A family’s prayers answered at Christmas
Posted on: 14th December 2022
Rowan, a CMS missionary serving in South East Asia, recalls the day God worked through a story about Queen Victoria, added at the last minute by a preacher to his Christmas sermon, to answer the prayers of a Christian family whose daughter was drifting from the faith.
This is the story of a person in their mid-twenties who came to church at Christmas. I will call her Ratu. It was the first time that Ratu had ever attended a service at this particular church. Ratu knew no-one in the congregation.
So why did Ratu come to church? She came because of the prayers of her family.
Although Ratu did not know this at the time, her family had been praying for many months that Ratu would take seriously the call to follow Jesus. Her family were concerned because Ratu had stopped going to church regularly, and her involvement in church-related activities had also dropped off as she became more and more emmeshed in a lifestyle pursuing pleasure. Her relationships with her family had become strained.
Lesson from a Queen
Ratu was also unaware that the preacher had been struggling in his sermon preparation to find the right words to begin his sermon with. After praying, the preacher finally decided to begin his sermon with these words:
You might be able to guess from my accent that I am not an American, I am not a Canadian, I am not English and I am not a New Zealander. In fact, I am from Australia, which is not to be confused with Austria.
My home state or province in Australia is called Victoria, named after the English Queen Victoria, who was crowned in 1837 when she was just 18, and who then went on to rule for over 63 years until she died in 1901.
You might not know this, but when Victoria was a child, she grew up not knowing that one day she would become the next Queen of England. Her teachers, who were trying to prepare her for her future role in life, were frustrated because they couldn’t motivate her to take her studies seriously. Finally, they decided to tell her that one day she would beco.me Queen. When she heard this, Victoria suddenly realised that she could no longer live for herself.
Hearing God’s voice
Ratu told me that she could not remember much else about the sermon, or the service for that matter. But what she does remember is that all through the service, she heard God telling her that she needed to stop living for herself and start living for him.
Ratu shared her story with me after the end of the service. Yes, I was the preacher! We prayed that she would know God’s peace, healing and joy in her life and that God would heal and rebuild her relationships with her family and her community.
Please pray for Ratu, and many like her, that their trust in the Lord Jesus will grow, and that they will live for him in the communities that God has placed them in.