26 Guards Of The Lord
Have you ever felt the urge to pray for someone, but then just put it on a list, thinking that you would pray for him or her later? Or has anyone ever called you and said, “I need you to pray for me; I have this need”? Do not put off prayer for anyone. Pray when you get the call or receive the urge.
The following is a true story, told by a missionary on furlough at his home church in Michigan.
While serving at a small field hospital in Africa, every two weeks I traveled by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for hospital supplies. This was a two-day journey and required camping overnight at the halfway point. On one of these journeys, I arrived in the city where I planned to collect money from the bank to purchase medicine and provisions for the field hospital and then begin my two-day journey back with the supplies.
Upon my arrival in the city, I observed two men fighting. One of them had been seriously injured. I treated this injured man and, at the same time, talked with him about the Lord. I then completed my errands and returned to the field hospital, camping overnight at the halfway point, and arriving at home without incident.
Two weeks later I repeated my journey again. Upon entering the city, I was approached by the young man whom I had previously treated because of the fight. He told me that he had known I carried money and medicine on my return trip. He said, “Some of my friends and I followed you into the jungle, knowing you would camp overnight. We planned to kill you and to take the money and medicine. But just as we were about to move into your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards.”
At this, I laughed and assured him that I certainly was all alone in the jungle at my camp site. I told him that I had no armed bodyguards that I knew of.
The young man pressed the point, however, and said, “No, sir, I was not the only one to see your guards. All of my friends also saw them; we even counted them. It was because of those 26 armed guards that we were afraid and left you alone.”
At this point in the missionary’s testimony, one of the men jumped to his feet and interrupted. He asked if the missionary could give him the exact date this incident happened. When given the date, the man who had interrupted explained to the missionary and to those in the congregation:
“On the night of your incident in Africa, it was morning here in Michigan. I was playing golf and was preparing to putt when I felt a strong urge to pray for you. In fact, the urging from the Lord was so strong that I called men of this church to meet me here in this sanctuary to pray for you. Would all those men who met with me on that day please stand?”
The men who had joined in prayer on that day stood. The missionary was not concerned with who the men were. He was counting how many men he saw standing.
Twenty-six men had responded to the call to pray on that morning. Twenty-six men had put on the armor of God for the missionary. (Ephesians 6:10–13.)