I’m writing to you today as a man who believes 100 percent that miracles still happen. And I believe that prayer plays a significant part in those miracles.
When we come to God humbly and in faith, He hears our prayers and answers them — sometimes in mysterious and miraculous ways.
I’ve seen the power of prayer in my own life as you’re about to read. In this excerpt from my book, Why? Answers to Weather the Storms of Life, I share how I was incredibly blessed to have thousands of people praying for me. And to this day, I believe those people’s faith was integral to my healing.
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Early on in my battle with cancer, I took a turn for the worse. The radiation treatments no longer worked, and my doctor switched me to a 12-month aggressive regimen of chemo. Debilitated, I neared death on several occasions.
At that time, I served as dean of students at Liberty University and led the student missions program. We took hundreds of students to the mission field every year. My struggle with the disease affected the entire campus, and the students became my support group.
They encouraged me with their cards, phone calls, and visits to my office, just to tell me they were praying for me. They kept me going.
My good friend Dwayne Carson — who served as a campus pastor — saw my deterioration and wanted to do something extreme. He organized a campus-wide “Miracle Day of Prayer” to ask God to heal me.
A few days before Thanksgiving, on Nov. 25, he arranged a voluntary 24-hour prayer chain of students and staff. He asked everyone to sign up for one or more hours to pray and set up a candlelight prayer vigil in the small chapel on Liberty University’s campus.
Day and night for 24 hours straight, nearly 3,000 students filled the chapel. Most of them had never done anything like that in their lives.
I don’t know all their names, but I am so thankful for each one of those young men and women who prayed for my healing.
I attended as many of those one-hour prayer vigils as my stamina would allow — amazed to see those students’ faith. They put their arms around me, laid their hands on me, and connected with me in ways that I’ve never forgotten. Fatigued, I went home around midnight.
The next morning, I found out that the chapel was packed all night long. In fact, the largest attendance occurred between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. When I meet people who tell me they remember the Miracle Day of Prayer and they prayed for me, they almost always tell me they prayed between those early morning hours.
God healed me from cancer. For that, I give Him all the glory and honor! The battle I endured tried my patience. Many depressing, lonely times surrounded me; it was the most difficult trial of my life. In reality, God’s healing came through many means. He healed me through the words of friends, the prayers of strangers, the medical care of doctors, and by His unseen hand directing my path.
And I know without a doubt that prayer was an integral part of my healing.
Until I get to heaven, I will never know for sure if that Day of Prayer was the specific day God used to heal me. For now, I believe it was. I believe God honored the faith of thousands of students and gave them a tangible answer to prayer they would never forget.
I believe I am alive today, in part, because of the faith of those students and for their “powerful and effective prayers.”
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Prayer is powerful! Don’t ever forget that.
Whatever you’re going through, you’re never alone. You can always talk to God. And don’t be afraid to ask others to pray for you, too. There is something incredibly special about coming together in prayer with other believers who also believe in the omnipotence of God.
You can read more about the power of prayer in next week’s excerpt from Why or you can order the whole book for yourself right now. For just $8.99, you’ll receive a copy of Why, plus access to a free companion devotional and group discussion guide.