‘Tell the godly that all will be well for them’ (Isaiah 3:10)
In 1972, I was arrested for taking Bibles behind the Iron Curtain and put in a communist prison: the sentence for bringing Bibles was five years, and because I was preaching the Gospel in the prison, that was another five years. I could have been there ten years! I did not want to spend ten years of my life in prison, in a foreign country! I desperately wanted to learn how to pray, because I wanted to see a miracle happen: I did not want to stay in the prison; I wanted to be free, to do the work of God.
Things were difficult in the prison in Czechoslovakia where I was, and in the first few months it seemed as if God did not answer any of my prayers. When I prayed for food, there was none, when I prayed that my wife would come, she was not allowed a visa to visit me – it seemed that every prayer that I prayed, God said no. I began to despair. We had to get up at 6.00 every morning and sit on a wooden stool with nails for hours every day. It was torture. In the first six months I wasn’t allowed out of my cell – my food and my toilet were in the cell. I lost so much weight.
When you pray say, ‘Our Father…’
I remember one morning when I had been three months in that cell, I desperately cried out that I could not pray anymore because, I said, “Oh God, every time I pray, You say no! When I want the food parcels my family send, or a visit from my wife, or for me to be found not guilty in the court and be set free, always the answer is no! I don’t know how to pray anymore, everything I ask for, it’s no!” I sat there, not knowing what to do. “Oh God, if You don’t hear me, I’d rather die, because life has no purpose, no meaning if You don’t answer me.” While I was still saying, “Oh God, I cannot pray anymore”, I remembered the words in the Bible (I had no Bible in the prison – it was forbidden) where Jesus said, “When you pray say…” – and I began hesitantly to say those words, ‘Our Father’ – but as I did I began to argue, I cannot say ‘our’, that’s plural – I’m alone in here, no family, no friends, no believers, how can I speak in the plural? I have to say MY Father. Suddenly I knew the reality of those words, He’s mine, He’s my Father!
Soon I came to the part, ‘Hallowed be Your Name’. I questioned, what does this really mean? Surely this is the moment when we must worship Him, and how can I worship God in this cell? My mouth was closed and I was trying to praise God through clenched teeth, because of my suffering and pain. Suddenly my heart opened and a miracle happened: it was as if heaven had opened, the cell was filled with a brilliant light, all the angels of heaven seemed to crowd into that cell, I began to praise and worship the Lord. I got to my feet, and I began to run around that cell singing, “Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee, how great Thou art!” The glory of God filled my heart, changing me, the sadness and the pain were gone! I was locked in a prison cell, yet I was in the presence of God, experiencing the glory of God, something greater than I had ever known in a church – it was as if I was transported into heaven! I made so much noise, the guards came running to see what was happening – but the glory of God was so great, they did not even enter the cell. From that moment everything changed, God began to answer every prayer, I got food to eat, God showed me the day I would get out, (my birthday), and that I would be speaking in the Royal Albert Hall, in Britain, to thousands of people, sharing the joy of the miracle of answered prayer.
I did get out, exactly on my birthday, as God showed me.
‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever’ (Hebrews 13:8)
We can all have this relationship with God. If you are sick, or crippled, in despair, alone, whoever you are, wherever you are – God will hear you, God will answer your prayer like He answered mine. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The miracles you read about in the Bible, can and do happen today. Just believe, and all things are possible.
All will be well
I’ve heard it said that God always ends in “all is well.” If all is not well, that means it is not the end of the story. Don’t become discouraged because life hasn’t worked out as you expected, all will be well. God knows how to vindicate, restore and renew. Our hope is not just for this life, but for the one to come with Jesus. We have this assurance: ‘There is more than enough room in My Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I am.’ (John 14:3).
‘All will be well’ used by kind permission of www.vinesong.com