John 14:14 – If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.
When I was a young and eager Christian I was reading a book on prayer entitled Asking and Receiving. I was stopped dead in my tracks by a story of a dead American railroad engineer who was restored to life by prayer. I had never heard of such a thing outside of the Bible. This did, however, spark for me a lively interest in the power of prayer, an interest that still continues. That is how getting to know Rhoda, the lady "behind that smiling face", featured in two previous Daily devotions has grabbed and kept my attention.
In 1982, this same Rhoda's brother Dalton was diagnosed with cancer. It was internal and serious. He was given only four months to live, and they would be four months of terrible pain. What devastating news that was for the whole family.
Not long after this news, an amazing thing happened. On the same day at supper time in two different places, two ladies were praying for Dalton. One was his sister Rhoda; the other was her sister Verna. Neither one knew that the other was praying, let alone what their prayers were. Rhoda's prayer was simple and to the point. "If Dalton can't get better, please take the pain away." It was truly a direct "Asking and Receiving" prayer. As Jesus said, "If you ask anything in my name, I will do it." And he did.
At the very same time that Rhoda and Verna were praying Dalton received instant relief. "Something took the pain away and drew it out through my shoulder," is the way he put it. Dalton died four months later as predicted but the pain never returned.
This was a marvellous experience for Rhoda and Verna but an additional wonder was revealed one time when Rhoda and Verna were returning home from a visit to Dalton in the hospital. Somehow the matter of their supper time prayer was raised up. Can you imagine their astonishment when they discovered that not only had they prayed at the very same time but they had both used the very same words. Isn't it amazing how God can prompt us to pray just what He wants us to pray, at just the right time! We should never be discouraged about the effectiveness of our prayers.
Prayer: Great God of wonders it is with profound awe and utter amazement that we learn of what you have done through your servants of old as well as in our own day. We praise you for quiet folk like Rhoda and Verna who live out their lives with great joy and happiness despite many burdens, disappointments and pain. Bless all such, we pray, and help each of us to follow Christ with joy whatever the cost. In his holy name we pray. Amen.