where I was whisked off to safety. The helicopter crew said they came in response to my beeper. And yet, it was damaged when I was shot down and wasn’t working!’” (4)
Today for our prayer and decree, I want to do something different. YOU pray your own prayer and release a decree for someone - a prodigal, or one who is struggling in life, or perhaps someone who needs a miracle. Call them by name, ask Holy Spirit to lead you, and trust Him to do so. I am going to turn off the camera and do the same.
See you on Monday.
Click on the link below to watch the full video.
Every Home for Christ Newsletter, Dick Eastman, president (Colorado Spring, Colorado, January 1995).
Quin Sherrer and Ruthanne Garlock, Praying Prodigals Home (Ventura, California: Regal Books, 2000), pp 63-64.
Ibid. pp 47-49.
Elizabeth Alves, Becoming A Prayer Warrior (Minneapolis, MN: Chosen Books, 1998, 2003) pp 29-30.