I had no idea what God was about to do. I’d prayed an impossible prayer, so now anything was possible! Before leaving on our mission trip, we were told we might have the opportunity to meet an imprisoned South American army general. I didn’t know anything about him but was intrigued. I’d recently been challenged to pray extreme prayers only God could make happen. So full of faith for the impossible, I said to God, “I want to meet the dictator and see him give his life to Christ!”
Just a few days later, I found myself huddled on a small bus with my team headed toward the prison. We asked the prison director if we could visit the former dictator. She didn’t think he would see us, because he’d recently had a stroke and was suffering from back pain and depression, but she said she would ask him. While we waited, we had a great time talking and praying with other inmates. Several were instantly healed, and some invited Jesus into their lives!
We were celebrating the goodness of God with the other prisoners when the director reappeared and said, “The General has invited your team to come and visit him.” We couldn’t believe our ears! Escorted by prison guards,we walked into his cell and instantly saw he was a very depressed man.
As we sang songs in his native tongue, we could see his broken spirit begin to lift, and eventually he started to sing with us. We asked if we could pray for his back, and he agreed. Instantly, all his back pain disappeared and he began smiling with joy! My team members told him stories of how they had experienced God’s unconditional love and power in their lives, and then our team leader turned to me and asked, “Would you like to share some encouraging words with the General?”
Suddenly afraid, I replied, “Ummm, I don’t have anything right now, but give me a minute.” As I turned my attention toward Holy Spirit, I remembered I had prayed for the General to meet Jesus. Immediately, faith overcame fear, and without hesitation I went up to the General and asked if I could hold his hand, even though we had been told to keep our distance. I looked into his eyes and began to cry as I told him about the love of Jesus I had experienced in my life. He began crying too. I asked if he wanted to give his life to this Jesus who had healed his back and he said, “Yes!” I led him in a prayer of salvation, and afterward he gave me a huge hug, as tears continued to roll down his weathered face.
The man we were leaving was a completely different person than the one we had met just an hour before. As we were walking out, he ran to catch up to us to share his cookies with our team and express his gratitude once again. It was all he had. His kindness deeply touched our hearts.
Now I know it’s true. God really does love to answer impossible prayers, because literally, nothing is impossible with Him!