MODERN EVIDENCE POST 3 — Answered Prayer Shows That Jesus is Still Alive This Easter
Imagine, please, that you are on a Jury weighing the evidence that I suggest in these articles. I invite you to respond below each article with your own examples and jury questions, and I will try to respond in turn. While the topic is obviously serious, lets lighten up and enjoy the adventure of our unusual investigation.
All Christians that I have spoken with can give examples of answered prayer in their own lives. With the millions of Christians who could lead similar evidence, many of whom would tick all the boxes to be excellent witnesses in a court of law, it is hard to believe that there is another explanation than Jesus hears and answers some prayers in the affirmative, and thereby must still be alive and listening.
Often prayer is very casual; just part of a comfortable loving relationship. Think of other relationships that you enjoy; you each do things for the other naturally and often would battle to remember examples of things your loved one had done for you even a week later. For the sake of evidence, though, we need to describe prayers to Jesus whose details we remember clearly.
When I was teaching at St Andrew’s Secondary School in Blantyre, Malawi, in the 1980s I was fortunate one year to have a close-knit group in my senior Chemistry cohort. They were good students and did very well. However, a Muslim boy who had been in another school joined the class and was obviously finding it hard to settle and make friends. He appeared to be shy but also very intense and a little morose. For whatever reason, he became an isolate in the cohort despite my attempts to help him to settle.
At that time, I began to keep a prayer diary jotter in which I wrote his name and the date I began praying that he would make friends and become accepted by the other seniors. Like many things I begin, I soon abandoned the prayer diary. However, I came across it again some months later and had to smile when I read my prayer for this lad: it had been answered, but not in a manner I would have expected. In the interim he had had several run-ins with some of the teachers and school authorities. Somehow, his challenging of these authority figures won the approval of his fellow students and he had become a popular figure within their cohort!!
Jesus sometimes answers prayer in unexpected ways!
He can also answer in dramatic fashion. In a church service during the war in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe now), four medical students stood and told us about an extraordinary experience. They had been returning to Salisbury (Harare now) aware that it was very dangerous to travel after dark, but had been slowed down at the officious border post with South Africa. Then they had a flat tyre on the road, and changed it for the spare, which took a little time and they realised they would still be on the road at dusk. Not good!
Then disaster struck — another flat tyre and no further spare. They were shocked. The two boys inspected the flat tyre and felt desperate about the situation. There was unlikely to be further traffic to provide help as it was already late and ambush time approached. They returned to the car and all four began to pray aloud for help. Suddenly, they felt the car lift up on the side that the flat tyre was. They jumped out and looked incredulously: the tyre was no longer flat but fully inflated. The one medical student could not help himself and kicked it, to confirm it was hard as a rock! For a while as they set off again they remained in awed silence, then burst out in praise. An interesting addendum is that when they reached a garage at the outskirts of Salisbury, the tyre went flat again–and they changed it at that garage.
For interest, a good friend, Dr Kevin Martin, told us of a similar experience during which he escaped from driving through a dangerous “ambush alley” after dark. He knew he did not have sufficient petrol and asked Jesus somehow to make up the difference. His car kept going despite the lack of fuel until he reached safety. He knew his car and its limits very thoroughly, especially because of petrol rationing. It kept going way beyond the fuel he had in it.
Kevin had another different style of answered prayer in which we and others played a small part. We were all part of a small Bible study group. Kevin asked the group to pray for him. He had specialist examinations looming but had been unable to study properly for them because he had been caught up at the hospital in a series of unusual cases that took his time, inquiry and care. As you may have guessed, when he sat and read his examination paper, it featured the unusual diseases he had been treating! He passed!
As I write these examples, other prayers that Jesus has responded to begin to fill my mind, as they likely do yours.
I hope that you are aware of the true situation by now; that the world is awash with evidence that Jesus is still alive this Easter! If you are a member of a church, why not suggest the men make up a simple mock “witness stand” on wheels that can be rolled out and in which members of the congregation can give short testimony to this fact?? A men’s shed could make one readily. Just a thought. Next post will probe some of the more unexpected evidences that Jesus is still alive this Easter, beginning with his Divine Provision.