Everyone is aware of ‘too-good-to-be-true’ investments, marketing schemes, etc. But are you aware of an unbelievably high rate of return on investment with an unquestionable guarantee? It does exist, and the best explanation is an illustration. A woman born in the late 1800’s is a great example and her investment is still growing in 2014!
This lady’s name was Maggie. She was short, slender, and from a very ‘average’ family. She married and started a family of her own. There is much about her life I don’t know. I am aware of prayer in her life. It was a key part of her investment and that guaranteed rate of return.
There were a few ‘colorful characters’ in Maggie’s family. She could not change that, but she knew Who could. She prayed that God would make preachers/ministers from her descendants. That prayer was first answered in one of her grandsons. He became the first preacher in that family line. His ministry included churches in four states and several preaching/teaching opportunities abroad. Many lives were changed and Maggie’s prayers are still being answered in that grandson’s ministry. Being aware of prayer is not enough. One must also be aware in prayer.
Maggie’s grandson had a family. One of his sons became aware in prayer of God’s calling on his life. He entered vocational ministry and served churches in two states. As ministry life goes, it was fairly normal until the Pastor’s Prayer Summit came to town. Maggie’s great grandson was involved in that effort as a prayer ministry was birthed in the city where he ministered. That was a life-changing event for the pastors involved. There was no agenda other than prayer, no denominational barriers, and only a desire to be a better community of ministers through God’s presence and the power of prayer. Every pastor was aware of prayer, and every pastor became aware in prayer that God was doing something awesome. Maggie’s prayers were about to bear fruit in ways she never dreamed possible!
Inprayer brings to mind a single act or event. It’s like saying, “I am in the valley.” But when David wrote, ‘’Though I walk through the valley…,” a journey or process comes into view. Several pastors in the Summit movement were aware through prayer of mission opportunities to be met in East Africa. Maggie’s great grandson was one of them. For several years these pastors led missions to Kenya and Tanzania. Doctors and nurses were engaged in medical missions. Pastors from the U.S. taught and trained pastors in East Africa. Hundreds of people from all walks of life joined in the annual mission trips. Everyday ‘normal’ church members saw miraculous healings, spiritual victories, and experienced the incredible power of God’s presence. Thousands of lives were touched and changed by the Gospel. Maggie’s prayers for preaching descendants reached beyond her life to places and numbers she couldn’t have imagined! She was aware through prayer that God wants to do great things in the lives of His children.
One secret to Maggie’s success was obedience. Her life’s story isn’t the one we sometimes read about a ‘little old lady’ that seemed to have nothing but died and left millions to a charity. Her story is better. She laid up for herself treasure in heaven where moth and rust does not corrupt and thieves break in and steal. Ever noticed it’s usually thieves who make those to-good-to-be-true offers? Maggie didn’t have what thieves want. But where her heart was, her treasure is! And it’s growing! Here’s how I know.
Maggie was my great grandmother. Her grandson is the one I call, “Dad.” That work in East Africa laid the foundation for my current work with Rivers of the World (ROW). Through ROW I was able to start the Mathes Pastor Training School. We are currently equipping many pastors in other countries for the work God entrusted to them. U.S. pastors give their wisdom/experience as mission volunteer faculty in the school. One is my Dad. And Maggie’s prayers continue to lay up treasure for her in heaven. Why? Because God rewards of those who seek Him. My ministry opportunities reach back over a century to the prayers of a little woman I remember from childhood. The ‘acorn’ of her prayer took root and over a century later, a huge ‘tree’ of ministry exists in my Dad and me. I’ve been privileged to minister in over a dozen countries. That was God answering her prayers and “doing exceedingly and abundantly more than we can ask or imagine.” That‘s His Personal guarantee and it’s reliable. But God isn’t done answering Maggie’s prayers. We have a son-in-law preparing for vocational ministry!
Is it any wonder why I ask people to join this ministry as prayer partners? We do all we can to make you aware for prayer. Lay up for yourself treasure God will multiply. You can’t lose!