Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Avalon Chronicles #46: "Experiencing Jesus Through Answered Prayer"

by Allen B. Clark   

     When one is attuned to a sincere and abiding faith that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, whom we all can call upon in times of trouble or need, there is an incredible experience that is possible. It can only be described as supernatural. I have "experienced" Jesus' power most personally in an untold number of circumstances in my life. Many decades ago I became a dedicated and sincere proponent of calling out to God through Jesus in prayer. Be aware of a caveat that we cannot expect God to answer prayers like a great big water spigot being turned on at our beck and call. There are certain spiritual prerequisites that must be fulfilled by us to have God to answer at the other end of the line when we make our call. Below I will reflect on three instances in my life when I had needs, business, personal, and relational and I prayed to God in the Name of Jesus. I experienced amazing answers to my prayers!
     The first example was in the mid-1980s when I was a co-founder of a real estate company investing in apartment homes in San Antonio. Our pre-purchase roof inspections were faulty and after closing, we discovered massive leaks, the repairs of which would have consumed a major portion of our financial  reserves. I prayed for relief from God, but had no idea how that prayer would be answered., but that it was! Within days a freak wind and rainstorm swept over our apartments and literally caved in and severely damaged our roofs to the extent that insurance claims for new roofs were justified. How do I know that this was a true "experience" of Jesus and not just a coincidence? An adjacent apartment complex was untouched as was a public school across the street!
     From 1989-1993 it was my privilege to serve our veterans as a political appointee in the administration of President George H.W. Bush in Washington, D.C.. Both my daughters moved from Texas to attend college and we lived together in a large single family home. My then spouse Jackie chose not to accompany me to the east coast. My daughters and I had some great times together. Lacrosse has always been a favorite sport of mine and one Saturday I wanted Christi to go with me to a game and afterwards attend the post-game social activities. Very reluctantly she accompanied me, but by half-time was bored and wanted to return home. She was driving me in her jeep. We left quietly with very negative attitudes toward each other. We started home with no conversation whatsoever. After a few minutes, I prayed silently, "In the Name of Jesus, let us be reconciled by the time we are home, with no ill feelings between us." Jesus answers simple prayers also! Within a few more minutes, still in silence between us, Christi said, "You are praying, aren't you?" She knew me well. The bad feelings were over and amidst good humor and revived positive attitudes, conversation began again.
     At this time of our lives Jackie unfortunately was proceeding to pursue a divorce from me. The pain facing me was obviously significant, but one major thorn was in my side, an issue that deeply grieved me. One weekend in Virginia I had participated in a Bible study at a private home. When it concluded, the pastor and I found ourselves the last ones there. We sat down and he inquired if I had any major issues about which we could address through agreement prayer. I told him how saddened I was that Jackie had never forgiven me for volunteering for Vietnam service without discussing it with her twenty five or so years previously. I was resigning my commission and knew that I could never look myself in the mirror in future years if I avoided Vietnam War duty and was not brave enough to bring it up before I submitted a request for service in the war. Big mistake! The pastor and I prayed a prayer related to Matthew 9:38 regarding the sending of laborers of the harvest: "Pray ye, therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into the harvest." Obviously, this was meant for people to go forth and tell others about the redemption and salvation available when one "accepts" Jesus as Savior. (My next message will address this). We appropriated the scripture so that a person, radio or television program., sermon, or passage of scripture would be used to convey an important message of conviction affecting someone's free will, thoughts, and choices. We prayed in agreement that something she would hear, read, or view would convince her finally to forgive me for that life-changing decsion made so very long ago, whose consequences had robbed us both of so much of our carefree youthful years when I became severely wounded.
     Of course the prayer worked, although originally it was not prayed without my misgiving and lack of faith. Two weeks later and several months before the divorce was final, Jackie called me from Texas to North Carolina where I was employed. She said that the night before she had been watching evangelist Marilyn Hickey on a television show and heard in the broadcast about how many times (possibly as many as eighteen) the Bible indicates about forgiveness that she would not be forgiven, if she did not forgive all others. She had called to tell me that she finally was ready to forgive me about my decision to volunteer for Vietnam without telling her! What a relief and closure that was after so many years of sadness.
     Indeed I have "experienced" Jesus!