A missionary on furlough told this true story while visiting his home Church:
While serving at a small field hospital in Africa, every two weeks I travelled by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies. This was a journey to two days and required camping overnight at the halfway point. On one of these journeys, I arrived in the city where I planned to collect money from a bank, purchase medicine and supplies and then begin my two-day journey back to the field hospital.
Upon arrival in the city, I observed two men fighting, one of whom had been seriously injured. I treated him for his injuries and at the same time talked to him about the Lord. I then travelled two days, camping overnight, and arrived home without incident.
Two weeks later I repeated my journey. Upon arriving in the city, I was approached by the young man I had treated. He told me that he had known I carried money and medicines. He said, ‘some friends and I followed you into the jungle on your last trip, knowing that you would camp overnight. We planned to kill you and take your money and drugs. But just as we were about to move into your camp, we saw 26 armed guards surrounded you.’
At this I laughed and said that I was certainly all alone in that jungle campsite. The young man pressed the point, however and said, ‘No sir, I was not the only person to see the guards. My five friends also saw them and we all counted them. It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone.
At this point in the missionary’s story, one of the men in the congregation jumped to his feet and interrupted the missionary and asked if he could tell him the exact date this armed-guard incident happened. The missionary told the congregation the date and the man who interrupted got very excited and told him his story:
On the night of your incident in Africa, it was morning here and I was preparing to go and play golf, when I felt this sudden urge to pray for you. In fact, the burden to pray for you was so strong I called men in this Church to meet with me here in this Church building to pray for you. Would all those men who met with me that day please stand up?
The men who had met together to pray that day stood. The missionary wasn’t concerned with who they were – he was too busy counting how many men were standing: there were 26 men standing.
This story is an incredible example of how the Spirit of the Lord moves in mysterious ways. If you ever feel such a prompting to pray for anyone or anything … go for it! Nothing is ever hurt by prayer except the gates of hell. I encourage you to go forward this to as many people as possible. If we all take heart, we can turn our community and our nation towards God once again.
As the above true story clearly illustrates that with God, all things are possible and more importantly, it reminds us that God hears and answers the prayers of the faithful.