2014 Cambodia – Della Collins

The Power of Prayer

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” James 5:16

This winter I had the honor of being on the forerunner dance ministry team to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Ours was the first dance mission team sent out by New Philadelphia Church, and everyone had big expectations for us. I did as well. When I heard that I would be on this team, I was excited to relive my days of performing art ministry, as I had been on a singing team in Japan. I was grateful that my missions history would allow me to be more comfortable this time around performing on street corners, busy subways, or on stage in front of hundreds of students. However, the setting for this trip was quite different from what I imagined. Our main stages were in the slums, orphanages, churches, and home gatherings, but it was in these settings where my faith grew and where we saw our prayers answered with power.

If God had not led our team to the slums, we would not have seen the most powerful healing of the trip. As we finished up our ministry service and were heading out of the slum, a woman was crying out to us. She was lame due to a fall at work and desperately wanted us to pray for her. She could not catch us on the way in, since she was in her home and could not stand up or walk. But on our way out she was successful in catching the attention of Teacher Kanya, the wife of the local pastor. As we prayed for this woman her skin broke out in goosebumps, and soon afterwards she was able to stand, walk, and even jump! Praise the Lord!

This was the most powerful healing from the whole trip. And while it is a moment I will never forget, there is another image that is in the forefront of my mind when I am asked about what stood out to me the most from my time in Cambodia. As I think about it, my heart leaps and I am reminded of a scene of sheep following the voice of their shepherd in prayer. During Sunday service at Fellowship Work of Life Church, Pastor Emily preached on the gift of tongues. The three main points of this message were that our spiritual language is a language of faith, warfare, and of prayer. Pastor Emily then led an altar call, and many church members stepped out. They wanted to receive the gift to speak to their heavenly Father in a new language. My heart melts every time I remember looking at Pastor Vanna (their head pastor) on the stage speaking in tongues, and then seeing the church members beginning to step out in faith and utter their own first words in this heavenly language.

I have had my own personal journey with prayer, and I have come to pray about anything and everything , so I love that New Philadelphia Church is a praying church. I have caught onto this culture, but insecurities make it easy to depend on the “better” prayer warriors when praying in a group setting. Also, being a natural introvert sometimes leads me to think that others aren’t really listening to what I say, and this sometimes subconsciously leaks into how I pray. However, God did not let me even start this trip without combating those insecurities. He put in me a mindset to pray as if my prayers would make the difference for every outreach.

Even though I did not make many expectations as for what God would do in me or through me while in Cambodia, He was gracious to really grow me in the area of faith. One of the first things I asked God was to use the wind to show us that His presence was with us. It was a prayer I believed God could answer, but was not sure if He would. So whenever there was a sudden gust of wind or a gentle breeze, I remembered my prayer and thanked God for His presence. Whenever we prayed for healings, I prayed with as much faith as I could that God would not only heal the ailment, but heal to complete restoration. When we prayed for a woman who walked very painfully, I prayed that God would not only take the pain away but also that he would completely restore her cleft foot back to normal. When we prayed for a man with burns, I greatly prayed and desired to see his skin completely healed as we prayed. I did not see all of these prayers answered, but my faith rose every time I prayed.

When our team was reminded to be in intercession mode for our ministry outreaches, it surprised me to find that it was no task and gave me great joy to intercede the whole time. If you had asked me 7 years ago, I might have still been struggling with doubt that I was truly saved. Who I am and what I believe now is totally different from then, and God used this trip to ignite a burning desire to pray with faith, without ceasing, in every situation. It was through our team’s prayers that God healed the sick and brought many to salvation. Yet if it were not for the prayers of the native Cambodians- of Pastor Sopiab and his wife Kanya of Freedom of Sen Sok church, of Grandma Measimmon from one of our home visits, of Pastor Bunli who was one of our main guides for the trip, of Pastor Vanna, Pastor Sinai, and Pastor Lim at the NPWM center- this trip would not have happened. From the moment the decision was made to send a team Cambodia, it was the power or prayer that allowed God to work mightily.

Looking back on the trip from an omniscient point of view, I can see myself busy with taking notes writing down all the details of our outreaches. But when I asked God what he wanted me to see, I saw that in all the moments when I prayed that God was next to me and was taking his own notes on what I prayed for. James 5:15 says that the prayer of faith will heal the sick, and in verse 16 (in NKJV) that the prayer of a righteous person availeth much. I have no doubt that all the continued prayers of the current Cambodian believers, of the new believers made on this mission trip, and of the believers at Fellowship Church exercising their new prayer language, will bring the Kingdom of God and transform the nation of Cambodia!

Thank you all so much for your support and prayer covering. I believe the reason our forerunner team of dancers experience great favor instead of opposition is because of all the prayers sowed into this trip. I am so grateful for what I experienced and am excited to participate in next winter’s missions outreach! God Bless and to Him be the glory!


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