God can do anything, you knowfar more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Glory to God in the church! Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus! Glory down all the generations! Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes! Ephesians 3:2021 MSG
When I was visiting in Madera, where I formerly pastored, I attended Kens wedding. After the ceremony, his mother, Ann, told me that she had not told me before we moved. Soon after Tom and Ann began attending our church, they learned that Ken had gotten in some trouble with the U.S. Army in Germany and was going to be court marshaled. Ann and Tom requested prayer for Ken repeatedly, in worship services and mens Bible study. Ann and Tom went to Germany to help Ken through the crisis. He could be imprisoned for a long time. It was the night before court martial; the three of them were sharing a motel room. In the wee hours of the morningduring a time of extreme turmoil and agitationafter Ann had fallen asleep, she said that my face appeared in a dream In the dream I said to her, Ann, remember, Ive told you that we just need to get together and pray about these things. Pray together. She awakened from her sleep, woke Tom and Ken, and said, Pastor Sam said we just have to get together and pray about these things! So the three of them stood in a circle holding hands and prayed for guidance. God answered their prayers. Next day, in the court martial, things turned out in ways they could not have imagined. After just a few months of incarceration, Ken was back home in Madera. But the awesome good news is that during the ordeal, in the midst of intense intercessory prayer by the church family, Ken invited Jesus into his life! When he returned home, he began attending church and our mens Bible study. He met and married a lovely Christian lady. Ken served on the church board for some terms, and he and Susan are involved in various ministries. But thats only part of the story.
Ann wrote the following letter to me: You know how many years we have been praying for our daughter and her family to come to know our Savior? Well this last year has brought the realization of our prayers. Our children, their spouses, and all six grandchildren call Fourth Street Church their house of worship! Maybe no one else can understand what that means to us, except you, having been alongside us through some of the worst times in our lives. Ken and Susan are very active in various programs, Tom has just started helping with the Truck Stop Ministries, we are both attending a Bethel class, AND Susan and Jeremy are teaching their second Sunday school class. I hope you understand that I am not trying to toot a horn, only to show you how much their love for the Lord has grown. I feel so peaceful even with all the anguish around us. I just really thought it was time that I took a moment to thank you for your advice to never give up!
Thats the awesome power of God-fired intercessory prayer, Transforming Hearts Transforming Lives! That is cause for rejoicing! Prayer can melt the hardest heart, remove the toughest obstacle, cleanse the worst motives, clear the hardest conscience, and mend the severest broken relationships, both with God and with other persons. Prayer can accomplish what we know humanly to be impossible.
Thanks, Lord, for the power of intercessory prayer and letting us partner with you in it. You can do anything, far more than we could ever imagine or guess or request in our wildest dreams!
-Dr. Sam Bruce; President, Sam & Sandie Bruce Ministries; Pastor, Hope Point Church, Pearl, Mississippi; Online Instructor, Mid-America Christian University, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma