You Never Know When and How God Answers Prayers
By Janie Stewart
I always questioned when someone would say, “God spoke to me.” How could they know, I wondered? A few years ago I found out in a powerful way that God does want to make known his plans to us.
When I was lay director of our English Speaking Tres Dias community here in Seoul, Korea, we needed a rectora for the 55th women’s weekend coming that fall. We approached several qualified ladies about the prospect, with no success. After various pleas throughout the community, no one came forward.
Several secretariat members advised me, “Just postpone the weekend until spring.” Somehow I couldn’t accept that. In our transient TD community, it’s a challenge to pull a team together. Postponing the weekend meant that some ladies who might be willing and available to work, may be relocated by the time the next weekend came around. There must be a way.
Through I didn’t feel led, I offered to serve as rectora again rather than cancel the weekend. It’s the Martha in me. The second time around would be fairly easy, I told myself. Then I did feel led to step back and pray about it. “Lord, only if it’s your will do I want to do this. I need confirmation that it’s you and not just me being my normal Martha self.”So I asked God to give me a sign, an unmistakably clear sign, that it was his desire and not my Martha determination. Can you show me a “55” somewhere, Lord? And not a speed limit sign, please. I’m sure God got a chuckle out of my request.
A few weeks later I was flying back to America with my husband for summer vacation, and the sign miraculously appeared. When my husband got up to stretch, I picked up the book he was reading: 90 Minutes in Heaven. I haphazardly flipped the pages, landing on the opening of chapter 6. A scripture at the top of the page caught my eye:
And we can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. And if we know he is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that he will give us what we ask for.
I quickly closed the book. Could this God’s sign for me? I reopened the book to check the scripture again, and then glanced at the bottom of the page. The scripture that had spoken to my heart—-1 John 5:14—was placed on page 55!
By the time my husband returned to his seat, I was still in shock. After showing him my discovery, he agreed that God had answered my request to affirm that my decision was in his will. Absolutely, without a doubt I was meant to be rectora for the 55th women’s weekend.
A few months later, while shopping for some palanca in one of the fashion jewelry buildings in the busy marketplace of Seoul, I discovered some earrings in a gorgeous green stone, the color we had chosen for the weekend. And guess what—they had “55” imprinted on them.
I will never again wonder if God speaks to us. He does and in ways tailor-made for each situation. God not only heard my goofy request but responded in a unique way that was undeniably loud and clear. The experience filled me with humility. I praise him for teaching me that when we ask for something— according to his will—he not only listens but is eager to grant it.
Janie is a member of the Seoul English Speaking community. Retreats are held at the US Army Garrison (USAG) Yongsan Religious Retreat Center