I was lying in a Filipino hospital with excruciating pain. It felt like someone was twisting a knife in my stomach. The doctor’s first priority was to rehydrate me, as I had gone through a serious bout of dysentery. They did a series of tests, but could not determine the cause of my pain. After a day, the pain went away. Not knowing what else to do, the doctors released me from the hospital. As I l walked out the hospital exit, the pain came back.
I decided to go back to the missions guesthouse where we as a short-term missions team had been staying. As the “knife” work continued, I asked my teammates to pray for me. They prayed for God’s healing. The pain gradually subsided and by the next morning, it was gone for good. I have no doubt that God answered prayer by healing me.
The early Christians certainly knew about the power of prayer. After the Jewish leaders had commanded Peter and John to stop speaking about Jesus (Acts 4:18-31), they went to their own people and together, they prayed. How did God respond to their prayers? “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly” (v. 31).
God’s power not only shook the building , but also moved the people to speak the Word of God boldly. All of this came after the people prayed together.
I am convinced that prayer is our primary way of moving the hand of God. He doesn’t always say yes to our prayers, but how will He answer at all, unless we ask.