Why would a seemingly intelligent scientific person like myself believe in prayer? At ‘A’ levels (many years ago) I did the “sciency” ones; Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Further Maths. And I did well enough to get into the best course for Electronic Engineering at Southampton Uni. So science and engineering is a passion.
In my first term at Uni I had a thought; “Does God exist?” If He does then I’d better find out what I need to do to get to Heaven; If He doesn’t exist then there are no consequences and I can do whatever I like with my life. It just so happened that a guy I met in my year out, Nick, was on the same course, and in the same accommodation. So I quizzed him about God over lunch for a few weeks. He was very patient with me. Then one night I was feeling miserable but I remembered what I’d been told about God, and said out loud “If you are really there – you wouldn’t want me to feel this way”. Suddenly I felt a presence in the room. I opened my eyes but could not see anything; it was so loving and lifted my mood. The next night, I was feeling down again and I thought to myself this is never going to work two nights running. So I said the same thing and felt the presence of God again. Something clicked into place and that was the start of my journey with God.
I still cannot believe a group of about 12 people would meet with us once a fortnight to pray for Julia and me. At first I found it really difficult, people giving up their time to pray for me regularly. I’ve never had a prayer meeting for me and it seemed a bit weird. But over the weeks I’ve got into it and now I wouldn’t miss it. We walk out of those meetings so encouraged, no matter what’s going on with my health.
What happens at these prayer meetings?
It’s not something I’ve experienced before. Sure, I’ve prayed for people as a one off but never regularly and over several months. The group has developed and grown over the last few months. Now we start with a bit of worship, Mike brings his guitar. Then we give an update on how things are going – Julia is doing most of the talking nowadays. Next we look through a relevant Bible passage which someone (usually Alex) has chosen a week before and posted on WhatsApp. And finally the prayer starts.
And did I mention there’s a WhatsApp group of 23 people where we share news and prayer requests.
All that has been going for 10 months!
There are also loads of people I bump into or on Facebook that are praying.
Tonight the team are fasting and praying for 24 hours! Apparently there are a number of references in the Bible to fasting and praying when tricky things come up. “Sadly” – I can’t join them or I would risk the wrath of the Dietitian, but I can fast other things; TV, News and Facebook. Fasting is supposed to clear the distractions so you can hear God more clearly.
We feel so encouraged, supported and loved. I don’t think we would be so positive without all that prayer.