Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Prayers Offered To The Lord

The Prayers Offered To The Lord


    One of my favorite passages in the Bible is about prayer and even better is that it is a promise.  In Mark 11:23-25 (NIV) is says this: “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they will say will happen, it will be done for them.  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” 

    No more evident for me that prayers work for me was on this trip.  Many weird situations happened that I know only your prayers could have gotten me through them.   I would like to share just a few of these with you so that you will also know that God does answer prayers and how your prayers for my safety were heard and answered by the Lord.

    Obviously travel safety and mercies are always paramount on these trips and since I am now writing this from my home, take comfort that I went, came home safely.   A little jet lagged right now, however that comes with the territory. 

    Life in Cairo, Egypt is a very interesting to a foreigner but to a National it is life as usual.  On one of the days I was sitting in a friend’s home and we were planning for the future and what God could do in the region when there was a loud bang and the building shook.  Being not used to such sounds I jumped to my feet and ran to the window to see what was going on.  My friend casually arose and walked over to the window with me.  He looked at me, with a smile in his eyes, and said to be:  “We will say that is just construction.”  Of course I knew exactly what it was.  He went on to say, “Ron, in the future don’t run to the window when this happens, it is not safe.”  Cairo is a city in turmoil right now.  Before I started my trip, there was a faction in Egypt that had made the comment that if they were to see a foreigner on the streets, they would kill them (not kidnap them).  Several people texted me and one person actually told me not to go, in real determined words.  Your prayers sustained me and got me through Cairo without any incidents.

    Oman is the place that I most felt your prayers.  I alluded to this incident in an earlier blog but here is the story.   We were traveling out of the city to meet with a “seeker” in a local village when we saw road signs that said “Military Checkpoints.”  I asked my host why a checkpoint here and he proceeded to tell me that there have been creditable information about a radical faction and they are checking for them.  My next question was,” am I going to need my passport?”  You see I had accidently left in my room.  His face turned white, literally no color at all; and he said “Ron, it is against the law for foreigners to not carry their ID or passports with them at all times.  They will arrest you; there are no warnings on this.”  I have faith but PURE PANIC was setting in now.  There is nothing we can do, we are in line for the checkpoint and there is a tank and gunner aimed at the traffic.  If we were to turn around it would be much worse for us.   As we approached, I watched as each car’s identifications were taken, each person was identified, and in one case one person was asked to step out of the car.  Now it was our turn, we approached the soldier, my friend had his identification in hand and started to roll down his window, when the soldier turned and just waved us through.  No stop, no inspection, just waved us through.  God showed me His mercies and your prayers.  This is not the end of the story, we had to go right back through this checkpoint on our return to the city.  So we proceeded to our meeting, which was fantastic.  Now the trip back.  No cars in line, just us and a truck ahead of us.  Again, identifications were checked and once again it became our turn.  This time the soldier didn’t even make eye contact with us, he just waved us through.   What could have been a disastrous turn of events turned into a lesson for me of having the faith of a mustard seed in the fact that the Lord is taking care of me. 

    The final example of your prayers is when I arrived back in the United States and was headed through Immigration.  I handed my entry card and passport over and immediately knew there was something wrong.  The questions were more detailed, the examinations of my passport were more in depth and as everything was handed back to me, there was a checkmark and big circle around it on the bottom.  I collected my luggage, and as I was heading through the line to exit, I was told to take my stuff over to the Federal Inspection Area.  Having been up for over 45 hours at this point, really make this situation even more intense for me.  So as I stood there, after being questioned by one person, then handed off to another and then being handed off to a Supervisor, I was ready to just cry (literally cry).  I had answered the same questions now for the fourth time and now my luggage was being searched.  At this point all I could do was pray.  So it is what I did.  It is a very strange feeling to see all of your personal items and stuff laid out on a table in front of you.  Over an hour later I was told to put my stuff back in my luggage and meet the Supervisor over by the x-ray machine.  He x-rayed my luggage and said I could go.  Needless to say being who I am, I asked him why I was pulled aside and his comment was, “look where you have been.”    It could have gone a whole lot worse, but God has a sense of humor and I believe He wanted to again assure me that because of your prayers, He took care of me.  And more importantly He is in charge of every situation. 

    God brought me through many interesting situations on this trip.  I can’t even come close to sharing with each of you all the wonderful things that He did while I was traveling.  Throughout this trip, I know you were praying for me.  Several of you each day when I posted something would tell me you were praying.  One person each day sent me his prayers and it was like we were praying together.  And many of you have told me since returning that you liked knowing where I was and how to pray through the prayer calendar.  THANK YOU for praying for me and blessing me because you were asking and believing and God answered your prayers.  THANK YOU!!!

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