Here you will find testimonies of prodigals saved and other answered prayers related to prodigals.
Wayne Murphree’s Testimony
Sitting in a restaurant with Tina Murphree Cole, who at one time had my dad for a pastor, I heard this testimony for the first time about her dad, Wayne Murphree. I knew I had to share it. Tina wrote this amazing story, so it is told from her point of view. I edited it for space.
You will want to read through the whole thing. There are details you need to know to understand some of the significance of the miracles, and there are so many throughout.
My Daddy didn’t grow up in a home that went to church. He was familiar with who God is, but he really didn’t know a lot about Him or His teachings. After my mom and Dad got married, we celebrated most holidays with my aunts, uncles, and grandparents, just like most families do.
This all changed in the summer of 1976. Daddy’s mom, all but one of his siblings, and their children became involved with what we now know as a cult. They didn’t believe in Jesus nor His birth. They didn’t believe in heaven or hell the way the Bible teaches. Instead, they believed at some point they would receive a phone call to board a plane to an undesignated destination, where they would live happily among other believers. In contrast, hell would be here on Earth for everyone else, where their lives would be torturous forever. They were required to sell all their belongings and the money was sent in to the church. They were allowed to continue to live on their property, but it was deeded to the church. Daddy and our immediate family, his father, and his brother and his family didn’t believe in any of this. Because of our “non-belief,” we were no longer part of their family. I think this led to Daddy’s resistance to the Christian faith, because of his fear of being mixed up with another cult.
While we were growing up, Mom always took us to church each time the doors were opened. Mom invited him every Sunday, but even through Daddy was a hard-working, morally good man, he did not go with us.
On August 28, 1998, as Daddy was getting ready to turn into our subdivision, he was hit head on by a woman going 90 mph, a woman whose breathalyzer showed her to be at almost three times the legal limit. Daddy’s vehicle was at a dead stop, and her car pushed his van back almost 300 feet. Daddy had a huge gash in his head and the steering column shattered his hip.
Upon arrival at the hospital, we were told to call our pastor to get the prayers started, because there wasn’t much of a chance of my Daddy’s surviving through the night. Our pastor, Brother Henderson, along with about 30 people, kept watch in the emergency room, while my mom, my sister Tammy, and I keeping vigil by his side.
For 21 days he lay in the broken glass from the wreck, because the doctors were afraid to move him. On the seventh day of his hospital stay, Daddy’s brother (the one who did not believe in the doctrine of the cult) and his wife were visiting with him, when he asked them to call Brother Henderson to come to the hospital. He said he wanted to be saved! Around 9:30 p.m., Brother Henderson led him in the sinners’ prayer and prayed with him. Daddy gave his heart to God, lying flat on his back at Carraway Hospital in Intensive Care in a bed of broken class from the wreck! I will never forget that phone call. Hearing my Daddy shout at the top of his lungs about his newfound freedom is something I’ll never forget.
Daddy never met a stranger. He once asked a complete stranger if he was right with God. The man said yes, and Daddy’s response to him was, “That’s awesome! I’ll see you on the other side.” He did things like that often.
After his salvation, Daddy always taught us not to grieve his death and not to worry about where he would be going. He always said, “I won’t leave this Earth until God’s through with me, and when I die you can be assured I’ve done all I can for the kingdom of God.” We never realized how true those words would be until the day he passed away.
July 15, 2020 started out like any other Sunday, until I received a call from my Mom, saying Dad’s temperature was 104 degrees. An ambulance took him to the hospital. Upon arrival, he was checked for Covid, as was I, and we were both negative. They admitted him to the hospital that evening with double pneumonia.
July 17th, Daddy was released from the hospital.
July 21st, my Daddy called and said he was going back to the ER, because he was having a hard time breathing. That was the last time I saw my Daddy alive. As he was being wheeled out on the gurney, I waved at him from my living room window. He blew me a kiss and said, “I love you.” He was admitted back into the hospital and tested positive for Covid.
The day before he was put into ICU, he told me about seeing this beautiful blonde-haired baby. My niece Maggie was eight months pregnant at the time, and he told me about playing with her and how her hair was as white as snow. I thought maybe he was hallucinating some, until he said the following words: he told me not to worry about him, because one of two things would happen—either he would be in heaven with Jesus or here on Earth with us, and either one was a win-win for him. He then said, “Always remember, I’m not going anywhere until God is finished with me here on Earth.”
During the course of the next week there was a total of three different doctors working on my Daddy.
August 1, 2020, the first doctor called and said Daddy’s organs were working overtime, and he wanted to put him on a ventilator for just long enough for his body to rest. Daddy was always adamant about not being on a machine—he didn’t want a machine keeping him alive. I told the doctor I would need to talk to my Mom and pray before a decision was made, because Daddy’s wishes were to never be on a ventilator. The doctor was a Christian and told me he understood, and he would be praying for God to show us the right decision.
After I hung up the phone, because I was now sick with Covid, I was lying on the couch, crying and seeking God’s help. Psalm 46:10 was the verse that God kept putting in my spirit: “Be still, and know that I am God.” I heard that over and over again. A few minutes later, my phone rang, and it was my brother-in-law. He said he wasn’t sure what was going on at that moment, but he felt a strong urge to call me and tell me to look at Psalms 46:10. I told him and Tammy what the doctor had said. We all agreed that God was telling us to be still and allow Him to guide the steps. We called the doctor and told him we agreed to Daddy’s being on a vent as long as that was not serving to keep him alive.
Throughout the next few days, Daddy’s vent settings were lowered every day. They needed to reach a setting of 25 before he could safely be removed. He made it to 32.
On August 6th, we received a call from a second doctor, telling us Daddy’s organs were starting to shut down, that Daddy was fighting against the vent, and that it needed to be removed. However, they couldn’t remove him until he was at 25. We were told to pray, and they would call us again with an update.
August 8th at 8:32 a.m., we received a call from a third doctor. I was told that Daddy’s organs had shut down, and that all that was keeping him alive was the ventilator. I knew this was not something Daddy wanted. My family and I made the decision to remove the ventilator.
This is where my Daddy’s faith was strong, and I truly believe God gave him the chance to touch one more life. This third doctor said she was sorry, but to be honest, there was really no remorse in her voice. It was almost as if she was just going through the motions. Since we couldn’t be with him, I asked her if she would place my Daddy’s hand on his Bible as the machine was being removed. She informed me in no uncertain terms that she would not do that, but she would ask the nurse if she was comfortable doing it. I told her that would be appreciated and told her that my Daddy would be living in heaven, and that whether they did it or not, I knew where my Daddy was going. She told me I was silly, and my faith was silly, and that I was naive for believing in a God that was not real. I told her she was welcome to her opinion, but I was also welcome to mine. At that moment she hung up. She was very cold and uncaring.
At that moment, my husband Danny and I started praying. Forty-two minutes later, when the phone rang. I knew immediately that my Daddy was gone. What I wasn’t prepared for was the conversation that was about to happen.
The third doctor, who said she didn’t believe in God, was on the phone. She was crying. I heard her say my Daddy was gone. She said that when she went into the room, she asked the nurse to place my Daddy’s hand on the Bible, which she did. She then walked around to that side of the bed to check on the monitor, and the Bible fell off the bed. She reached down to pick it up, and it was open to Psalm 46:10, which was highlighted and underlined, something Daddy did not do, because he did not like writing in his Bible. She said when she saw that verse, it brought her back to her childhood, growing up in the church and worshipping God. She said she started crying, and at that moment, with her hands still on the Bible, she saw the angels from heaven come down and get Daddy. She said it was almost like there was no one in the room except the angels, Daddy, and herself. She said it was all so real and beautiful. As she was telling me this story, I was in shock, because I immediately know this was the last life that my daddy was able to touch, and all of the suffering he endured was for the glory of God. How amazing it is to know that you’re on your death bed, but God allows you to touch one more person. She apologized to me for her words and actions from when we first spoke, and asked me to forgive her for being so cold and uncaring.
Fast forward to October, 2021, (over a year later), when my sister had an appointment with her doctor, the same man she had seen for the ten years prior. That day, their computers were down, so they were using the brown folders that contain the patient information. When Tammy’s doctor came into the room, he asked her if her maiden name is Murphree, which it is. He then asked her if her dad passed away recently, and she confirmed. He then asked her if he passed on August 8th, 2020. Tammy refused to answer until she knew why he was asking all those questions. He broke down and started crying. He told Tammy that the doctor with Daddy in the ICU room that day was his wife. She was the one who saw the angels take Daddy to heaven! She is now saved and living for God. She is now the one that doesn’t miss a church service and praises God every chance she gets. He then told Tammy the reason his wife turned on God was because she lost a child many years ago and blamed God. Now she tells people how thankful she is to have committed her life to Christ again, because she knows one day she will be reunited with her child and her Jesus.
It takes an amazing person to walk and talk their beliefs. I truly believe my Daddy did just that. He lived and breathed his relationship with God. This is why I think God gave all of us the gift of knowing that my Daddy was able to touch just one more life. It’s amazing what will happen when we give it all to God.
(From Tami: When you think your prodigal is a good person and may never see his/her need for a Savior, remember Brother Murphree. When you think your prodigals is so far into unbelieve they may never be reached, know God is pursuing him/her in answer to your prayers. No one is unreachable by our God!
This testimony is amazing in and of itself, but I have personal connections to this story. Brother Henderson, the pastor that prayed with Brother Murphree to be saved that night, is my daddy! It is something I never knew!)