Dr. Evans tells a story of a woman with powerful faith. He was scheduled to speak at a crusade at the football stadium of the University of South Carolina. The weather report had predicted a storm. More than twenty-five thousand people had already gathered in the stadium and were waiting for the crusade to begin, when the storm clouds began forming. The leaders and organizers of the crusade, wanted to pray that God would hold back the rain. They went into a small room, gathered together, and began to pray. They prayed things like, “Dear God, please hold back the rain” and “If it’s Your will, God, could You hold back that rain?”
In the midst of all of the leaders praying, a petite woman named Linda came forward. Perhaps she had gotten frustrated with the prayers of the so-called professionals— the preachers and the leaders. Whatever the case, Linda stood up and asked, “Do you mind if I pray?”
Linda prayed, “Lord, Your name is at stake. We told these people that if they would come out tonight they would hear a word from God. We told them they would hear from You. Now, if they come and You let it rain, and You don’t control the weather, then You will look bad. We told them that You wanted to say something to them, and if You don’t keep back what You can control— the weather— someone could say that Your name is no good.” And then she threw in a line that caused us all to look at each other out of the corners of our eyes. “Therefore right now I ask in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the rain to stop for the sake of Your Name!”
Following the prayers, they all went up and sat on the platform. The sky had now become entirely black behind them. It was time to start the crusade when massive thunder and lightning surrounded them. People began to stir in their seats; some even started to get up and open their umbrellas. Linda was on the stage with the rest of leaders. While umbrellas began to go up in the audience, and several on the stage, Linda sat there confident, with a quiet look of expectation covered her face. The rain rushed toward the stadium like a wall of water. Yet when it hit the stadium, it split. Half of the rain went on one side of the stadium. The other half went on the other side. Then it literally met on the other side of the stadium. All the while, Linda sat there with a confident look on her face. The rest of the preachers and leaders just looked at each other and the rain going around the stadium. Linda stared straight ahead.
Dr Evans believes Linda’s prayer ushered in a miracle because she realized that God is passionate for His own reputation. She put her faith in God. Her petite frame held power, simply because she was intimately connected with and invested in God’s name. Because the rain moved around the stadium, the crowd was protected so they could hear the gospel and respond with open hearts, having just witnessed a weather phenomenon.
When we become passionate about what God is passionate about, positive change can occur in lives, families, communities, and even our nation.
“When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. ‘Lord, have mercy on my son,’ he said. ‘He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.’ ‘You unbelieving and perverse generation,’ Jesus replied, ‘how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.’ Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment. Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, ‘Why couldn’t we drive it out?’ He replied, ‘Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.'” (Matthew 17:14-20) Our mighty God is powerful. If we only have a small amount of faith in His power and trust that He will move the obstacles in our lives for His glory, He will.
“‘So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened… how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’” (Luke 11:9-10; 13b)
Tomorrow we will look at the faith of Hannah, and her commitment to the Lord.
- Kingdom Woman: Embracing Your Purpose, Power, and Possibilities (Tony Evans and Chrystal Evans Hurst)