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Philip Yancey in his book on prayer tells of a young American soldier in Iraq who learns that his wife back home has advanced cervical cancer. Doctors gave a bleak prognosis. In desperation, he sent an urgent email to his church with the request that everyone in turn forward his prayer request to every praying person they knew. The email said, "Pray and forward. It only takes a second to hit "forward." Please don’t delete this, your prayer can and perhaps will save her life. Please pray and ask everyone you know to pray for the HEALING of Cindy, removal of the cancer in her body so she may enjoy all that life has to offer, and continue to be the wonderful mother to our 5-year-old son."

Yancey goes on to ask, "Does prayer operate like a pyramid scheme -- the more people who pray, the more likely the answer? Does a sick woman with who happens to have praying friends stand a better chance for recovery than an equally deserving person who does not?"

[Source: Philip Yancey. "Prayer: Does It Make a Difference?" (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006) p. 301. From a sermon by John Hamby, "Praying for Other’s: The Power of Intercessory Prayer" 6/29/2009]

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