Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
The first time I saw Bro. Manley he was in Houston, Texas' Methodist Hospital. After many fruitful years in ministry he had become very ill. Diagnosed with five diseases, three of which were considered terminal, he had dwindled down to what appeared to be little more than 100 pounds and was as white as the bed sheet on which he lay.
His doctors had given up all hope of him ever recovering until one day his Bible fell open to Psalm 128:6 where God said, "Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children..." In a moment, the logos became ramah revelation, personalized to his heart. He knew that he knew that God had spoken to him saying that he would be healed and would live to see his grandchildren. At the time he had no married children.
Truly he did live. In fact, there was such a complete turnaround in his condition that doctors from across the United States converged on the hospital just to study his condition and read his charts.
Alice and I led the music for a revival in a Louisiana church. Manley preached the sermons each night from the phone in his hospital room in Houston, Texas. We had major revival.
A few weeks later we were with him in a revival meeting at Castle Hills Baptist Church in San Antonio, where Jack Taylor was pastor. Manley was so weak he could not stand to preach. He preached sitting on a stool. One night all he could do was slowly read "the love chapter," 1 Corinthians 13. As he read each verse, the entire congregation seemed stunned by its significance. Many groaned, most cried, some wailed with conviction.
Revival broke out and ministers from across America came to San Antonio to experience and study the revival. Professors from Asbury College, where a historic U.S. revival had occurred years before were among them. For two weeks people were gathered at the building 24/7 weeping, worshipping and praying. Manley waited seven days before he gave the first altar call. And 110 adults were born again that Sunday morning.
Bro. Manley's personal message was faith. He preached it. He lived it. He wrote books about it. And anyone who worked with him knew to, as the Boy Scouts would say, always "be prepared." Why? Because with no warning at all, Bro. Manley made it his practice to ask you, "Friend, what are you believing God for?" He wanted to know what need in your life you were expecting God to meet. Not only that, he expected you to have written it down and kept it in your wallet or purse. Everyone who knew him knew that he was asking to see what you had written down. It was his way of challenging us to trust God in all things.
One night during that San Antonio revival we sat down at dinner. He leaned across the table, smiled cordially, and said, "Eddie, what are you believing God for?" I reached into my wallet and pulled out a piece of paper where I had written "I'm believing God for a new suit." I'm sure I must have breathed a sigh of relief because I was prepared for his challenge.
A moment later, a lady walked in and sat down at the table across from me. Before anything was said, she reached into her purse and pulled out a small white sealed envelope and stuck it in my hand.
"What's this?" I asked.
"The Lord told me I was to buy you a new suit," she replied.
I was stunned! In the envelope was several hundred dollar bills.
Bro. Manley sat there quietly smiling like a proud father.
For twenty more years Manley continued to travel in evangelism. Remarkably, he still tested positive for the diseases. But his body functioned almost normally. One day I asked him if he regretted that the Lord hadn't healed him from those diseases.
He said with a smile, "No, not at all. That would be a one-time healing that I would always look back to. As it is, every day I live is another miracle I receive!"
Your life and mine are also daily miracles. But how many of us actually regard life as such? How many of us overlook and take for granted our health? How many of us worry rather than write out that for which we are trusting God?
As Manley would ask you, were he still here: "What are you believing God for?"
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