In his report to the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention last week in Nashville, Dr. David Platt, President of the International Mission Board, shared a remarkable story with us. The story, relayed by several of our IMB missionaries working in a small village among unreached peoples in Southeast Asia, concerned the beginning of an outreach in that area resulting in numbers of the people bringing amulets and other magic objects to the center of the town to be burned. Without being told to do so, the villagers who had begun turning to Christ, brought their objects which connected them to the magic to the village center.
Rejoicing in their genuine faith in Christ, the missionaries celebrated until news came that the village elder, who everyone held in fear and high regard, had suddenly died. The villagers took this as a sign that the forces which controlled the magic (and their lives) were displeased and had begun to take their wrath out on the village. Almost immediately the villagers returned and retrieved their discarded articles.
The missionaries were heartbroken over this turn. “God, here we are on the verge of revival and now this? How are we to turn their attention back to You now?” They banded together and decided to go and pay their respects to the family of the elder, whose body lay in state at the family home… customary in that culture. They pressed through the crowd of weeping people surrounding the house, entered and extended their sympathies to the family.
Asking for the privilege to pray with them, they joined together for a prayer of comfort for the family. While they were praying near the body of the elder, he coughed! Everyone suddenly stopped in silence. And he coughed again… then, he sat up! He was ALIVE! Everyone embraced with joy over this demonstration of power, and no one was more surprised than the missionaries themselves. And they took that opportunity to preach the Gospel of the resurrected Son of the Living God.
And suddenly, revival swept through with the power of the Holy Spirit. Did the prayer of these faithful servants really raise a man from the dead? Only God knows the answer. But what the missionaries knew was this: Their God is powerful… and prayer works!
Can we pray and see a dead person live? Obviously nothing is impossible with God. If God can resurrect a man from the dead, He can also resurrect a dead marriage, a dead relationship, a dead-end job, a dead hope. God can bring life where no life currently exists. He has done it over and over again.
And He can do it for you today!
FOR MEDITATION: This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 1 John 5:14
FOR REFLECTION: What is the dead situation in your life that you need to trust God to resurrect? Can you ask for it according to His will? Then pray with confidence! He who promised is faithful. And who knows? You may be surprised by a resurrection as well!