and at noon,
will I pray,
and cry aloud:
and He shall hear
Recently, someone precious to me asked why I believe in God. One of my answers was that I have seen Him answer prayer. As I thought back over our conversation, I wished that I had recorded more of those moments when I prayed and immediately saw God move. I did write at length about the time God provided for us a vehicle. That post is here. I hope, over the next few days to post some of the prayers to which I can remember seeing specific answers. I don’t want to confuse — God hears all the prayers of His children and He always answers. We may not always see, understand, or like the answer, but He does work for His people. While we may not recall every prayer and answer, there is biblical precedent for remembering God’s great acts on behalf of His people.
This first one may seem a little silly and perhaps just coincidence (for those that don’t believe God is sovereign over all things at all time. I believe He is completely sovereign and that there is nothing out of His control.) As a teenager, I went on a mission trip with my youth group. I was the lead teacher for one of the younger groups of kids. One of those days while encouraging the kids to accept Christ as Savior, I realized that though I believed in the Gospel, I had never confessed to the church my belief. My understanding lacked much theologically, but I knew that I needed to confess with my mouth what I believed in my heart. Back home I talked to my mom about wanting to go forward during the altar call at church. At the time she was engaged to a man whom I really liked. She asked me to consider waiting until they were married and we could go forward as a family. I was torn. I wanted to honor her request, but I was strongly compelled not to wait. I talked to my pastor’s wife about it the next time I saw her. She shared with me a similar story that her husband had experienced as a young man with his father, but was quick to add that she couldn’t tell me what was right for me. During this summer I was working for my mom’s fiance who owned a landscaping business. While he and another guy ran the big mowers, I weeded flower beds, edged sidewalks, sprayed insecticide, and whatever other job arose. In the week following these conversations, we had a really hot, sunny day. I was thinking about this decision, completely unsure what to do. I really wanted to make my mom happy. But I really wanted to make known my faith. So standing there dripping sweat, I prayed very simply, “God, if You would have me go forward and not wait, could You just send someone to me with a drink?” I know it’s kind of lame, but I had worked several weeks and not once had any of the residents ever spoken to me. The guys I was working with were on the other side of the gated community that we were working in. So it seemed completely unlikely that any sort of drink would be coming my way. However, before the words finished leaving my mouth a sweet blond haired lady from behind me said, “Excuse me? You look awfully hot out here and I just thought you might like one of these popsicles.” I don’t know where she came from. To me she seemed to appear out of thin air, but she probably just came from one of the nearby houses. She didn’t have the drink I had prayed for. She had something better! A frozen popsicle that cooled me off while hydrating a little.
Just remembering that day, I can still feel the shock of the lady’s voice behind me. I can still feel the relief of something cold to cool me in a moment of need. And though many will count it coincidence, I know that my God was using that tiny seed of immature faith to show Himself as my Guide and my Provider.
The following Sunday, I went forward. My mom cried. I thought it was because I didn’t wait for the family, but found out that she was just happy I was claiming Christ. Her fiance broke off the engagement shortly afterwards. I felt badly because I thought it was my fault for not waiting to go forward together as a family. It was still summer and I was still working for him, so I asked him one day. He assured me that it was other things. I still think it was partially my fault — the prospect of jumping into being the father of a teenage girl as strong-willed as I was, probably was pretty daunting! But the guy Mom ended up marrying is amazing. And I don’t regret for even one moment walking in obedience!