I took my family camping a few summers ago. I'd borrowed a tent. I've always been an outdoors sort and I know the importance of making sure all the pieces are there before departure. I dutifully unpacked the tent, counted all the parts, rolled it back up, packed it into the car and away we went. Two hours later, at the campsite, I unrolled the tent to find that the brackets which hold the pipework together were absent. I had left them in the garden when I checked the tent.
I don't know about you, but I often feel that I only ever pray when I want something. I don't often pray to thank God for what has been a "normal" day. It's mostly to ask for help when things have gone terribly wrong and I suspect this is a reasonably typical pattern for prayer. I still don't make enough time to express gratitude for the times when things are just "ordinary." So, reasonably new to my Christianity, and much like a small child, I asked for some kind of help to dig me out of this awful predicament.
We started to pack up; tension was high. Should we just head home or try to find a guest house and make the most of it? Well, some minutes passed and we were approached by a lady at the campsite who asked if all was well. She had spotted me crouching by the car apparently "thinking hard" and wondered if we would like to borrow their spare tent!
Who goes camping with a spare tent?
What is the probability of such a thing happening?
Perhaps it was the case that the lady saw someone in distress, and chose to help. This alone would be a good example of simple fellowship, but I have always thought back on the incident as an example of the absolute power of prayer.
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of Him. (1 John 5:14-15, NIV)
Are you SURE that you have your place booked in Heaven? Read this if you're not!