by a Pioneer in Mongolia
A couple of days ago, a distraught Tumay rang us from the café. Her younger brother, Buya-raah, had been involved in an accident while felling trees in a nearby forest. A large branch had hit him across the face and one of his eyes was badly injured. His parents rushed him to Ulaanbaatar, as the local hospital didn’t have adequate equipment to make a diagnosis. Tumay asked us to pray, and of course we did. In such circumstances, it’s almost a reflex action to cry to God for help. At the end of the conversation Tumay thanked us for praying and added, “I know that before the Lord your prayers are more powerful than ours.” Inwardly I groaned, why do people still believe this?
Yesterday Tumay’s brother had surgery on his damaged eye, and I picked up on our earlier brief exchange about prayer. I asked Tumay, “What does the average man in the street do when a crisis arises or an important decision has to be made?” Without missing a beat she rattled off the answer.
“Oh, go to the local lama, pay a fee, get him to read from the Buddhist writings and say prayers on their behalf.”
“Why do people do this?” I inquired.
“Oh, because unlike us,” she replied, “ the lama is a holy man with good faith that can effect the gods.”
Carefully I asked Tumay whether she thought this “everyday” thinking had simply been transferred into the church. After a moment she replied that she was sure that it had. “After all,” she reasoned, “you only want people to pray for you who are good Christians, know their Bibles and have strong faith. It stands to reason that their prayers will be more effective than ours.” As our conversation continued, we spoke about God’s thoughts on prayer and I challenged her to read her Bible, think deeply and ask the Lord to transform her inner beliefs.
We have had many such conversations, and we are thankful that we do see the evidence of God changing people’s lives, but we covet your prayers.