You may have noticed in our last couple of newsletters that a prayer ministry has been launched at CCC. This initiative was started by several members of our congregation whom the Holy Spirit has burdened to intercede on behalf of the members and families at Capital. I mentioned several weeks ago in the service that, "Intercessory prayer is one of the most talked about and probably the least practiced doctrine in the church!" This is amazing because to converse and dialog with our Heavenly Father on behalf of our brothers and sisters, families, leaders, government officials, all who are in crisis, and all without the hope of Christ is one of the greatest privileges we as Christians will ever have.
In the fall of 1990, I was part of planting a church in Dallas, Texas. We started meeting in a Baptist church which owned a large, lovely, old building but it's congregation had dwindled to around a 100 members. Their resources were so limited that they could not repair their air condition system. We started with 1500 members coming from another church with great resources. After a year, we purchased the building from the Baptists, and helped them secure a smaller facility in which to meet.
When the Baptists moved out of our building, one family of their congregation chose to remain with us, a widow named Marjorie, and her daughter Cathy Harstrom. Cathy was in her mid thirties, single, and a victim of polio from her childhood. Cathy was an Intercessor who prayed for many people daily. She was thin and quite frail, with the love of Christ in her twinkling eyes. People would come to her house and share with her their needs for prayer, as well as phone her at all hours of the day and night to give her their prayer requests. I visited with Cathy at length on at least three occasions where she shared with me stories of the many people who had come to her for prayer and of the wonderful answers to her prayers.
I left Dallas for Russia with my family in the early months of 1993. Each year when I would return to Dallas, I would try to give Cathy a call instead of meeting with her as I knew her health was failing due to a weak heart. The last time I spoke with Cathy she told me that she was so weak that she could only speak for one hour a day to anyone including her mother. My last phone conversation with her lasted about ten minutes and she was still recounting the wonderful answers to prayer she was receiving and told of the people who were still coming to see her weekly for prayer.
One afternoon almost a year after my last conversation with Cathy, I received an email from our church secretary telling me that Cathy had quietly slipped into the arms of Jesus the night before. The moment I read this note I felt like the back door to my house had just blown open, and that a cold and chilling breeze was blowing on my back and on my neck. I understood that the Lord was telling me that I had been protected by Cathy's prayers, as had hundreds maybe thousands of others.
Over twenty years have passed since Cathy went home, yet the story of her life is being recounted in part today in another country, on another continent, on the other side of the world, by a brother who is so thankful to the Lord for Cathy Harstrom and for her prayers. "The prayers of a righteous man or woman make a great impact and have an everlasting effect." Jas 5:16 (LAB). May we all join with Cathy, the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit in making intercession for one another in the name of Him who gave it all!