I visited a local church tonight with three other adults and about 10 of our teenagers. We were only there for about an hour and a half, which was completely filled by the testimony portion of their New Year’s Eve service. There, a man I know a little bit told one of the neatest prayer stories I’ve heard.
When Jeff’s daughter was born–a couple of the teenagers I was with know her; this isn’t one of those “my aunt’s cousin twice-removed said” stories–she had problems and required open heart surgery. At the end of the surgery, the whole family was called in and they were told that something had went wrong. Jeff saw his daughter, and her head was swollen as big as a basketball and she was blue.
Jeff said he wasn’t following Jesus fully at that time (2001), and he didn’t feel comfortable praying. His mom, he said, was a saint, however, so he asked her to pray. With tears, she told him she couldn’t pray. So he went downstairs and called his pastor, but despite repeated attempts couldn’t reach him. He was desperate and hopeless, believing that his daughter would die, when he got in the elevator.
When the elevator doors opened a man and lady were standing there. He referred to the lady as an angel. They said hi to one another, and when he asked them what they were at the hospital for, she asked if she could pray for him. Apparently, they got together to pray in the waiting room with the rest of the family, and he said that as the lady began to pray a dark cloud formed and moved around the room. As it reached each person, their tears would dry up, their frown would disappear, and they would begin to smile. For 45 minutes they prayed, and the cloud touched every person in the room.
After prayer, they went in the recovery room, and the swelling was down and the tubes were removed from the baby. Obviously, this made an incredible impact on Jeff.
I wouldn’t normally include a story from someone I’ve only had a few conversations with, but Jeff, despite being a Christian and an integral part of this local church, is not real religious. He’s very down-to-earth and fun, and I can’t imagine there’s any way this story is made up. All the people at the church know him, and several people from the village have met his daughter. We drop in on this church pretty regularly.