Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Pastor's Story

I remember this moment so clearly though is has now been three years. As a pastor, I have seen so many different needs and prayer requests that although each are uniquely individual, they all can begin to run together after a while. But this woman and her situation stand out for several reasons. In our church, we occasionally have times when people can come to the altar for prayer on Sunday mornings. It usually lasts for five minutes while worship is quietly playing in the background and allows for our prayer team to believe for God’s promises to take place in that individual’s life in their given situation.

There are times while I am praying that I can discern what this person is experiencing. There are also times when as I pray that I know whether someone is praying from the place of faith, fear, hopelessness etc. It has nothing to do with tears or words, it God’s spirit speaking to my spirit. This is not always the case. There are definitely times when we pray in agreement to God’s word and there is no clear recognition of faith or clear direction of how to pray. We simply take an established truth in God’s word and pray that He would intervene directly in their situation.

I remember a particular woman as she made her way to the altar. It was toward the end of the five-minute window of prayer. Altar workers had begun to make their way back to their seats, while others continued to pray as the worship team sang. She was already crying when I asked her,” What can I pray with you about today?” Her accent revealed that she was from an African nation and there were times that I had some difficulty understanding what she was trying to communicate. After some time, I understood that she wanted prayer so that she may have children. Tears now were steaming down not only her face but mine as well. As we began to pray together, there was this sense of faith that seemed to permeate everything. I remember thinking to myself,” This is just like Hannah from the Bible.” She believed in her heart and truly cried out to God. We asked God that He would forgive any words spoken in frustration or doubt when it came to being able to conceive and asked God to forgive if she had held any unforgiveness toward God or others. We asked that God would open her womb because He was the author of life.  We blessed her and thanked God for hearing our prayers. By now, there was no one left at the altar but us. We hugged believing that something special just happened and God was going to answer her request. Going home that day, I spoke with my wife about the time at the altar and recounted to her everything that happened. In my heart and mind I believed something special had taken place and that this woman would have children.

Months go by and I did not see her. Occasionally I would pray for her as she came to mind. Then one day, I saw her approaching in the lobby outside of the sanctuary. When she saw me, she hurried over and began to say,” Pastor, I have three.” “Three? Three babies?” I asked. She smiled and said yes. Again we hugged and celebrated God’s answered prayer for a woman’s desire to have children. We also prayed and spoke a blessing over her children. I smile as I write this but I also prayed quietly to myself that she would keep her sanity with three two year olds running around in a couple of years. This was a really big blessing!

This is not the end of the story. Since that day, there have been five or six other women who have become pregnant after struggling to do so for some time until receiving prayer at the altar. There is a faith that remains to see God give life to couples desiring to give birth to a family. I attribute much of this to God, of course, but also to a modern day Hannah who cried out to have children and gave a picture of faith to those who wanted children as well. Faith moves God’s heart and hand. I encourage all who read this to look to God and pour your heart out before Him. Trust Him with your situation and the deepest and most sensitive areas of your life. He is trustworthy and faithful and may God meet you in the place of your greatest need.

Jason C.

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