Matthew 21:22 – And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith. (ESV)
It all started with a prayer. In the quiet of the night, he prayed, "Lord, please use me in some way to reach out to my new friends and neighbours." Little did he know that God had already begun to answer his prayer one and a half months earlier when he suffered a fall, causing slow but steady bleeding into his brain cavity.
Eventually, the pressure on the brain became so great that he lost consciousness, eventually lapsing into a coma. Hovering near death, God stepped in and, through a series of miracles, extended to him the medical care and miraculous healing that he so desperately needed.
Upon regaining consciousness, he immediately knew what he was going to do, but one key ingredient was still missing. He continued to pray for further guidance.
One and a half years later, through another miraculous turn of events, he made contact with Kevin Mills, a country gospel singer of First Nations heritage from the east, who just happened to be coming west for a series of concerts. Two weeks later, they met for coffee, and three hours later, the puzzle was complete, the plans were in place. They would put on a country gospel concert in the park immediately behind his home.
Prayers continued to be answered. He was my neighbour, and we were invited to participate in the planning. We asked if we could use him for two events: one at our church during the morning service and one in the park in the evening. He agreed.
Then, we thought that we could ask the other church in our area to join with us for the morning service, and when they were presented with the idea of a joint outreach event, they enthusiastically said yes. And they love to pray! So they, too, began praying.
In prayer, we started asking how we could make this a bigger event. We needed more space if we wanted to share with more people. So we asked the chief of the local First Nations community if we could use his outdoor field for a church service so that we could invite more people. He agreed wholeheartedly and showed us their new outdoor theatre that will easily seat 200 people.
Someone suggested that we should do a barbecue as well. That idea came because we had been working with a church in Vancouver as one of our missions projects by going down to help with several of their barbecues in the park during the summer where they would serve up to 1200 people at one time. Because they are now the experts at barbecues, we asked the pastor there if he would consider bringing out a team, and we also invited his friends from other churches who have the big cookers and supply the chicken and vegetables for those barbecues. They agreed and came out to help us with our barbecue.
And so we did two outreach events. And it all started with a prayer.
John 8:12 – When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (NIV)
Matthew 5:16 – In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (NIV 2011)
We prayed that we might be lights, and now, we are! Everything went perfectly. The weather was perfect. The programs were perfect. The food was perfect. The message was perfect, and all was done to share the glory of God with the community.
The morning "Church in the Park" was monumental: We were honoured to be invited to be on the Scowlitz First Nations land and to have a church service as the first event in their outdoor theatre! Wow! The sweet spirit of involvement of individuals from several different churches with diverse ethnic backgrounds all wanting to serve the Lord in unity and harmony was overpowering. When God is in it, there is no limit!
And all because we prayed!
Prayer: Our Lord and Creator God, we humbly bow before You and give You praise. We praise You for the light of the world. Thank You that we have Him as our light so that we, too, might be the light for others. Use our light for Your glory. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "The Beautiful Garden Of Prayer" (Lyrics)