As a person who has for the past eighteen months been actively involved in prayer more than at any other time in my life and in particular intercessory prayer, I had an experience this morning, Wednesday 17 November 2010, that I just had to share with you all.
It was 2:25am (Melbourne Australia time. Readers do the conversion to your own country) and I was awakened out of sleep for no immediately apparent reason. All I knew was that I felt trepidation within and a STRONG URGE to check my computer, which I had left on and connected before going to bed at 10pm the night before!
At 2:30am I arose and checked my computer having decided to shut it down in case my state of alarm was to do with that. Prior to shutting down, I did a check of all open systems in case there were “Windows” upgrades or anti-virus scans etc proceeding and I also decided to check my emails. To my surprise, I could not receive or send emails! It took me about 2 minutes to check my “email account” details and they were all correct so I tried again and another 3 minutes passed without success. By this time my trepidation had been joined by frustration and in the past I may have given up but I didn't and as a result a thought came for me to re-enter all my “email account details”, this I did and at about 2:45am I was successful and received one email which had come in from a friend at 10pm about the exact time I was going to sleep. As I began to read the email, I felt a STRONG IMPRESSION to pray, but not knowing exactly what or whom to pray for I decided to read the email first. I have pasted the content below.
The content of the testimony as sent in the email to me:
God's 26 Guards
“Have you ever felt the urge to pray for someone and then just put it on a list and said, 'I'll pray for them later'? Or has anyone ever called you and said, 'I need you to pray for me, I have this need?' Read the following story that was sent to me and may it change the way that you may think about prayer, and also the way you pray. You will be blessed by this....” “A missionary on furlough told this true story while visiting his home church in Michigan . 'While serving at a small field hospital in Africa , every two weeks I traveled by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies. This was a journey of 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 traveled 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 in to the jungle, knowing you would camp over-night. We planned to kill you and take your money and drugs. But just as we were about to move into your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by
26 armed guards. 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 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 sermon, one of the men in the congregation jumped to his feet and interrupted the missionary and asked if he could tell him the exact day this happened.. The missionary told the congregation the date, and the man who interrupted told him this story: 'On the night of your incident in Africa , it was morning here, and I was preparing to go play golf. I was about to putt when I felt the urge to pray for you. In fact, the urging of the Lord was so strong, I called men in this church to meet with me here in the sanctuary to pray for you. Would all of those men who met with me on that day stand up?' The men who had met together to pray that day stood up. The missionary wasn't concerned with whom they were, he was too busy counting how many men he saw.
There were 26. This story is an incredible example of how the Spirit of the Lord moves in behalf of those who love Him. If you ever feel such prodding to pray, go along with it, you don't know what it can mean to that person..
Nothing is ever hurt by prayer except the gates of hell.
As the above true story clearly illustrates, 'With God all things are possible'. More importantly, how God hears and answers the prayers of the faithful. After you read this, please pass it on and give God thanks for the beautiful gift of faith, for the powerful gift of prayer, and for the many miracles He works in your own daily life... Who says God does not move on the earth today?”
"I Can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
While reading the email the impression to pray had become stronger but there was still no definitive prayer target. So at about 2:55am (Melbourne Australia time) I began to pray from an extensive prayer list I have developed over the eighteen months of intercessory prayer.
A lot of the situations and conditions relating to individuals and events have been answered or are now out of date but the people remain, and as I went through the list I also went through the email and found ammunition for prayer e.g. The “missionary” was preaching in “Michigan” Ohio USA, and as far as I am aware, there is only one person on my list from Michigan, so perhaps God wanted me to pray at that specific time for that particular person and He brought it about, but in this case there were many others prayed for as well.
We should never underestimate the power of the prayer of faith no matter what time God (The Father) calls for it!
There were 26 people praying in Michigan USA and God (The Father) arranged for the would be robbers and assassins to see the missionary surrounded by exactly 26 Guards!
Well about 4am I clearly felt the trepidation abate so I concluded that my task for that morning had been completed. Was it coincidence that I had been awakened early in the morning in Australia to check my computer, to find the email and to pray for people living both in Australia and globally?
I THINK NOT!
After going back to bed I slept like a "baby"!
The next time you feel “impressed” to do “something” or to pray, consider it carefully, but not for TOO LONG!
Another curious connection is that the email story finished with the promise from Phil 4:13 which I have been claiming in my own life of late.