Can prayer really change things?
Several days ago, I received an email from a middle school social worker. He stated that he was given my name by someone and was wondering if I could help. I listened, as he began to speak, and he proceeded to tell me a heartbreaking story of a family whose bedding had been completely infested (bedbugs) which, in turn, left four children ages: 12, 7, 6 and 3 sleeping on the floor. They had no means of securing proper bedding. He had done some light researching, as he continued to speak, and discovered that the Salvation Army would sell bedding, at a very low price per set, and charge a minimal fee for delivery.
The ministry had already stepped up to help another mission outreach for this Christmas, and in addition, had another family waiting for help. I knew that this would have to be agreed upon by every board member before making any concrete commitment and knew this had to thoroughly be prayed through for Gods tangible intervention. After our conversation, though (for some reason), I immediately picked up the phone to call my daughter. I knew I could reach her more readily than our other two ministry board members and I wanted to get her thoughts. She said, “Mom, let me check on something first.” When anyone asks me for help, I am usually (and very quickly) on board with some type of opinion, but over time I have learned (and it has been shown to me) that what I think is not always the way to go. While she was “checking” (and I had no idea what she was checking on) I went before the Lord in prayer. I have learned “not to jump,” be patient, listen and wait upon the Holy Spirit.
Twenty-four hours is usually not a long time to wait for any answer, eventhough it may seem like a lifetime, if and unless, the situation placed before you is an emergency such as: performing the Heimlich maneuver on someone who is choking to death! I waited (patiently almost!) until the next day, but I phoned the social worker just to let him know that I was on the case! I told him I might not have an answer until the following day or possibly two, but I would get back in touch with him one way or another, in order that he could make any other provisions. I am a “follow through” type of individual and do not like to leave others hanging. I did not speak again to my daughter about “her checking” until the following morning. Her answer was swift and to the point: “Call ______@ _________ (names withheld for confidentiality), ask for _______, and tell them that Mr. _____said, “Provide the mattresses!” I was estactict to say the least. I was not certain if they would be new or used or in what kind of condition, but I walked through the steps that I was given.
Four (4) new mattresses, for children ages: 12, 7, 6 and 3, were coming and would be delivered and set up within a week (or two at the most). All of this took place at no charge! BAM! God moved. I looked back, once again, and saw how mighty God is if we would only take everything to Him in prayer and petition, without questioning, or without our always trying to reason situations out so much.
Prayer does not mean that God is going to rain down material wealth every time, but what it does mean is that the ONE who can change the outcome of the circumstance, financial or otherwise, has heard your plight. He is the only one who can supernaturally help you when you feel you are at your darkest moment or greatest unimaginable “can’t do this alone” need. He is on the throne. He is risen, for us, for us all.
On the other side of prayer, two weeks ago, I went before the LORD and talked to Him about several things I thought I needed (wanted). I got up, shut up and began to listen. Over the ensuing days, I realized I really didn’t need those things, well maybe one or two of them, but little by little, each one began to be knocked down, by the Holy Spirit, and I knew that prayer also helps me adjust my thinking, as well, so I don’t have the issue of coveting other things so much. Yes, I am human, and yes, that does still happen from time to time, but gradually my heart was changed to see clearly what I had asked for and how unimportant they were.
This year has been difficult. It has been hard not to want to just take some money(plastic money), go out to the Mall, mull around, and buy this or that for someone. What prayer has done, for me though, is help me to see clearly what Christmas is really all about. As usual, the Holy Spirit reminds me that there are many single mothers with children who don’t have anything. I walk around my apartment and see that God’s hand has provided me most everything I have needed (and asked for) and I regain, once again, my focus on why I have a ministry and why He can trust me to help others. I have always told God if you can get it to me, you can get it through me.
Prayer. Many times, I hear others say they do not have the time for it or it is last on their list when trying to figure out a situation that comes their way. Perhaps, they think they do not need prayer to handle life’s problems or perhaps pride keeps them from humbling themselves before a sovereign God to seek His will, even when it is something small. For whatever the reason, the force alone of this supernatural connection to a holy, living God is more than I deserve to have, but nevertheless, it is mine as His daughter. How rich I am this Christmas to realize it.
So, this year instead of me buying a lot of material things, there will be a lot of baking! With school debt, just having been ordained, and a lot of personal lack, that is about all there will be, but I have realized that I do know the truest meaning of Christmas this year, in my heart, and I do realize how very rich, indeed, I am. At this very moment, if God stood before me and gave me a choice of one or two million dollars or His hand resting firmly upon my soul, there would be no choice to make. And, no, it would not be the money!
Let this story of the swift ACT of the Holy Spirit, with bedding for four little children, and the opportunity for us to come to a loving God in prayer, warm your hearts this week and know that there is nothing God won’t hear (or act upon in some fashion), if you will just pray with a sincere heart and motive.
God bless you all,