Morning Prayer and God’s Touch

 An unexpected health/ministry encounter occurred about two weeks ago on the way to morning prayer.  A group of about 20 new believers, myself, and Rick (the mission leader and church co-pastor) meet at the Vineyard church building about ½ mile from our house, each morning at 6:00.  It’s a beautiful time with an emphasis on learning to hear God’s voice.  There’s also a short bible study, while we watch the sunrise in the eastern sky over the Xingu River.  It’s a tough life here!  The folks who come are eating it up and they express a tangible joy as they draw closer to God around this exercise.  I cherish my slow, quiet walks to and from in the early morning neighborhood streets.


While on my way to this gathering one morning, I met a couple in the road, standing outside their house.  They were also on their way to the prayer time.  This day, the wife’s mother, a sweet believer of several years, was joining them.  She was really struggling to breathe and I observed that her type of difficulty breathing seemed asthma-like.  I said nothing at the time but asked Deanna to visit her that day.  Deanna said she is 67 years old and a beautiful mother and grandmother, well known to the missionaries.  Bets and Deanna visited her that day and a cool story unfolded.  Her husband is not a believer and is an alcoholic and womanizer.  He has treated her quite poorly for many years.  Deanna and Bets said that while they talked she was working hard to breathe and had difficulty speaking.  She confessed to Deanna and Bets that the day before she didn’t think she would make it another day because of her breathing and she spent some time speaking with God, asking Him for healing so that she could have more time on earth.  She had prayed similarly in the past when her breathing got this bad.  She said that, for some time, she had been wrestling with her attitude toward her husband’s current mistress.  So while she spoke with God that day, she also asked Him to give her the courage to speak with this woman.  She walked outside while she continued to pray and the mistress walked up to her on the street!  She asked the mistress for forgiveness for her poor attitude toward her and they were kindly reconciled.  She was full of joy after that encounter and even dared to hope that God might heal her breathing, extending her life.  She went on to tell Bets and Deanna that she had been struggling to breathe daily for over eight years and that the severity of the same waxes and wanes.  Her activity has been extremely limited because of her inability to even minimally exert herself.  She has visited many doctors in several cities, with no improvement.  At times, “like now”, she’s been sure she would die of suffocation by the following day.  Deanna and Bets prayed for her and gave her some prednisone (commonly used medicine for asthma-like symptoms), at my recommendation.  We were gone for the next two days and upon our return, she was waiting for us, grinning and about jumping up and down.  She stated that her breathing was normal and she hadn’t breathed like this in years.  She demonstrated a deep breath over and over like she just couldn’t believe it herself.  She continues to do just as well to this day.


Perhaps more significant is the response of her husband.  He has never been to a doctor or to church.  He has been equally amazed by his wife’s recovery and asked if he could see me for some chronic leg pain.  We spent about an hour with him, suggesting a diagnosis and some reasonable treatment.  We asked him if we could pray for him and he consented without hesitation.  We prayed for his leg and for his heart and that Jesus would show himself more clearly to him.  He nodded and grunted agreement as we prayed.  As they left, the wife was walking behind the husband, smiling, skipping, and giving us thumbs up with a wink.  It was a special moment.  Please pray that God continues to haunt this man with demonstrations of His love and His power.

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