For weeks, God the Father listened to the earnest, relentless prayers of seven-year-old Brian. I heard him pray for six to eight weeks every breakfast, every lunch, and every dinner, and of course, every evening prayers in the living room with his sisters.
“And God, I want a bicycle. Please, God, give me a bicycle.”
“Daddy, will God give me the bicycle I keep praying for?”
“Brian, I know this. God hears your prayer, and he knows exactly what you want. He knows how to answer your prayer. You can trust him.”
“Well then,” said little Brian, “I’m going to keep praying for that bicycle ’cause I really want it!”
When the day of the fair came, my wife, Mary, made sure I’d take Brian and his older sister, Monica. We climbed half way up the steep grandstand steps to select our rather hard seats to perch on. What daddies do for their kids!
The time came. The master of ceremonies in a tall stove-pipe top hat conducted the raffle drawing for the “Silver Streak” bicycle. Sitting next to Brian, I watched my son’s face and his continued exuberant expressions. The MC called the first number, 187, but no child was present to win. He called the second number, 324, but still no answer came from the audience. The third number, 753, brought the same results. The announcer took off his tall hat and wiped his forehead. He changed tactics and started calling the ticket numbers in groups over the blaring loud speakers. 17, 648, 429! 518, 921, 36! As the numbers came, little Brian could not contain his emotions, nor his faith. He stood to his feet and began praying in a rather loud voice.
“Father God, that’s my bicycle! Thank you, Jesus, for my bicycle!”
With determination he prayed louder as the MC called out the numbers. Some 500 people around us must have heard Brian’s voice. They grew very quiet, listening to this little boy in T-shirt and torn blue jeans. He jumped up and down in excited prayer. Something arrested me from stopping or containing his enthusiasm. More numbers were called: 66, 743, 317, 29, 436, 822!
“God, that bicycle is mine,” Brian persisted. “I believe it, that bicycle is mine.”
I could feel the crowd around me holding its breath for Brian. It was better than church! He continued to pray aloud as the numbers were called off. 785, 325, 239, 84, 526, 028! How can a little boy jump up and down and pray out loud at the same time?
I felt people around him join in supportive prayer. Tears came to my eyes. I joined in the quiet prayer and could not believe God would not act in his behalf.
(“O ye of little faith.”)
Some seventy-five numbers had been called with no other child present to win. The MC was visibly discouraged. Then it came! 77!
Little Brian tore down those steep bleacher steps like he was flying! I gasped and grabbed at him for his safety, but he was gone!
“He’s already down there!” noted Monica.
Brian jumped on the bike and peddled it rapidly in figure eight formations in front of the whole grandstand. He actually took over the show! The crowd, all five thousand, laughed and let out a long cheer and a loud applause.
“I wonder what the numerical odds are of this little boy winning this bicycle after so many names were called?” asked the MC over the loud speaker. As a Daddy, I could hardly breathe! My eyes flowed with tears. I watched God specifically answer a little boy’s faith!
“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 18:3 NIV).
2/28/2011 / Miracles