A prayer to remember

10 05 2011

It was on our last day of meetings in Ethiopia that I had an experience I will never forget. During our closing prayer time, all the church leaders were praying and we who had come from the States to teach were moving among them laying hands on them and praying for them individually. The day fell on my father’s birthday and I had been mindful of his legacy on my life all day, especially since I was in Africa teaching the Word of God, two ways in which my life intersects so deeply with my dad who passed away two years ago.

So I was praying for men one by one as I moved from the back of the sanctuary when I came to an older man praying to himself. I laid my hands on his shoulders from behind and suddenly a strange sensation came over me. In my mind, I felt as if I was praying for my own father. Emotion began to well up within me as I suddenly missed dad so much. I prayed for the Ethiopian man, for his family and ministry. It was cathartic as I felt like I was being given a chance to touch my dad and pray for him. The experience seemed to transpire somewhere between earth and heaven. I even prayed that this man would greet my dad in heaven when they were both there together!

After this, I needed to move on to pray for others. Tears were now flowing, and I wanted to hug this man. I needed to hug him, and when I did, I wept like a child, tears running down my face, my body jerking slightly with crying. We held each other for a couple minutes, tightly. He knew I was weeping, and began to pray for me in English. I’m sure he wondered why this guest speaker from America was so emotional! But I felt God was strongly in that episode, and gave me a gift to treasure.

When our team had finished praying for all the participants, we took our  seats again and the chairman asked some of the Ethiopians to come up and lay their hands on us and pray. Several did this, and it was a great encouragement as I sought to regain my composure. But God had a double blessing for me. I heard that familiar voice, and felt on my shoulder and arm the hands of that same older man who had made his way from the back to touch my life one last time. When he finished praying, I placed my hand on his and squeezed my profound thanks for the unexpected gift God had given me, His son, in Ethiopia.



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