This afternoon a memorial service will be conducted for a man who was used of God to encourage me greatly. Pastor Dave McCoy served for forty years at the People’s Baptist Church in McDonough, GA. Just a few days ago I recorded a video greeting for his anniversary Sunday, not knowing that just a few hours after that very Lord’s day he would be in the presence of our Lord.

There have been a host of faithful preachers called home to be with Christ in the last few months. Again and again the Holy Spirit has brought the words of David to my mind, “My times are in thy hand” (Psalm 31:15). All of our days are numbered by God (Job 14:5; Psalm 39:4; Psalm 90:12). We may know how many days we have lived but only God knows how many any of us have left.

When my friend was in the hospital we were able to communicate by text. In his last message to me he ended with these words: “Prayer is still the answer.” I believe that. At times our prayers are not answered as we would hope but they are answered perfectly by an all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God. Our days and our answers are all in God’s hands. God’s children can rest their thoughts and emotions there as well.

Another preacher friend of mine just came through a challenge time. I texted him to check on him recently and his response was profound: “Prayer has sustained us.” I too can testify that prayer has sustained us day by day. The prayers of Jesus, the prayers of the Holy Spirit, the prayers of faithful intercessors, and our own times of prayer have been the means by which we have been kept near to the Lord. God is the source of our strength and prayer is the channel.

In these trying times and in every circumstance we must be people of prayer. It is through constant contact with God that we find the strength and grace to press on. Pray your way to the finish line!

At some point faith becomes sight, hope becomes reality, and prayer becomes face to face communion. Dave McCoy is experiencing that now and all of us will soon. Until then…”prayer is still the answer.”