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Topic: Reward (09/27/04)
TITLE: The Reward Of Answered Prayer
By Cyndy McNaul-Nelson
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Grace and mercy are given to those who stand steadfast through trials. God proves Himself faithful to His followers in their fiery lifeís experiences as they watch the moving hand of God. When Jesus followers see difficult days, and when Jesus followers watch the onslaught of the enemy destroying the lives of their loved ones, is the moment God moves all of heaven and earth to bring forth the reward of answered prayer.
Sri Lanka is a country in which its Christian citizens are hard pressed by the government through the Sri Lankan Army (SLA). The believers here have experienced troublous times. Sometimes Tamil children are allowed to go to school, but when they get there the door is locked and the SLA bombs the school with the children inside.
There was the time that the SLA swept away and kidnapped hundreds of Tamil teenagers who were professed believers in Christ. The teens were herded to a river that provided drinking water for villagers up and down its banks, where they opened fire on the teens. They were all killed for their faith making martyrs of them. There were about four hundred remains of bodies found, but sadly the rest are still missing.
A pastor and his family were threatened by the governmentís SLA. Mandatory curfew laws forced certain families inside their homes with no reprieve to shop for their daily meals. A group of these believers were released from their homes and told to run. The pastor and his small group ran when shots rang out. The gunshots hit only one man in the lower abdomen.
The group fled to a nearby hiding place that the SLA knew not of its whereabouts. The first matter of attention was to pray for the wounded brother in the Lord. The statistics of his survival wasnít good, but God rises above statistics when it comes to those who have paid the price to follow Jesus. God heard their praises and answered with instant healing of the brother who had been wounded.
The second matter at hand to praise God for was their hunger. They had been several days without food. Everyone in the group was hungry, but particularly the children cried. Once again the small group in hiding began to pray, asking God once to send them some food. The rest of their time was spent in praising their Savior. And once again, because the people had paid the cost to follow Christ, God listened and sent the reward of answered prayer. He showed Himself faithful to His steadfast believers.
Within that day, a beautiful black raven alighted in front of the hiding place, which housed the group of persecuted Jesus followers and left half a loaf of baked bread for their consumption. Peace and thanksgiving filled their hearts as they mulled over the likeness of the raven feeding them with bread, as God had directed the ravens long ago to feed the prophets of old.