My friends beg me NOT to pray for them. This may seem like a bizarre statement, unless you know my history with prayers. You see, God tends to answer my prayers. However, not exactly in the way I expected.
Before knowing about my gift of praying for results, a friend and Bible study teacher, asked me to pray that God’s voice would be heard in the class the following day. So, I prayed for God’s voice, not hers, be heard. She showed up for class with laryngitis.
At a challenging time in my life when I had to make a decision about my job situation, I begged God to give me a sign as to whether I should stay or go. Less than an hour later, a neighbor banged on my door to wake me as flames engulfed my apartment. It burned to the ground.
Of course, I can’t forget the Christmas I met my husband. Feeling lonely and incomplete as a single woman in a world of professional actors and musicians, with little hope of finding a man who preferred a woman, I prayed to meet someone before the end of the year to give me hope that I would eventually find a man to marry. On December 27th, a member of my church choir guilted me into attending her Christmas party. I didn’t want to attend because the hostess was one of those people who just grates on your every nerve until you think you will either run screaming from the room or kill her. Since I didn’t want to become a participant in a Christmas murder mystery, I attempted to find an excuse not to attend. Then, my best friend begged me to go with her to the party. Normally, I would say “no way.” This day, however, I relented because my friend had just learned that her brother committed suicide on Christmas day. She needed me. At the party, I met my future husband. Now, this can be construed as a good answer to prayer or a bizarre and twisted answer to prayer. I’ll stop there.
This trend continues to this day. I have to be extremely careful how I pray. Just a couple of years ago, I was reminded of the power of prayer. Stormy skies reflected my mood that day. I needed sunshine.
I settled for a drive in the mountains near Chattanooga, where I lived at the time. Sighing, I prayed, “Lord, I really need a thrill to get me out of this mood. Please give me a thrill.” Less than one minute later, as I meandered with an expansive river on one side and the mountain on the other side, a tree snapped and fell on top of my new van. Fear, trepidation, anxiety all exploded in my body. I maneuvered myself out of the crushed car and inspected the damage. Thankfully, the event left me without injury. The car was not so lucky. I realized, as I sobbed and waved cars around me, I did it again. Why did I have to say “thrill?” Why didn’t I say “pleasant, happy experience?”
So, if you want some excitement in your life, ask me to pray for you. If you need a specific prayer answered, write it down in clear, concise language that leaves no room for surprises, and I will pray that for you. Anybody feeling lucky and want a thrill today?