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What Prayer Does

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  • What Prayer Does

    Her name was Terry - with a "y".

    She was in our 'College and Career' class at Church, and was a little rough. Her Daddy was killed by a drunk driver when she was young, and her Momma tried her best to raise Terry and her two sisters, but Terry always seemed to have to do things the hard way.

    We had had a couple of good conversations at Church - her and my youth assistant, Tucker - and she seemed SO CLOSE to "coming around". But she just kept making bad choices.

    One day, Tuck and I were having our weekly youth workers meeting - he and I and a couple volunteers - and I suggested we just "pray down the list" of youth and young adults in our Church. We were taking turns praying for 3 or 4 at a time, and it was Tucker's turn to pray. The next name on the list was Terry.


    Tuck got choked up, and couldn't pray, and I felt something inside that said she really really needed prayer at that moment.

    Tuck looked up at me and said, "let's go see her", and I already had my keys in my hand.

    As we drove up to her house, she was sitting on the steps of her front porch smoking a cigarette. She looked pretty rough. Tuck sat down on one side of her, and I sat on the steps on her other side. Nobody spoke.

    Then Terry said, "I wondered if you guys would come".

    "What are you talking about," I asked.

    She took a long draw on the last of her cigarette, flicked it into the yard, then said, "I just can't handle it anymore". She paused, and we waited. "I have my Daddy's .38 on my bed, and I just decided I would smoke this last cigarette, then 'check out'". We (Tuck and I) both put our arm around her, one on each side, and she sobbed, "I had just prayed, 'God - you gotta do something. Cause I'm not doing this anymore.'"

    It obviously wasn't just "drama", because something "clicked" that day, and Terry "got it". She became quite active in our College and Career group, rededicated her life to Christ, and, last I heard, she had graduated college and had become a Baptist Student Union Director at a Texas college.

    I still have her Daddy's .38.
    The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

  • #2
    Hubert had been a real pain in the butt.

    His wife was the "Church Momma", and he and she, along with a couple other couples, "ran" the Church. After I had come to this Church as interim pastor, I discovered that the Church had had 25 pastors in the preceding 21 years. ONE of the pastors had been there 5 years, so you can imagine what that did to the averages.

    Hubert and his wife always managed to run off the pastor, unless he played things their way.

    LONG story short, one day Hubert came into my office and told me I could do whatever I wanted to do. He was going to take some time to "go see the Country".

    I knew there was more to this story, so I asked, "Hubert, what's going on".

    He told me that the doctor had just informed him that he had advanced pancreatic cancer, and had less than 6 months to live.

    Wow. You coulda knocked me over with a feather. (I think I posted this elsewhere, but it may have been on the Old Tweb - some of the newer members and I had been praying "God, either move them or change them (referring to Hubert and the "controllers") or move us or change us.")

    God was "moving" Hubert.

    I was at a client's office doing some computer consulting work when I got a phone call from Hubert's daughter. She told me that Hubert was home in bed, and had taken a turn for the worse. She asked if, in the next couple days, I might stop by and visit him. I promised I would.

    Then I had "that feeling". I told my client that "something had come up", and I needed to go take care of something. He told me "no problem", and I drove the 45 miles to Hubert's house, out in the country.

    When I got there, his daughter welcomed me, and said, "he's in the back bedroom", and simply pointed to the door. I walked in, and he was laying there looking somewhat skeletal, but alive. I didn't know what to say.

    He looked up at me, and said, "Glad you came, preacher --- have a seat", and he patted the side of the bed. I sat down, and told him I had been praying for him. He stared at the ceiling for a minute, then said, "I'm glad I get to tell you this, preacher". I was listening. He reached out, and grabbed my hand, and looked me in the eye, and said, "you're a fine fella".

    That's it.

    He closed his eyes, and he was gone.

    I am SO GLAD that I "listened to the spirit" that day, and left that office, and went directly to Hubert's house. When I preached his funeral a few days later, it was SO DIFFERENT, knowing he was my friend.
    The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.


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