Today I would like to share a story with you about our oldest son, Matt.
Saturday morning we followed our usual routine with devotions and prayer. I prayed for the safety of all our children, but especially for our son Matt and his officer friends. About an hour later, when Joel was commuting to the church ~ he officiated at a funeral yesterday~ he felt a strong urge to pray for Matt again. It was between 9 and 9:30am.
Our son, Matt, is a police officer in a tough area of a big city in the Midwest. Yesterday morning he received a radio call about a stolen car and 3 officers went to a motel to investigate. When they entered the hotel room to question the young adult male suspects they appeared docile and cooperative. Things became more intense when an officer discovered two shotguns in the room. The suspects were quickly handcuffed as the officers proceeded to search the room. Suddenly, one of the suspects jumped up and grabbed a Luger (a semi-automatic hand gun) he had hidden near him. At the same time our son leaped forward grabbing the suspect’s arm and hand, trying to keep the gun barrel pointed away from himself, while at the same time working to wrestle the gun out of this man’s hand. The other two officers had guns drawn on the man, but of course could not fire because Matt was in the way. One of the officers decided to use pepper mace to spray the man’s face and at the same time sprayed Matt in the face. This is extremely painful, of course, and it got in Matt’s eyes so he could only open one eye while he continued to work to get the man down on the floor and the gun away from the suspect. Quickly they were able to subdue the man. They found 14 guns in the hotel room and discovered they were wanted for several robberies across the Midwest. This kind of thing is not new to Matt, but having to keep from getting shot at such close range is not a daily occurrence. We lifted up many prayers of thanksgiving after Matt called us.
This event brought to mind the purpose of prayer. God knew what was coming yesterday for Matt and his fellow officers. Yet, both Joel and I felt the need to pray for Matt’s safety. And Joel felt an intense urge to pray for Matt while driving in the car…during the SAME TIME Matt would be entering into this risky situation. So why do we need to pray when God is in control? There are many answers to this question, but I believe our prayers yesterday had more than one purpose. Foremost, God was given the praise for keeping our son safe. Second, it was a reminder to me of how important it is to keep prayer in my daily life. Third, it gave Matt assurance that God is watching over him ~ God had “nudged” his parents into praying extra prayers on the day he needed them. Fourth, Matt was able to go home to his beautiful family. Each of us involved in this one event have grown in our faith and have felt the love of God in our lives. We know from whom our salvation comes…and we know from whom our safety comes. Today my prayers are prayers of thanksgiving that our son is safe another day as he works to protect and serve. Prayers of praise that we have been reminded of the power of purposeful praying.