Summary: Pray First because the Supernatural determines what will happen in the Natural. (Examples, Daniel & Elisha)
Grant van Boeschoten
August 5, 2007
During the dark days of the American Revolution, when the Continental Army had experienced several setbacks, a farmer who lived near the battlefield approached Washington’s camp unheard. Suddenly his ears caught an earnest voice raised in agonizing prayer. On coming nearer he saw it was the great General, down on his knees in the snow, his cheeks wet with tears. He was asking God for assistance and guidance. The farmer crept away and returned home. He said to his family, “Its going to be all right. We are going to win!” “What makes you think so?” his wife asked. “Well,” said the farmer, “I heard General Washington pray out in the woods today—such fervent prayer I have never heard. And God will surely hear and answer that kind of praying.”
D.L. Moody once entered a tavern in order to ask the bartender if his two little girls might attend his Sunday School. He was told that an atheist club met there every Thursday night and the owner of the bar was in no mood to offend them. Moody looked into the face of this man and pleaded with him on behalf of his girls. Finally the man’s heart was touched and he said, “Preacher, I’ll tell you what I’ll do. If you’ll come down here Thursday night and meet with the boys in a joint discussion, and win, you shall have the children. But if not, its all off!” “Agreed,” said Moody. Moody went right out and looked up a crippled newsboy who really knew how to pray and said to him, “Tommy, I need you next Thursday night!” When the hour of the meeting arrived, Tommy and the evangelist entered the saloon. It was full of men sitting on whiskey barrels, beer kegs, and even on the bar—eagerly awaiting the coming debate. Moody began by saying, "Gentlemen, its our custom to open our meeting with prayer. Tommy, jump up on that barrel and lead us in prayer.” Tommy began to beseech the Lord for the souls of all present. As the tears began to roll down the little fellow’s cheeks, the more tenderhearted of the men beat a retreat. Finally, even the hardest men present began to leave until there was no one left except the bartender, Moody and the praying boy. Moody turned to the father and said, “I claim your girls for my Sunday school!” The bartender answered, “All right, you win. But it’s a queer way to fight!” And Moody answered, “It’s the way I win many a battle.”
Tony Campolo, A Baptist minister, was invited to speak at a college in Valley Forge Penn. He drove to the college and before he spoke several men took him in the back room and began to pray for him, that God would use his speech.
While these men were praying, one man, just off the cuff began praying "And Lord, about Burt Harris. Lord, Burt Harris needs you really badly. Because he lives in that trailer down the street and he is considering leaving his wife and family. And Lord if you could just get through to Burt Harris...that would be great." and then went on with his prayer.
Campolo thought, "that is strange that he should pray that here." He went out and he spoke and finished his message and then he got in his car and was driving home. And he picked up a hitch hiker. He said he knew that he wasn’t supposed to pick up hitch hikers, but he thought, ’being a preacher, anytime I can get a captive audience, I’ll take advantage of it."