Sermon Illustrations

Prayer’s Powerful Results Impacts African Villagers

Story: John Robb of World Vision’s Mission Advanced Research Center writes, "The adults of Ethiopia’s Awash River area, two hours north of Addis Ababa were suffering through famines. In their suffering the people looked to a giant tree for help. They worshiped the towering giant tree, believing a spirit had given it divine powers. Adults would kiss its great trunk as they passed by. They spoke of the tree in hushed, reverential tones and the children said, "This tree saved us... One morning as the World Vision staff prayed together, one of Jesus’ promises struck them from Matthew 21:21,22. "If you have faith, you can say to this tree, Be taken up and removed and it will obey you." Soon the whole community knew that the Christians were praying about the tree. Six months later, the tree began to dry up. Its leafy foliage disappeared, and finally it collapsed like a stricken giant into the river. The people were astonished, "Your God has done this!" they said. Within a few weeks, about a hundred villagers received Jesus Christ because they had seen His power displayed in the spectacular answer to Christians’ prayer." (Perspectives, p. 145, John D. Robb) From a sermon by Maurice, McCarthy, Why Didn’t My Mountain Move pt. 3, 1/1/2010

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