“B-ding!” The sound of the message notification came at the end of an April meeting where missionaries from all over Asia and members of the Global Partners Resource Team were joined together in prayer.
When we heard that missionary Dan Merillat in Thailand was undergoing a procedure at 2:00 p.m. to remove dangerous blood clots in his lungs, we immediately organized a prayer meeting for that specific time to pray. Since distance and COVID-19 lockdowns prevented any of us from joining Dan and his wife, Pada, in the hospital, we met on Zoom to pray. Some in Asia paused in their daily activities, and some in North America woke up in the middle of the night. We prayed specifically for Dan’s healing, for Pada as she patiently waited the report from the team of specialists, and for their children, Samuel and Benjamin, who were in the United States after concluding their year of university.
Tiffany answered Pada’s first message with a statement that we were still praying and inquiring about the good news. Still in prayer, we were probably a bit like Jesus’ disciples — so close to the situation but with no real idea how immediately God’s power was to be put on display. For even as we were praying, Dan was encountering the evidence of God’s sovereignty and healing power. He shared later that he laid conscious in the procedure room. When the doctor released the dye into his heart and lungs to reveal the location of the clots, the doctor let out an exclamation of surprise, “Aye-ah! It has dissolved already. I have never seen the medicine work this quickly. Only three days, right? … This guy is so lucky!”
The doctor’s explanation of luck is but one perspective. Archbishop William Temple is famously quoted with the pithy saying “When I pray, coincidences happen,” which is a description of the often mysterious but intensely powerful way that God answers prayer. For when we, those individuals whose faith is set upon Jesus Christ, are obedient to the command to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Ephesians 6:18a NIV), God shows us how he hears our prayers and how he moves in this world and changes hearts.
Pada related that the verse the Lord gave her to read and pray over Dan before the procedure was from Psalm 46, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth” (NIV). I am quite certain that the doctor was impacted by the work of the Lord that day, even though he simply tried to explain away the healing as luck.
Dan shared recently that he is so encouraged by the way this miracle has impacted so many around him. God’s name is being exalted as this miracle is continually processed by people in varying stages of faith, bringing them to a place where their faith in God is expanded, deepened, or reaffirmed.
The story of Dan’s healing has also spread into many countries in the Asia-Pacific area as an ever-expanding testimony of God’s power and intimacy. It also continues to impact the hearts of those who prayed for Dan that day and those who continue to enter into times of extraordinary prayer for peoples, nations, and individuals who are in need of God’s touch and the good news of Jesus Christ.
God answers prayer — and that answer you are waiting for just might come in the next message you receive. “B-ding!”
I truly want to thank each and every one of you who prayed for my recovery while I was hospitalized with blood clots in my lungs. I deeply appreciate your faithfulness in lifting me up to the Lord. He listened to you and miraculously intervened in my life. Your prayers are vital to what God is accomplishing around the world. Keep praying because God does hear you.