Twenty-Six Men

The following true story was reported by a worker with the Overseas Missionary Fellowship:

“While serving at a small field hospital in Africa, I traveled every two weeks by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies. This requires camping overnight halfway. On one of these trips, I saw two men fighting in the city. One was seriously hurt so I treated him and witnessed to him about the Lord Jesus Christ. I then returned home without incident.

“Upon arriving in the city several weeks later, I was approached by the man I had treated earlier. He told me he had known that I carried money and medicine. He said, ‘Some friends and I followed you into the jungle, knowing you would camp overnight. We waited for you to go to sleep and planned to kill you and take your money and drugs. Just as we were about to move into your campsite, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards.’

“I laughed at this and said, ‘I was certainly all alone out in the jungle campsite.’

“The young man pressed the point, ‘No sir, I was not the only one to see the guards. My five friends also saw them, and we all counted them. It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone.’

“At this point of my church presentation in Michigan, one of the men in the church stood up and interrupted me. He asked, ‘Can you tell me the exact date when this happened?’

“I thought for awhile and recalled the date.

“The man in the congregation then gave his side of the story. He stated, ‘On that night in Africa it was day here. I was preparing to play golf. As I put my bags in the car, I felt the Lord leading me to pray for you. In fact, the urging was so great that I called the men of this church together to pray for you. Will all of those men who met to pray please stand?’

“The men who had met that day to pray together stood. There were 26 of them!”

David Jeremiah in Prayer: The Great Adventure says this was a story included in an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship mailing. Jeremiah adds…

“This dramatic story reminds us of the power of praying in God’s will. But what if the missionary had no such story to report? What if the golfer never heard about what his prayers had accomplished? To be honest, that’s the way it is with most of our prayers. We may feel an urging to pray for someone, but seldom do we hear of any ‘miraculous’ answers in response. We may pray for something or someone for years and never see anything happen. Does that mean that nothing is happening, that we should give up and use our energy on something more productive? No. God is at work in response to our prayers, whether we see something happening or not. If we are truly praying, ‘Thy will be done,’ forces are at work beyond our comprehension–and often, beyond our vision. But they are working just the same.