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The Right Prayer Partner (Read 4599 times)
rondele
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Re: The Right Prayer Partner
Reply #15 - May 9th, 2017 at 7:49pm
 
Don, I recall years ago your post about someone in your congregation (either in WNY or Colville) who was very sick and for whom many prayers were said on her behalf. When she died you were questioning why some prayers work whereas others don't.

In fact, some people are healed in cases where no prayers were known to be said.

I don't know the answer but I continue to wonder if maybe there's an unknown protocol of sorts that operates with no apparent human intervention or operates regardless of human prayer attempts.

R
ps- if a trip to Buffalo is in your plans for the summer don't hesitate to lmk and we'll get together in Canada. You know the way!
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Re: The Right Prayer Partner
Reply #16 - May 9th, 2017 at 9:19pm
 
  Yes, agreed Albert, actions speak much louder than words.
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TheDonald
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Re: The Right Prayer Partner
Reply #17 - May 17th, 2017 at 3:23pm
 
(5) I met a remarkable 90-year-old widow during the year I spent at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena. Howard Durfee, the former captain of the Harvard wrestling team, invited me to join a dozen other seminarians to listen to another of her talks in her home. I was curious as to why these athletic young guys would want to spent their time with an elderly lady. I soon found out why.

To be in Mrs. Good's presence was to be drenched in the presence of God! She would regale us like this: "You young guys think nothing of staying up until 2 AM with your pretty girlfriends, but would you give God an hour of your time on your knees? Oh no!" The guys shot wicked grins at each other! What made her the way she was?

As a younger widow, she visited a Methodist church to hear an unknown young preacher. She left the service unimpressed, but as she was driving home, she recounts this Spirit-inspired inner dialogue: "What did you think of that preacher?" Mrs. Good: "Nothing special!" The Lord: "You may not think much of him, but I'm going to use him more powerfully than any American I've ever used; and I want you to dedicate your life to being his prayer partner." Mrs. Good dutifully obeyed this inner prompting, spending hours in intercessory prayer for him; and within just a few months, Billy Graham progressed from a small time preacher to an evangelist who attracted 100,000+ to his meetings. Billy got wind of her prayer ministry and honored her by having her on the platform in one of his campaign meetings.
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I Am Dude
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Re: The Right Prayer Partner
Reply #18 - May 18th, 2017 at 4:58pm
 
Don

I'm wondering how a person can spend hours praying for one particular person or thing and not end up repeating themselves. I ask this because we are instructed by God not to make repetitive prayers.
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But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.
 
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TheDonald
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Re: The Right Prayer Partner
Reply #19 - May 18th, 2017 at 5:10pm
 
Vince, the answer is to learn to "pray in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18)." Roll Eyes  Stay tuned for my thread on that topic.
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TheDonald
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Re: The Right Prayer Partner
Reply #20 - May 25th, 2017 at 4:22pm
 

(6) I was recently asked this question: "My question is what do you do when you have done all you can in both human and prayerful terms?"

The best way to respond is to share these 2 stories:
(a) Mike and I had played bridge with an older couple for 2 years. Roz was a Jewish woman who had worked for Dick Clark of American Bandstand and had helped to launch Clark's career. She also was the booking agent for the rock stars, Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper.  [She shared the inside story of their tragic plane crash.] Her husband Richard is a lawyer. Richard contracted a smoking-induced terminal lung disease and doctors hinted that he may never go home from the hospital. Mike and I prayed for his healing, but no obvious miracle occurred. Yet to our great surprise, Richard did go home, always needing to be connected to an oxygen tank. That was a year and half ago. We still play weekly bridge and Richard has been thriving. Previously unchurched, they both now attend a local evangelical church. So our Christian witness was quite effective.

(b) My next example is an expanded repost.  I was apparently "the right prayer partner." for my new friend Russ, but almost blew it by just offering up a standard prayer for a miracle. Let me explain. I was pastoring a rural 2-church UMC charge in the Finger Lakes region of western New York. I regularly went for a walk in the nearby woods to Honeoye Lake. One day, as I came to a bend in the path, I received a mystical certainty that someone new would attend one of my churches that Sunday and that it was divinely providential that our paths would cross.

A local judge, Russ, and his wife Linda showed up that Sunday. Russ would later say that he had a profound out-of-body experience, while taking Communion. We later became good friends. After 3/ 1/2 years, I took a church in Buffalo, NY. One day, Linda called me to say that Russ's Mom was dying in the last stages of Alzheimer's Disease in a Florida nursing home. Russ had become alienated from his Mom as a young man, and now desperately wanted to be reconciled with her before she died. But she was now in a vegetative state, and Russ had visited her for a week without any meaningful communication. He was very depressed and Linda asked me to pray for him.

I tried to pray, but felt nothing and had no faith for any miracle. Then I thought, "I love Russ and so merely performing my prayer duty simply won't do!' That Friday, I decided to visit a charismatic prayer group that I had attended only once previously. After we sang a couple of praise choruses, I explained why I was there. I asked the group to gather around me as I sat in a chair and lay hands on me as a proxy for Russ's Mom. They gladly complied and soon the power of God fell and we all wept. I sensed that something had happened--but what?

On Saturday morning, I called Linda to tell her what I had done and felt. A very happy Linda told me that Russ had just called her. He had visited his Mom that morning, when suddenly she became lucid and totally rational. For 45 minutes mother and son wept in each other's arms and expressed their points of view and feelings. They were gloriously reconciled. Then, as if someone clicked a switch, his Mom sank into a manikin state and, 20 minutes later, was gone.

I was acutely aware that (a) God called me to minister to Russ during that fateful walk in the woods when God spoke to me and (b) Russ's reconciliation would never have occurred if I had just prayed in my apartment and not going the extra mile of attending that charismatic prayer group meeting. The actual prayer method used is based on the faith proxy principle illustrated by Paul in Acts 19:12. Blessings are applied to cloth aprons and handkerchiefs, which serve as proxies for sick people who can't come to see Paul. are then brought to the sick, who are unable to come and see Paul. When this cloth is brought to the sick, they are healed!
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I Am Dude
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Re: The Right Prayer Partner
Reply #21 - Jun 3rd, 2017 at 5:47pm
 
Amazing stories Don, thanks. I hope you don't mind if I share these with friends of mine. Well, I guess I should say, I hope you don't mind thatI shared them! Very inspiring, I think more people need to hear about prayer miracles. It's too often that I hear people claiming that prayers don't work, even Christians.
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But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.
 
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Re: The Right Prayer Partner
Reply #22 - Jun 3rd, 2017 at 10:53pm
 
Yes, Don makes good use of stories. They are an effective way of illustrating.

Prayer does work; it is real. I could not have done the jobs I have done in the past, nor the work I do now, if not for prayer. Prayer has enabled me to do, achieve and learn far more than my personal capacity would be capable of. I would not be who I am today if not for prayer. And when I have failed it has been largely due to neglecting prayer.

Of course there is true prayer and false prayer, and mediocre prayer, as there are true and false gods, and mediocre gods. One man is improved by prayer, is made kind, wise and strong. Another man prays and is imbued with hatred, becomes murderous and treacherous. Another man prays and nothing seems to happen.

cb
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TheDonald
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Re: The Right Prayer Partner
Reply #23 - Jun 5th, 2017 at 2:49pm
 
(7) In her better years, Beth had been a sharp dresser, an excellent dancer, and a very sophisticated lady.   But now she was languishing in a local nursing home, caught in rhe grips of Alzheimer's Disease.  She was basically a manikin, warehoused in her room in her wheel chair, staring blankly out the window.  I had tried to visit with her a couple of times, but she couldn't acknowledge my presence in any way.

Her husband, Howard (in his 90s) would daily stagger pathetically from his house to the nursing home to be with Beth, but was never recognized by her.  I was touched by his loving devotion and grieved by his inability to establish a connection with her. 

One day, I was visiting someone else in that nursing home, when I walked by Beth's room.  I stifled the impulse to visit her because there seemed to be no point to it.  Suddenly, I reconsidered and went in to be with her while she stared blankly out the window.  In my frustration, I felt very emotionally protective of Howard.  I blurted out, "Beth, you must be a very special lady to have a husband who can barely walk, and yet, he struggles so hard to walk up to see you every day!  You must be a very lovable woman!" 

To my great astonishment, she suddenly brightened, turned to me, her eyes flooded with tears.  She grasped my hand and exclaimed, "O thank you so much!  It was so kind of you to say that."  It was as if her tender soul had returned to her body and she became lucid and realized the sacrifice Howard was making for her.  To think that I came so close to blowing this chance for a truly holy encounter!  I guess I was the right prayer partner for Beth that day.
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