Why pray?

Today, I wanted to bring you this powerful story from a dear friend, Sandra Sheih. When I question an urge to pray, this reminds me of the power of prayer even when I’m not sure why I’m praying.

Several years ago, my husband went on a mission trip to Kenya, Africa.  After he had completed the “mission” part of his trip, he was scheduled to go on a safari with several of the men who had also been on the trip. The last time he had been to Africa, he only saw one lion, but it had only three legs.  It was time to see a four-legged lion!!!  

One night while he was on the trip,  I had a terrible dream.  In my dream I saw a group of men with my hubby in open air jeeps driving through the Savannah.  I remember being shocked by the absurdity of driving by wild animals with no protection around their bodies from the waist up.  In addition, the driver had no gun or rifle to protect his passengers if an animal were to attack.  

In my dream, the jeeps stopped to look around.  There was a huge, male lion in the side of the brush.  One man started to heckle the animal.  Everyone tried to get him to be quiet, but he kept making noise.  Eventually, the lion had enough.  He jumped out of the brush attacking the man (remember that open air Jeep with no armed driver?!?!?!).  My hubby immediately jumped to try to pull the lion off the man, but soon lionesses came out as well.  I watched helplessly in my dream as my husband and his friends died in the jaws of the lions.  

I woke suddenly to the words, “PRAY NOW.”  I knew that I had just experienced a prophetic dream.  For the next three hours I prayed.  I prayed that God would protect the men.  I prayed that if they were in open air jeeps (Really, do those even exist?  What a dumb idea in Africa among wildlife!), that God would keep the men safe.  I prayed that the men would be quiet when needed.  And finally, I prayed that if they did encounter a lion, God would seal its mouth shut.  Specifically, that it would be like his mouth was sealed shut with duct tape until the men were safe.  

Several days passed, and it was finally time to pick my husband up from the airport.  I couldn’t shake the intensity of the dream or the three-hour prayer, and I was ready to hug my hubby!  Some of his friends cleared customs before he did and greeted me at the airport.  One in particular is a photographer.  After we said hello, he responded, “Did your husband tell you about the lion?”  (He was so excited.)  “Here, I have some pictures to show you!  Look at this huge, male lion that was on the side of the brush. We were in these open air jeeps, and this one guy wouldn’t be quiet.  (He shows me a picture of the jeeps with the men). The lion didn’t like the loud guy and suddenly ran up to the guy and roared.  Look at those teeth!  (Big teeth in the picture!) But then, the craziest thing happened.  It was as if God shut the lion’s mouth with duct tape or something.  Then, all of these female lions came out and walked around looking at us.  I thought we were going to die there for a second, but God protected us.  It was the most amazing experience.”

At this point I started to cry a little.  I told him about my dream, and we both stood in awe, covered from head to toe in Holy Spirit goose bumps.  

Why Pray? This is exactly why. It is the perfect example of this scripture.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6:18 NIV). 

Thank you, Sandra, for this powerful reminder of why pray. How has prayer come to life for you? Share your experience here and breathe life and bring hope to others.

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