These are some instances that have happened in the last couple of years. Some of this is very personal in nature and involves others who may not want personal information put on the internet, so I cannot relate all details.
Most of these incidents happened from January of this year, however the most significant of all happened about 3 years ago. Up until that time my prayer life was at best lacking, mostly due to the fact that when I prayed, it seemed just the opposite would happen. I complained to God about this, “Why should I pray if you are not going to answer them?” One prayer that I prayed before the ones that I am about to relate that God did answer was one on prayer itself. That was to have a dynamic prayer life, no more one way communication. God actually started talking back. It is not an audible voice like you see from the burning bush in the movie “The 10 Commandments”, but God does speak to me. No he doesn’t give me the lottery numbers, nor does he speak all the time, mostly it is to tell me when I am messing up! More on that later.
About three years ago, we ran into some financial difficulty due to unforeseen circumstances, I was reading a book by Jim Cymbala called “Breakthrough Prayer” to my wife, in which he was relating an incident early in his ministry at the Brooklyn Tabernacle in which they were desperately short on funds due to embezzlement from their former treasurer. They were a small church at the time, so even the smallest amount of funds coming up missing would be devastating. He was afraid they were going to have to close the church, so he was literally crying about this situation, as his heart was to help people there. He suddenly got the ideal to cross the street to the Post Office to see if by some miracle there would be a check in there. It was imperative there would be, or they would loose the building. He looked into the window of the box and saw nothing, decided to open it to see if it an evelope was somehow jammed in it in a way he could not see it through the window, and guess what?
Nothing was there.
So head hanging low and tears flowing he walked back to the church and opened the door, right there was a white envelope, and in that envelope was the exact amount of money that was needed for the payment.
Right as I read that, again we were in financial straights, so much so that we didn’t even have enough money to by a gallon of milk, we had decided NOT to use credit cards, and were using the envelope system Crown Financial Services suggested in order to get debt free, so credit was out of the picture. As I read that, my wife began sobbing and stated “Where is our white envelope?” Immediately the door bell rang, I asked her if she was expecting someone. She said no. It was on an early Sunday afternoon. I went to the door and a guy asks “How much do you want to sell that Isuzu for?” I was stunned, it was at the back of my house and my car and my wife’s van were in front of it from the street view, so it would have been hard to notice. It had no “For Sale” sign on it, and the guy was from out of town. It had a bad knock, so I had parked it there for a while, not sure what I was going to do with it. “I said, $500.” He said OK and would be back in a few minutes with the money.
I turned to my wife and asked “Is that white enough for you?” Since that time God has answered many prayers, those answers have grown exponentially this year.
In January of this year (2009) I came down with the flu, perhaps it was Swine flu, as it had a very long recovery time. About 3 weeks. During that time, God got hold of me in a very significant way. I began praying earnestly about our country, and felt a need to research the Jesus movement in the 60’s and early 70’s. While doing that I found that Calvary Chapel was in the forefront of that movement. The Vineyard Movement was an offshoot of Calvary Chapel. One of my favorite Christian Artists in the late 70’s and early 80’s was Keith Green, so I began reading about him. I read an excerpt of his wife’s biography about Keith called “No Compromise” in it she related how he had gone out one night and reread a book by Charles Finney, and had gotten to his “Revival Lecture #3” and how it impacted him greatly. I went to Barnes and Nobel and purchased a copy of Finney’s “Experiencing the Presence of God”. I then read Revival lecture #3. It was very convicting, it was about how sinful we really are. This is the link.
God convicted me for praying for our nation, our state and our town for revival. He showed me it would be with young people, that the past two generations have hardened their hearts away from him in such a way that he is not able to work with them, similar to those in Israel whom Jesus said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!” Luke 13:34 Or those of his home town that did not believe him, “And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” Matthew 13:58
In fact, this is the condition of most of the world now. The final harvest IS the young people, For the most part they have no agenda, and for most of them the famine of the Word of God because of the last two generations who have pushed atheism in public schools, and “let them decide for themselves” have made this generation the most ignorant of the Word of God since the foundation of our nation, and the most fertile for God to do his work. We must pray for laborers, for the fields are white for the final harvest. This is what God told me, and I am sharing with you.
Through this sickness God told me some things about our family.
We were to start a home Bible study. We were to start supporting a missionary personally. We were to start praying as a family on our knees. We were to start praying for revival for our schools. I was to start going in early on Friday mornings and praying for my place of employment and the people who work there.
My wife thought I had fallen off the peanut cart and bruised my head!!!! She thought I had absolutely gone nutty! BUT she allowed us to try it. That was almost 10 months ago.
1. We started our home Bible study. At first there was some grumbling and little participation from the assembled family. You should of heard the “Why’s” when at the end of it we were to get on our knees and pray! But we pushed through, the kids have invited friends and we have all seen prayers answered.
2. I was looking at my Facebook and noticed favorite books people list were clickable links. So I clicked on “Bible” and looked through some of the people who have it marked as their favorite. I found a young woman who is training to run an orphanage in Africa as a missionary. I emailed her and set up a meeting with her, my wife and me. We decided to support her. We felt it would be a sacrifice to give to her, but we were trying to be obedient. When we got home, my wife read her emails. Guess what, we were going to start receiving what the support for the missionary was, plus $5 extra from and unexpected source, so it actually cost us nothing, and we actually make double the ATM rate for money withdrawals! (Remember when I said God speaks to me when I am messing up? This came from one of those times, he asked me “What if I asked for more money from you?” My response was, “I don’t have more to give!” He said,
“That’s because you do not trust me!” This missionary is the result of that conversation.)
3. About a month after, God asked me to help someone that was needy out in our local area. We did not know who it was, however God made it clear to my wife who it was. There was a local family who’s husband and father was dying. It may not seem like a lot, but our whole family went to the grocery store and bought about $60 worth of staples and some sweets for them. A day after I delivered them, we received a $500 check in the mail from one of my wife’s relatives. God has truly shown himself faithful.
A funny answered prayer just happened about a month ago. I am probably about the most gracious driver there is, I mean, if someone wants to only go 45 in a 55, I am just so accommodating! NOT!!! The family’s nickname for me is RoadRage Hornblower!!! (Well not really, but it would fit.) There is a Christian comedian named Tim Hawkins (look him up, I think he is the funniest guy I have ever seen. I saw him this past summer live, an hour and a half of side splitting laughter!!) I think he has my same demeanor on slow drivers. Well he said someone told him to pray in these situations.
Well, I was behind a guy who was driving and reaching back and playing with his child, he was going between 45 and 50 mph, not swerving or anything, but going SLOW. I remembered Tim said pray, and I was going over it in my mind cause, I didn’t want my wife and I to be late for “First Friday Fast and Pray”!!!! My usual response in these situations is to pass and honk! However the traffic in the other lane was steady and did not allow for it. So I SAID OUT LOUD, “Dear Lord Jesus, please let this guy go faster!” The moment, THE VERY MOMENT, the “R” left my tongue, you could see the guy’s car visibly moving away, 60 MPH, as a matter of fact. My wife immediately state, “Well, would you look at that!”
What is interesting is I could have asked that silently, but for some reason I was prompted to say it out loud.
As you can tell, I am now a strong advocate of prayer! Does God answer EVERY prayer, no, but my dad didn’t give me money every time I asked for it either. I do KNOW God is faithful, and he will answer prayers that are prayed for the right reason. I am looking forward to what Father God will do next. He IS good!
f you decide to try prayer, to give it a chance, let me know. I will pray for you, I would like to know the answer as well! For those of you who have only had that “one way” prayer life, please view the video at this link.