I once heard a story from a missionary who had been ministering in a foreign country many years ago. In those days he and his ministry team traveled mostly by donkey along very rugged trails to remote villages in the mountains, where most of the indigenous people had never heard the gospel or even seen a white person.
This team had made an agreement with one another that if any of them got sick or were unable to travel for any reason, they would go on without the person who had fallen ill. They felt it was that important to reach this region with the good news.
Well, one day this missionary got very sick….
He couldn’t ride his donkey and therefore couldn’t continue with the team. So the team left him in a remote village, without any medical care.
After they moved on, the missionary got worse and worse. He knew that unless God intervened, he would die. It became harder and harder to pray for healing. On the third night he could only pray, “Father, help me.” And he wondered if he would live through the night.
But when the sun came up the next morning, he was amazed to discover that not only was he alive, but he was better! He got up from the mat where he had lain dying and ate some food. By the next day he was able to climb back on his donkey and eventually catch up with his ministry team.
MORE TO THE STORY
Two years later this missionary was home on furlough in the US, and while preaching in a church, he told the story of his miraculous healing. After the service a woman approached him and said, “Brother, what was the date of your miraculously healing?”
The missionary checked his travel journal, and when he told the woman the date, she held up her prayer journal. They compared entries and discovered that on the exact date two years earlier, when he had been lying on his deathbed, she had been awakened in the middle of the night by the Lord with an urgent directive to pray for someone in a foreign land.
Eager to obey, she prayed fervently for several hours, not stopping until she got a release and knew the prayer had been answered. Until that day when the missionary spoke at her church, she hadn’t known who had needed intercession.
When the missionary was too weak to pray for himself, God had arranged for someone else to hold him up in prayer.
Think about it. Right now God could be directing someone to pray for you! You are not alone. Not only is God with you to strengthen and help you in every situation, but He is also enlisting the help of others to pray for you, even if you don’t know them.
It Happened to Me
When my husband died, many people heard about it, and I know that many of them prayed for me and my sons. We needed it, and we could feel the effects of it. I heard one story in particular several years later that amazed me.
In 2003 (about five years after Brent had died), I went on a missionary trip to Romania that was organized by my church in Tulsa. There were about 15 people on the ministry team, and on the flight over I sat next to a team member I had never met before this trip.
At one point on our flight he said to me, “Actually I’ve known about you and your sons for a long time.” He went on to explain that five years earlier he and his wife were attending a church in a neighboring state when they had heard about Brent’s death. The Lord had laid it on the hearts of this man and his family to pray for us—for three years!
Can you imagine? A family we didn’t know interceded for my boys and me for three years. And I didn’t find out about it until five years later.
When you are at your weakest, God makes provision to have others help. The helpers could live in the same town or around the world. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that they are praying. You are not alone. God is with you, and so are others.
TAKE ACTION: Whenever I hear the story of that missionary, it gives me a renewed desire to pray whenever God puts it on my heart to do so. It could be a matter of life and death to someone! Make this declaration today: “Father God, I’m available. Help me sensitive to Your voice when You urge me to pray for someone who needs support and help. Thank you for using me!”