At a Full Gospel Business Men’s Convention in a certain large city, a lady came up to me after one of the afternoon teaching sessions. She said, “Brother Hagin, I want you to promise me something.”
I said, “Well, I want to find out what it is first.”
She said, “I want you to promise me you’ll pray every day for my son. He’s 15 years old, and I can’t do a thing in the world with him. I can’t get him to go to church. He’s in with a gang and I’m afraid they’re on drugs. He’s out until three and four in the morning. I lie awake nights waiting for the phone to ring telling me they have him down at the jail.”
I interrupted her before she could tell any more about how bad it all was. I said to her, “I’m not going to do it.”
“You’re not going to do what?” she asked.
“I’m not going to pray for him, much less pray every day,” I responded.
That surprised her. She said, “You’re not?”
“No ma’am. I’m not. I won’t promise you I’ll pray for him at all. You see, in the first place it wouldn’t do any good, because you would nullify all the effects by your wrong believing and your wrong talking. No matter how many people pray, as long as you keep telling him that he’ll never amount to anything, he’ll wind up in reform school. He’ll go to the penitentiary; he’ll never make it.”
Her eyes got big. She said, “How did you know I was talking that way to him?”
I said, “To be in the mess he’s in, you had to talk him into it.” We’re products of words. Children are products of words. Words will make a boy love an education. Words will make a boy want to go to church, or they’ll keep him out of church.
“What am I going to do?” she asked.
I explained, “Since you’ve gone so long this way and because he’s as old as he is, just leave him alone. He resents your talking to him and trying to tell him anything. Just leave him alone. Don’t tell him anything. Don’t preach at him. Don’t nag him.”
“And then,” I said, “change your thinking and change your talking. At home, even when you don’t know where he is, say, ‘I surround him with faith; You have been surrounding him with doubt-now surround him with faith. And even if your heart doesn’t believe it to begin with, say it out of your head, and your heart will start believing, ‘I do not believe he’s going to the reform school. I do not believe he’s going to the penitentiary. I believe he’s coming to God. I believe!’ State what you believe.”
“Well,” she said, “I’ll try it.”
I told her, “It won’t work. It won’t work if you try it. But it will work if you’ll do it. Jesus didn’t say he would have whatever he tried. He said he would have whatever he says.”
That convention was in August. The Full Gospel Business Men had another convention in that same city the next year in October, 14 months later, and I was back again to speak.
After the afternoon service a lady came up to me and said, “Brother Hagin, do you remember me?”
“No, I meet so many people that I don’t really remember you.”
“Oh,” she said. “Do you remember when you were here a year ago and I ran up and asked you to pray for my boy and you shocked me by saying you wouldn’t?
“I want to tell you one thing. That works! Now, it didn’t look like it was going to work. He got worse. And it was the hardest thing I ever did, keeping my mouth shut. But I kept saying-every day I said it, every night I said it – ‘I surround him with faith. I believe he’s coming to God. I believe things are going to work out right in his life. I believe he’s not going to reform school.” My head said that was where he was going because of the bunch he was in with, but I said from my heart, ‘He’s not going to the reform school. I do not believe he’ll wind up in the penitentiary:”
She went on, “We went along that way for nearly a year, 10 months or so. Then one Sunday morning, after he’d been out nearly all night, he got up. Ordinarily he would be sleeping, but he got up and came to the breakfast table. [She was a widow.] And while we were eating, he said, ‘Momma, I believe I’ll go to Sunday school with you this morning:”
She said, “1 just acted nonchalantly and said, ‘Now son, you were up awfully late, you probably need your rest” (Before she’d been nagging him to go.)
“No,” he said, “I want to go.”
“Well,” she said, “it’s up to you, but you only got a few hours sleep.”
“I want to go,” he said. And he went to Sunday school and stayed for church.
“The very next Sunday morning,” she told me, “he was out until four in the morning, but again he was up for breakfast.”
“Momma,” he said to her, “I believe I’ll go to Sunday school with you this morning.”
She said, “Son, you were out late last night. You need your rest, you know.”
“Well, yes,” he said, “but I can go. I’m going.”
He went to Sunday school, stayed for church, and that evening he said to her, “I believe I’ll go back with you tonight.” When the invitation was given, he went to the altar and was saved.
“Since then,” she told me, “he’s been filled with the Spirit. Now then, just like he was all out for the devil, he’s all out for God. He’s on fire for God! I believe he’s going to turn into a preacher! I’ll tell you, he’s just a brand-new boy. I’ve got a brand-new boy.
“Thank you,” she said. “At first I almost got my feelings hurt because you were so point blank with me. But I saw it. I corrected myself, and thank God, I’ve got a brand-new son.”
“You know,” she said, “I’ll tell you something else. He’s got a brand-new Momma.”
She’d been saved and filled with the Holy Spirit and in a Full Gospel church for years, but she told me that day,
“I don’t think like I used to think. I almost pinch myself sometimes and say, ‘Is this really me?’ I used to worry, worry, worry, worry. Now I don’t worry anymore.
“Not only that,” she went on, “I feel so good physically, I feel like a young girl. I’ve got vim, vigor, and vitality.” When she began to say the right thing, it worked for her. Jesus said, “…he shall have whatsoever he saith” (Mark 11:23).
by Kenneth Hagin
From the book “Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage”