Sunday, July 02, 2006

Prayer changes things

Yesterday at church, during Bible study time we had a visitor. He was a muscular tatoo'd New Zealander. I was glad I was meeting him in church and not a dark alley somewhere! He told a story from his life. He has been restricted, by his X, from seeing his daughter for 2.5 years. He was not allowed to speak to or visit his daughter because his wife was extremely controlling and verbally abusive. The way he said it was, "I was convinced her mother was the anti-Christ!"
He was at church in NZ one Sabbath in the town where his daughter and X were living. The Bible Study that morning in Sabbath School had been exploring the story of Jesus and the Centurian - when the soldier says, "Say the word and my daughter will be healed." Jesus was impressed by the Centurian's understanding of power and authority. Jesus says, "Go and it will be done." Then the text says that she was healed "that very hour."
So, at the end of the study the leader says, "Are there any prayer requests?" And the man says, "I want you to do that one hour thing for me. I want you to pray that I can see my daughter within the hour."
Amazing, eh? The guy had "Centurian faith" and believed that this Christian Bible study leader, who had most likely just said a lot about Jesus' power still being available in the same way, could contact this Jesus and His power through prayer. So, the leader agreed and said the prayer.
The next thing the man said was beautiful. He said, "When she finished the prayer I thought, 'well, we've said the prayer so I better do something about it!' So, I got busy." Oh that more of us would act with such faith!
He made a phone call to "the anti-christ" and was amazed when she was friendly and reasonable, something she had not been for many years. She said he could come over and visit his daughter "right now." And, within the hour, he was with his daughter.
Prayer changes things for those who have faith and choose to act in faith!

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