Many Christians are aware that the prayer of faith is essential for the Christian to feel that he is in God’s will. However, there is more to prayer than meets the eye. As a matter of fact, the Bible notes that the prayer of faith may require many things from us.
The psalmist records that, “you will show me the path of life; in Your presence is the fullness of joy.” Psalms 16:11. We too need to be reminded of the joy that is in the promise of God’s promise. Throughout history, humanity has struggled with the issue of right livelihood and the desire to serve the needs of fellow man.
Christians and Jews alike, from every walks of life, have experienced the trouble of poverty and oppression. We have seen our countryled by tyranny and righteousness separated by the narrow gate. These, however, are not the only prayers of faith. I noticed a certain familiar verse from the Book of Isaiah, 1:6-8, “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and His Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘As for me, Babylon is my chosen city; for mine name is Marah; For out of it I have built my church, and the gates of brass are my witnesses throughout the earth. All those who lay down their life for my sake will live; and there will be no fear of evil, for I will provide for them the crown of life, even the city of David, which has been dedicated to me.”
As imperfectly as the people of any country are represented in the world today; so does God look at the human condition of humanity and see only discontent, misery, and deceit. I found myself thinking of this as I sat in church this past Sunday.
While I wasonement, I sat at the end of the pews listening to the minister remind us that, “what we have as believers are promises.” I couldn’t help but wonder what he had in mind with these words, since one of my neighbors had just been murdered only a block away from where I was sitting. The fact that the same man who preached this message to me a couple of weeks earlier was murdered for the same reason is both comforting and which in itself should be troubling to all of us.
As I sat and listened, it was difficult to focus on the gruesome details of the murder. It was then that I turned my head to the left and looked behind me. Just behind me was a young black girl about twelve years old. The only thing that I could make out of her pristine appearance was that she had severe privations; that all her teeth were filled. I would bet that she had barely been washed (unlike her sisters) last night. I had no way of knowing anything about her.
She came forward and placed her hands on mine. I withdrawing my hand she explained to me that I could trust her. I should also listen to her. I had no idea what was to happen.
She went on to explain to me that there was a man waiting for me on the bench where I sat; he was going to take me to the “heavenly city.” I must have seemed very emphatic to this girl. She said that I better watch out for a man called “the killer.”
I looked at her perplexed, “what is heaven? Where is it?”
“It is beyond the heavens,” she replied, quite calmly.
I tried to chew on that statement but couldn’t squeeze anything out. Just then her aunt came by and spoke to me. She greeted me and gave me a big hug. I don’t know what possessed me at that moment. I mumbled something about feeling grateful to be alive and then passed on to my parents’ bench.
I stayed on the bench for a short while longer and then moved on to where my other relatives were. I had to walk around the whole church before finding a restroom. I distinctly remember feeling as though I was lost in a tunnel somewhere. I did not know where I was or what was going on. I stood silent and humbled in prayer for awhile.
In the tunnel, I saw that many people were already there, waiting. They were in the same sad state as I. It was then that I realized that this event was the calling of the Holy Spirit.
After the service, I had a revelation from the Holy Spirit. I was standing alone and chatting with a white youth pastor who was a friend of mine. I started asking him questions. It occurred to me that I should not necessarily share everything I know to him, but make him a believer so that he could see for himself all the questions that would be answered.
The pastors’ deep laughter could be heard in the background as they stood there, relating how this young man had such a connection with God.