Does God answer prayer?
Course He does. Sometimes in remarkable fashion.
On the fringes of Cairo is a village called Mokattam. It's a garbage village; that's to say a village where live thousands of people who collect the garbage from the residents of Cairo and live off what they find in the garbage they collect. Behind it stands Mokattam Hill.
Some 40 years ago a young man went to Mokattam to preach. Reluctantly, it must be said. There was dirt; there was poverty; above all, there was an overpowering stench from the piles of garbage.The people seemed to him like wild people.
But people were converted: transformed by the love of Jesus. They stopped beating their wives and children and started to live without drink and drugs. The young man built a church for them out of corrugated iron, roofed with reeds. The only trouble was it became too small. So they prayed.
Building permits to construct a church were virtually impossible to obtain in Egypt, especially for a politically irrelevant group like the garbage collectors. So they prayed some more.
One day some men noticed a hole in the side of the hill above the village. They enlarged it, and peered in. It looked like a large cave. Men and women began to move loose rocks from inside. In total, they manhandled thousands of tons of rock down the hill.
Against all the odds, the government granted the land to the Christians. Egypt is 90 per cent Muslim, but Mokattam is 80 to 90 per cent Coptic Christian. The cave is today the largest church in the Middle East, seating up to 20,000 people.
Do click here and watch a video of thousands of people in the cave church worshipping God with feeling.
"This is our time to change the world," says a priest at the church. "We need to cry, scream, travail and groan, to pray day and night. And the Lord will support this work of the Holy Spirit. We're not just talking about Jesus in words, but also in miracles which will follow our faith, and the world will see and believe and come back to Christ."