Bob was not a hardened criminal, but he was heading that way. He was smoking, drinking and dabbling in drugs. He had been involved in gang fights, terrorised the neighbourhood and thrown rocks or fired shots into homes and cars amongst other things.
He had been expelled from Costa Mesa church school as a ‘rotten apple contaminating the whole barrel.’
The teachers at The Mountain School under the leadership of R W Hollister agreed to take Bob in an effort to help him, but after many months they came to the conclusion that they would have to let him go. Bob’s response when they met to tell him was “I just want out!” but as the teachers tenderly explained that they did not want to have to let him go, Bob began to see that he was about to loose the only real home he had ever known. Finally, he broke down and begged to be allowed to stay and try again. So Bob stayed, but after a time his behaviour deteriorated again—old habits were too hard to break.
At the end of the term Bob did not ask to return but went to live with his grandmother in Costa Mesa and attend the public school. Here his life continued to spiral out of control until his father ordered him home. But when his father, not realising the extent of his sons rebellion, tried to discipline him, Bob walked out in anger taking nothing but the clothes on his back. Going to his grandmothers, he stole money, but he had no where to go and no friends.
Remembering the kindness of The Mountain School, Bob made up a lie about being suspended and asked if he could stay for the duration of the ‘suspension’.
Now at this time, a group of students came from La Sierra College to conduct a series of meetings on the science of prayer; they gave testimony after testimony of answered prayers based on the principal that we can ask for and receive any gift that God has promised.
- Ask—Matthew 7:7
- Believe—Mark 11:24
- Claim (receive/get) and give thanks – John 11:41
Bob asked, believed and received salvation from his bad habits. Only a few days later the police arrived to arrest him—his father had requested that he be placed in a detention home for troubled boys.
The students and teachers of The Mountain School were all praying for Bob. A few days later the principal received a phone call—it was Bob’s father, asking if a sponsor might be found so that Bob could return to The Mountain School. Sponsors were found and Bob was able to return to school, with the continued encouragement from his teachers and fellow students—a changed life.
This is the difference prayer makes. Youth praying and working for youth! Isn’t it wonderful! We are only seeing the beginning of great things that will yet take place to prove that there is a God in heaven that loves His children and delights to answer large requests unselfishly made.
Summarise from “Youth Prays—God answers” by Glenn Coon