Monday, 17 August 2015

Prayer Answering God

Our faith is not faith until it is put to the test! Without testing, without proving it, it's just something in the mind. Peter wrote, '...so that the TESTING OF YOUR FAITH, being more precious than gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ!' - 1 Peter 1:6-7.

God puts this test of faith in all our lives. He tested my faith. How did I react in 1964 when, after 3 months of prayer, God did not heal my throat cancer? Did God already know that I would pray in desperation, "If You want me to stay in England, don't heal me - but if You want me to leave the security of my home, church and ministry and go to Russia and Israel - I need an immediate miracle to heal me"? It took three months before I came to the spiritual place with God where the miracle happened - three months in spiritual growth, followed by a sudden revelation - an explosion - and in that moment the healing was instantaneous! When I was in a communist prison thirty years ago for Bible smuggling, I was almost one year in the prison, believing that God would work the miracle to get me out - but that year was the best year of my life! Yes, I was separated from my wife and my children, my youngest daughter was only three years old - but I grew all the time in my experience with God! It was a testing of my faith, but when God did it, it was sudden, a big miracle! I travelled the world for two years afterwards, talking about that miracle. I preached to more than a million people, sometimes ten thousand at a time - a quarter of a million came to Christ because of that testimony! But the miracle took one year of prayer.

Imagine if He had answered my first prayers and released me from the prison within one or two days, what would have happened? Suppose God had organised things 'extremely well' and got me out of prison really quickly - I would not be evangelising in Russia the way I do now, I would not have the ministry I have today. The longer I stayed in the prison, the bigger the miracle became - in the end it was the British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, who came to Czechoslovakia, just to get me out! I was not thrown out of the 'back door'! I was released in a blaze of publicity! That's God! But the whole miracle took one year to prepare. I didn't let go of God even in the darkest days of despair - I knew, I believed - but it hurt and it was hard. It's the same with you. Hold on. Don't let go of God! God WILL do it! Even if it takes three months, three years, God WILL do it!

Listen to today's podcast: PRAYER ANSWERING GOD



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