by Jamie Buckingham
I arrived at the new Founders Inn on the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) campus on a Thursday afternoon. I was to be Pat Robertson's guest on The 700 Club Friday morning, then speak that night at the CBN Partners' banquet in the hotel ba1lroom.
The magnificent hotel had been open only five weeks. They were still laying sod. I was impressed with the hotel staff. The bell captain, I discovered, was a graduate of both Oral Roberts University and Asbury Seminary. He had been a Methodist pastor before assuming his new position. (He indicated this was a step up in his career.)
The hotel was crowded that weekend because of the Partners' Seminar. Every room was taken. After checking in. I picked up my bag, walked around the lake, past the physical fitness building to the James River Lodge.
When I unlocked the door, however, I was in for a surprise. The room didn't have a bed! Just a sofa, some chairs and a couple of tables. Strange. I began opening doors. Closet. Bathroom. No bed, A double door led another room, but it was locked.
I walked out in the hall and asked one of the housekeepers if she would come look. "It's our best room," she smiled. "We reserve it especially for visiting speakers." "Ah...it doesn't have a bed."
"Don't worry," she said, "we'll come in later this evening and fold down the sofa." Maybe none of the rooms in this new hotel have beds, I thought. I walked down the hall and peeked in a couple of rooms. They all had beds.
I seemed to be the only one in the hotel who was going to have to sleep on the sofa. Maybe the others had beds because they were large contributors. I blushed when I thought of the meager amount I had sent CBN last year.
"You get what you give," I'd preached. I'd just take what was mine and try to be thankful. That night, trying to get comfortable on my 4-inch-thick mattress that rested on an iron bar that went right across the middle of my back, I thought I heard God say: "Sleeping on the sofa is good for you."
"It's not very good for my back," I replied. "No. it's good for your soul. People who think they are important need to sleep on sofas every once in a while. Just be thankful you're not sleeping on the ground."
The next morning following my television appearance, Jackie Mitchum-Yocky, The 700 Club guest coordinator, asked how I slept. "There wasn't a bed in my room. I had to sleep on a sofa."
She was aghast. "I heard it was a miracle hotel," I said. "But when I stood in the middle of the room and confessed 'Bed'—nothing happened. I figured my faith wasn't strong enough."
Jackie got action, however. That afternoon when I returned to my room, the door to the adjoining room had been opened. There, just a door away, was a beautiful king-sized bed. The sheets were all folded down, and little candies lay on the pillow.
It had waited for me all night, only I couldn't get to it. I didn't have a room—I had a suite. It wasn't a wipe out, however. I told the story that night at the Partner's Banquet—encouraging them to keep on giving to CBN if they expected a bed the next time they visited.
Afterward, my old friend, Scott Ross, said it was my fault. All I had to do, he said, was "invoke the name," and I would have had a bed.
"Around here, there's one name that opens every door," he said. "Just say, 'I'm Pat Robertson's guest,' and you get action." Back home I told the story again—this time to my grandchildren.
Eight-year-old Dusty reminded me I should have done what David did when he went into battle against Goliath. "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin," he told the giant, "but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty."
That's powerful stuff. Even more powerful is what Jesus told His followers: "Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do" (John 14:13, NKJV).
Praying "in the name of Jesus" is more than tacking a formula to the end of a prayer. It is praying in full harmony with God's wishes and values.
It is agreeing with the nature and essence of God. It is calling on His entire administration. When God announced His mighty presence in Ps. 75:1, it was said. "Thy Name is near."
I'll remember that the next time I don't have a bed—or when another giant appears, trying to kill me.
From 1979 until his death, Jamie Buckingham (1932-1992) wrote the "Last Word" column for Charisma magazine, which originally published this article. He was the editor of Ministry Today magazine at his untimely death in February 1992—20 years ago.