Only a week had passed since Stephen’s funeral. We had found so much comfort in the time spent with Kathryn during our preparations and now the void of her fellowship returned.
On the weekend of my eldest daughter’s seventh birthday we received a surprise telephone call from Kathryn. She and her boyfriend would be on a skiing trip near our village and they wanted to stop by to say hello. How elated we all were to know that we had visitors coming and not just any visitor, our beloved Kathryn!
As we anticipated the visit... with her boyfriend.We prayed the LORD would touch his heart in some way. It was to be our first meeting.
They came with a lovely gift for my daughter’s birthday and of course a hand full of “goodies” for the children and a bouquet of flowers for the hostess.
Each time a Swiss came to our home this was the customary greeting to the hostess…flowers and chocolate. It always made such a warm greeting.
We all sat around the table drinking hot chocolate. A favorite of skiers…and of course the Swiss people! We liked her boyfriend very much ... a tall young man with a gentle nature and warming smile.
It was hard for me to imagine him opposing Kathryn visiting us, but then he didn't know us and watching the convicting power of the Holy Spirit working in her life troubled him. Little did he realize it was The Word of God revealing truth to her.
Our meeting went very nicely…laughter filled the house with the children’s tales of “family” life.
“You know what SHE did once”…. “I did not!”…
all of us in unison .. “OH, yes you did!!” and smiles lit upon each face.
The children sang some French songs they learned in Sunday school. Songs that spoke of the love of Jesus and his salvation.
Kathryn’s boyfriend…was seeing first hand…WHY?... Kathryn found peace around us. WHY”… she enjoyed her visits with us. Not just this family… but a CHRISTIAN family.
He heard and he watched…as we all bowed in prayer for the blessings on our daughter. My husband also asked God’s blessings upon our home..our children and our friends.
It is astonishing how many people have not heard a prayer from the heart. I don't know if this was the case for him then, but I do know that he later talked with her about prayer.
(As was the testimony at Stephen’s funeral…talk was made of how touching it was of the Father who prayed in his own words at his son’s service!)
Many only know as I did as a child, the memorized prayers that came from a booklet given in a class and once learned are just repeated over and over.
When I trusted Christ as my personal Saviour… my prayers became very personal also. From the heart…poured out in an instant.
Matthew 6:7-8 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do; for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
Verse 9… After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
..and we also pray… THY WILL BE DONE….
(this is an example of the “manner” in which to pray…praying to GOD as your FATHER…praying to the GOD of HEAVEN with holy reverence…and according to his blessed will..for he knows what is best)
…. and as the verses continue they teach us how to pray… the words become our own.
Just as in the Psalms of David…prayers recorded so that we can understand the depths of his pleadings to God and the help he received and the heartfelt prayers of repentance.
As a born again believer…I can relate to these prayers. I don’t say the same exact words… memorized…but by faith and my own needs. David pleaded as I do and have. I too have received this mercy and the answers to needs so great…man could not help..only the true GOD of Heaven.
Sometimes it has been a mere few words of..
“Oh, Lord..help me!”
...because I could not find the words to express my heart…but God knew.
Psalm 139:4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
How oft dear reader…in this story have you not read of the many times God intervened and saw my need before my prayer was ever heard…but the prayer showed my desires…it showed my hope and trust in him…it showed I knew all the answers lie in my GOD.
Our petitions are ever before him…and he hears them.
Look in the BIBLE and see prayer from the beginning to the end.
Psalm 66:19 But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
It was hard to say good bye wondering when we would see Kathryn again, yet we rejoiced in this time spent together. We rested in the work God needed to do in these two lives.
It was another day…of comfort, hope and assurance that our lives continued to be used for God’s work.
Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.