When I was in university studying engineering, there was a group of five of us that would get together regularly to pray. We would pray for each other, but usually we were praying that many people on our campus would discover the love of Jesus, allow him to transform their lives and discover their purpose through relationship with Him.
I had a pretty clear idea of what I expected that to look like. I had heard about a revival in Florida that had happened and I wanted what had happened there, to happen on my university campus. One day when I was praying for that, I had a strong sense that I was supposed to call the guys together and that we should fast dinner and pray for Alan’s hand. I sensed that God wanted to bring healing there.
Alan was my close friend and accountability partner. He was a brilliant, curious, inventive guy who had invented a watercooling system so that he could overclock his computer to some crazy high speed. 600 Mhz if I remember correctly :p He dreamed of bio engineering some cutting edge prosthetics and had always had the heart been a scientist. In fact as a child had done some experiments with fire crackers that had resulted in the loss of a couple fingers on one of his hands.
It wasn’t obvious, as he generally kept that hand out of sight, but it also wasn’t a secret. If this was really God I was hearing and he really was asking me to pray for this and have faith for a miracle – it would be an undeniable miracle that people wouldn’t be able to ignore!
I immediately started calling my five friends. I told them that God had told me that we should fast and pray for Alan’s hand. I also told them that the following morning his hand would be restored and that this undeniable miracle would trigger people on the campus to repentance and bring revival.
I must have been pretty convincing because it wasn’t long before we were all gathered around Alan, laying our hands on him and praying in faith. We prayed for hours and everyone I talked to about it afterwards was convinced that when we saw Alan the next day that he would be healed. I know I was.
I was surprised when I didn’t get a call from him in the morning and started wondering if I had gotten something wrong. It was right before final exams at the end of the school year though, and I knew he had an exam that morning so maybe that was why he hadn’t called?
Later that day I saw him in the distance on campus – and his hand looked exactly the same. I quickly turned around before he could see me and found a cubby in the library where I could process what I was feeling. I was certainly embarrassed, I had been so sure I had heard God. I was also rocked and confused … what had happened to the power I had expected.
Have you ever acted “in faith” only to have the answer to your prayer be different than you expected? What were you able to learn through the process?