A small request-just one line

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by Mervyn Morelock, Lt. Colonel –

The other day I had an e-mail asking me to forward a prayer request. Like most of us, I receive many requests to send on surveys, pictures, petitions, devotional thoughts, etc. I rarely do, because if I did, my friends’ e-mail boxes would be even more jammed and cluttered, and when I wanted to send something really important, they would already have my address on their spam list!
The message began:

93% won’t forward, but I’m sure you will…”

A small request—just one line:

“Dear God, I pray for the cure of cancer. Amen.”

At first I was tempted to push my delete button, but the message went on: “All you are asked to do is keep this circulating, even if it’s only to one more person. In memory of any one you know who has been struck down by cancer or is still living with it. A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.”

Am I too busy to pray? When God’s word says, “If you ask the Father for anything, in my name, he will give it you,” should I set aside the request until a better time?

General John Gowans (Ret.) wrote the words for a song in one of the musicals, “If you ask the Father for anything.” It is Scripture set to music:

If you ask the Father for anything,
For anything in my name;
If you ask the Father for anything,
In my name, he will give it you.
So far you have asked nothing in my name,
Ask and you will receive!
If you ask the Father for anything,
In my name, he will give it to you.
John 16:23, 24 (New English Bible)

Three recent experiences prompted this message about prayer—and cancer.

I went through nearly five reams of prayer requests that came into the Call to Prayer office over the last three or four years. As I read them again before shredding, I was moved that many were written in a time of desperate need—requesting, begging, prayer because of ill health, family, and personal needs. Many were because of cancer. In many cases, the request was carried over week after week—even for months. In some cases, the request was prayer for loved ones of someone who had lost the battle with cancer. I’m happy that many ended with a letter or phone call saying, “You can take my name off of the Call to Prayer list. My doctors have said I’ve been healed or am in remission!” Praise the Lord! Those are the messages on the Praise page of saprayerusw.com! God IS answering prayer! Many more times than you could imagine!

The second experience is a personal one. It was time for a medical checkup. At the end of the examination, the doctor turned to me and said, “Oh, by the way, you don’t have cancer!” I was surprised and pleased, because the exam was not to check for cancer. Was I relieved? You bet! With so many news accounts of celebrities, most recently Patrick Swayze, succumbing to cancer, the disease is always in the news and on many people’s minds.

The last experience was on a recent Sunday when a woman at the corps prayed at the altar. This person does not often go to the altar, so my curiosity was aroused. I later learned that she had just been diagnosed with cancer!

So today I’m not going to be one of the 93 percent who won’t forward this message: “Dear God, I pray for the cure of cancer. Amen.”

This week, will you remember those who have been struck by cancer and those who are still living with it? Pray for the Almighty hand of God to work a miracle and find the cure for cancer—and pass this message on!

If you ask the Father for anything in my name, he will give it to you.” Signed: Jesus of Nazareth.

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