Pastor Bill shared this story with the congregation on February 26, 2012, “Peggy Smith was 84 years old. Her sister, Christine, was 82. The years had taken the sight from the first and then the body of the second. Neither could leave their house to attend church.
Yet there church needed them. They lived on the Isle of Lewis, off the coast of Scotland. A spiritual darkness had settled upon their village of Bravas. The congregation was losing people, the youth were mocking the faith, speaking of conversion as a plague. In October 1949 the Presbytery of the Free Church called upon their members to pray.
But what could two elderly, housebound sisters do? Quite a lot, they determined. They turned their cottage into an all night house of prayer. From 10 PM to 4 AM two nights each week they ask God to have mercy on their city. After several months Peggy told Christine that God had spoken these words to her: I will pour water upon him who is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground.
She was so sure of the message, she urged her pastor to conduct a revival and invite well-known evangelist Duncan Campbell to speak. The pastor did but Campbell reluctantly declined. Peggy received the news with confidence. God has said he is coming, and will be here with in a fortnight. God changed Campbell’s calendar and within two weeks the meeting began.
For 5 weeks Duncan Campbell preached in Bravas parish. Large crowds gathered in for services at 7 PM, 10 PM, midnight, and 3 AM. The move of God upon the people was undeniable. Hundreds of people were converted. Drinking places close for like of patrons. Saloons emptied, and the church grew. The Isle of Lewis tasted the presence of God, all because two women prayed.
So: Let us pray, first. Traveling to help the hungry? Be sure to bathe your mission in prayer. Working to disentangle the knots of injustice? Pray. Weary of the world of racism and division? So was God. And He would love to talk to you about it.
Let’s pray, most. Did God call us to preach without ceasing? Or teach without ceasing? Or have committee meetings without ceasing? Or sing without ceasing? No, but he did call us to pray without ceasing 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
Did Jesus declare: My house shall be called a house of study? Fellowship? Music? A house of exposition? A house of activities? No, but He did say, My house will be called a house of prayer Mark 11:17.
No other spiritual activity is guaranteed to produce such results. When two of you get together on anything at all on Earth and make a prayer of it, My Father in heaven goes into action Matthew 18:19. He is moved by the humble, prayerful heart.
In late 1964, the Siberia rebels besieged a town in Zaier. They arrested and executed many citizens. A pastor by the name of Zebedee was one of their victims. They sentenced him to death before a firing squad and placed them in jail for the night. The next morning he and a large number of prisoners were herded into a truck and driven to a public place for execution. With no explanation the official told prisoners to line up and number off one, two, one, two, one, two. The ones were placed in front of a firing squad the twos were taken back into the prison. Pastor Zebedee was among those who were spared.
Back in the jail cell, the prisoners could hear the sound of gunfire the minister took advantage of the dramatic moment to share the story of Jesus and the hope of heaven. Eight of the prisoners gave their lives to God that day. About the time pastor Zebedee finish sharing, an excited messenger came to the door with the release order. The pastor had been arrested by mistake and was free to leave he said goodbye to the prisoners and hurried to his home next to the chapel. There he discovered a crowd believers urgently praying for his release. When they saw the answer to their prayers walk through the door their prayer service became a praise service.
The same God who heard the prayers from Jerusalem heard the prayers from Zaire He is still listening. Are we still praying?
(To read more stories recounting Peggy and Christine, please follow this search link: https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=Isle+of+Lewis%2C+off+the+coast+of+Scotland+peggy+smith)
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about His mysterious plan concerning Jesus.
Pastor Bill’s Prayer: God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, You created all that exists, and You sustain all for Your infinite wisdom and boundless power. Yet You invite me to come to You in prayer, boldly and with the expectation that You will hear and answer me. Teach me, Lord, to take full advantage of this privilege, especially in regard to reaching others with Your love. Give me a heart for those who have yet to experience the fullness of Your grace, and prompt me to pray for them and for their welfare, both in this world and in eternity Lord, bring me to the front lines of this battle. In Jesus name I pray. Amen
Prayer… It fills the heart, bridges the connection…Prayer
Next up…. Resurrection Sunday. Stay tuned.