A couple of my story scouts spotted this piece out of St. Augustine, Florida—and I think it’s a perfect one for the big people (i.e., older than children). Two 17-year-olds—Tyler Smith and Heather Brown—were enjoying senior skip-day to the max a week ago. Students at Christ’s Church Academy and soaking up the sun, the two teens lazily floated just offshore at Vilano Beach.
Well, you know how it goes—two kids happily caught up in each other’s company with sea and sun surrounding them—who’s keeping track of where they’re drifting? Turns out strong undercurrents were pulling the two out to sea. By the time they realized their danger, they were too far from shore to be heard.
Try as they might, they couldn’t reverse course against the stiff current that hurried them further out. And so the teens held on to each other. And prayed. And prayed. And God bless them, somehow they managed to not panic and stay afloat, even as the swirling undertow dragged them farther and farther. By now they are two miles out to sea!
Did I mention they were praying? Who wouldn’t be?
That’s when Eric Wagner and his boat crew spotted the teens in the distance, bobbing atop the waves. As his vessel motored closer, crew members leaned over the side and strong arms pulled the swimmers to safety.
Oh, what a relief it is! Two young lives saved. Their prayers answered. By a boat called the Amen—no kidding—Amen.
“Call upon Me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver you; and you will glorify Me” (Psalm 50:15). Amen.
Wesley Duewel observes: “The most important measure of prayer is not its length but its depth; not its beautiful words but its intensity. It is not necessarily a matter of how many hours you pray, but how intensely you pray when you do pray. There is a dynamic of perseverance—prayer must often be continued at some length, but whether short or long, let your prayer be fervent.” (Mighty Prevailing Prayer 76) Amen.
And what catalyzes intense, fervent prayer? A sense of imminent danger, the recognition of desperate need. How do you suppose those teens prayed?
How does God respond to such intensity? “When a man [or woman] breathes an intensely earnest prayer to God (Jesus Christ is the only name given under heaven whereby we can be saved), there is in that intensity and earnestness a pledge from God that He is about to answer that prayer exceeding abundantly, above all that we can ask or think. . . . Unwearyingly persist in prayer. God does not say, Pray once, and I will answer you. His word is pray, be instant in prayer, believing you have the things you ask, and you shall receive them; I will answer you.” (Ellen White Prayer 72) Amen.
But whatever you do, don’t reserve prayer for trouble! If prayer is talking to God as a friend, then let your day flow with mini-conversations—in the midst of hectic life, in the middle of a dark night—pray. And let the benediction of God be your Amen! day and night.
Pray. And pray. And guess what—your Rescuer will be named Amen, too (Revelation 3:14)!