How is faith formed? “Little by little, line upon line, precept upon precept,” the Bible says.
Without warning young Violet began to have jerking episodes when she was ten years old. Her legs would not allow her to stand, making her fall to the floor. Her speech became garbled, and her arms flopped like a rag doll. Having no control, she would make terrible facial grimaces, easily stumble, and drop things on a consistent basis. Some said she had ‘dropsy’ – her family called it “St. Vitus Dance.” Today it is known as Sydenham’s chorea. Her twin sister was not affected.
THE POWER OF PRAYER
The Iverson’s were a poor farm family with nine children. In 1919, not many doctors knew how to treat this malady, other than trying to calm the victim down.
The Iverson’s attended the Church of the Brethren, which later became the Pentecostal Church. Townsfolk called them “holy rollers.” When the Great Azusa Street Revival broke out in California and then spread across the nation in the early 1900s, the family was taken up with the sawdust revival tent meetings.
The family fervently believed in God and were confident He heard and would answer their prayers. Martin Iverson decided to take his young daughter to a healing service at one of the early “brush arbor” meetings. They believed for a miracle and eventually, Violet’s shaking and jerking episodes stopped. The symptoms never returned.
FUTURE PIANO PLAYER?
There was nothing in my mother’s mind that prayer couldn’t fix, and she taught me how to believe in faith. When I was six, my right ring finger was severed when the wind caught the steel door at my father’s gas station. The finger was sewed back on, but my parents were told I would never have feeling nor a fingernail, and maybe not much mobility. Mother prayed. She refused that outcome; her daughter was going to play the piano.
My mother began teaching me to play the piano at age five. Later in her 50s, she developed arthritis in her hands and found herself unable to play as the church pianist. She called on me to take her place; I was only twelve years old. She taught me the love of music and how to serve my Lord by letting Him ‘play through my fingers’—with a fully-healed finger and no loss of mobility. She taught me the power of prayer and the power of God.
CAN PRAYER HEAL?
My mother, Violet, gave testimony many times to the healing power of prayer. She believed God could answer any simple prayer of faith. “It wasn’t the prayer we prayed, but to whom we prayed. God is our Healer and our Provider,” she proclaimed. “He hears us when we pray.”
How is faith formed? Little by little – experience by experience.
A severed finger healed, a seemingly dead dog coming back to life, and a fifth-grade teacher who reminded me, “You always are taller when you are on your knees.”
How about you? What will you believe?
“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” (Hebrews 11:1-New Living Translation)
This true story, plus many others are written in the devotional, Thoughts for Evening Time – Devotions to Ponder. Available on Amazon.com in digital for only 99c or read for free with Kindle Unlimited. Paperback version is also available– or get your signed copy by ordering from this website.