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Prayer Changes Things

We are admitting your son to the hospital immediately. I don’t think you are going to Thailand. Greg & Becky Ouellette starred at the doctor, incredulous. As part of the newly formed long term church planting team, Operation Second Wave, Greg, Becky and their four children had plans to move to Thailand in two weeks. Then, suddenly, their youngest son, Silas became ill. Results from the blood work revealed all the signs of Type I diabetes.

Becky immediately knew in her heart the doctor was wrong. We are going to Thailand. It’s time to pray! Greg and Becky alerted their families, supporters and church prayer lines. They were scared but also confident that this was either a test from the Lord or that He was going to heal Silas. That night, as they prayed, they did research. Jesus, heal Silas. What kind of medical centers are available in Thailand? Jesus, increase our faith. How do you give insulin on a plane? Jesus, we trust you.

The next morning at the hospital, doctors performed more blood work on Silas. All tests came back negative. None of the previous day’s symptoms could be found. Silas was released and the Ouellettes flew to Thailand to begin their church planting adventure two weeks later. Glory to God!

My reliance on prayer is daily reinforced as I serve with MB Mission. What a privilege to work with men and women who live fully dependent on God’s provision! We truly believe that God will raise up the people and funds needed to fulfill his mandate to go into all the world and make disciples (Matthew 28:19).

Our missionaries believe in the power of prayer too. One email I received this week especially celebrates it. Carmen and Andy Owen, MB Mission church planters in Thailand as part of Team 2000, share about answered prayer for their friend Noy:

Noy became our house help in January of 2002 and we have been praying for her ever since. She chose to follow Jesus in 2003 but her husband Joy was resistant for many years. He has struggled with alcoholism and gambling. In July he hit rock bottom. Then, by a miracle, he came to church camp and decided to give his life to Christ! Now we are doing a small cell group in their house and joy is hungry to learn more about God. Hallelujah for answered prayers!

This week, as I read in Jeremiah, I was challenged by his eloquent reminder to Jerusalem of their need for God to bring change to their hearts: “Can an African change skin? Can a leopard get rid of its spots? So what are the odds on you doing good, you who are so long-practiced in evil?” (Jer. 13:23). People are capable of creating great change, but only God can bring transformation to the human heart! Our missionaries are especially in tune with how prayer can fuel this God-given transformation of the heart.

Last week, Andre Pritzkau, who works with the MB church in Berlin, Germany, excitedly updated me on 11 people recently baptized in their church. Two of those believers, Susanne and her daughter Shary, came to faith in Jesus because of the power of prayer. Susanne writes, “Something in our lives was missing. We couldn’t find what we were looking for. One day, Shary brought home a flyer from Kids in Action (a church ministry). As I held the flyer in my hand, I felt peace surrounding us so we went to Kids in Action that Saturday. People started praying for us. Prayer really turned our lives around and both of us received Jesus into our lives!” This church believes in the power of prayer and these two women experienced God’s life giving transformation because of it.

One of my favourite responsibilities at MB Mission is to put together the Daily Prayer Guide together. I am constantly amazed at how God is raising up prayer partners for our missionaries and ministries. In just over a year, our distribution list has gone from a few hundred to a few thousand. What a testimony of God’s faithfulness and provision! The prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective (James 5:16).