One father’s bleeding heart blending with prayer to a mighty God has the potential to produce a son’s willingness to surrender. For the sake of the story, we’ll call them Matt and John. Among other dads, Matt brought his son, John, to the Lodge’s “Father/Son Retreat.” For this particular weekend, Matt had a hope perhaps unique among the other fathers that had come. He hoped that the time at the Lodge would be the catalyst to restoring his relationship with his son.
But Matt wasn’t lending the weekend to blind luck. He surrendered the work to God, asking God to effect restoration and healing. Is it a surprise that God heard Matt’s prayer? During the weekend, God’s powerful Word started working in both their lives, and their bond was growing strong. But Matt wanted more that. Matt shared how God was answering his prayer with other conference-goers, but he took the opportunity to ask the men to join with him in a new prayer.
You see, John had never trusted in Christ to be right with God. Throughout the weekend, John heard the Good News of Jesus’ substitutionary death and His life-giving resurrection numerous times, but he never responded. That is, not until they started driving back home. While they drove and reviewed their weekend, John told his dad to pull the truck over. John explained that he just couldn’t wait any longer to put his faith in Jesus.
Matt’s experience is a confirmation of prayer’s effectiveness, even for restoring relationships. Paul’s words in Philippians 4:6 ring true where he wrote, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.”