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praying womanAs I walked out of church service one night I was stopped by a woman I did not know. She appeared tired and said emphatically, “yesterday evening, God had me praying for you all night.” I don’t remember anymore of the conversation than that. I only remember thinking to myself “why would anyone pray all night for me? Who am I for someone to do that.” Really, at that time in my life, even though I was in Bible College,  I could not imagine doing that for anyone.  I honestly do not even remember her name.

A few year later, I was about to go on a long trip back east. I owned a residential and commercial tree service at the time and someone called in a small emergency tree job. I thought, that would be a nice way to make some extra cash before the trip so I went with my wife to see what it was all about.

The tree was not very big, and really not much of an emergency, but the people were worried that it had broken off at the base and leaned against another tree next to their home. I did not climb trees much anymore because I usually ran around giving estimations. However, the tree was small and I thought I could manage it easily. Using one of my employees gear, I strapped on the gaffs and the belt and climbed up the tree against which the broken one leaned.

At about 45 feet, I tied in and leaned back expecting that, as I put pressure on the figure eight, it would catch hold of the rope and I could begin cutting down the small tree.

It did not…

Dangerously, someone tied the rope incorrectly and, not having climbed for a while, I forgot to check it. When I leaned back it unraveled and I fell, down through the small branches, and landed on my side with a thud.

To tell you the truth, I was sure I was really hurt.  After falling that far how could I not be? I could not breath and could not think straight. However, after about 60 seconds, I began to catch my breath and sat up. I thought to myself, “wow, I should hurt more than this…maybe I am shock or something.” Actually, though, I felt fine except for a little pain on my side.

Just then the ambulance arrived with the emergency medics. They checked me out and could not believe that I had fallen that far and was still alive. Frankly, one  said, they had expected to find a dead man. I said I was fine and just wanted to go home. They refused. I insisted. Reluctantly, and after signing more than a few forms releasing them for all responsibility for the next hundred years, they let me go. Just for good measure, and to be sure I had not hemorrhaged inside, I went to a hospital and had myself X-rayed, but the doctor found no broken bones or internal bleeding.

I had not yet married, had children, gone to Africa, built an orphanage, ministered among the Luo tibe, or written a word of this website. In fact, I had not done much of anything yet. Had I died that day most of what God wanted to do through me would have perished too.

I don’t think the woman who prayed all night for me knew exactly why she why God asked her to do so. Now, in view of what has taken place in my life, and how God has miraculously kept me alive, I no longer wonder why my Father asked her to do that: I am just really grateful she did.

I encourage all of us to yield to God when He asks us to pray for others even if we do not know exactly why.  Just yield to His Spirit by faith and pray, trusting that it is important you obey. You never know if you are praying for a man or a woman of God whom our Father will touch many through or simply helping to save someone who has their whole life ahead of them.