Prayer: Believe and Receive
Testimony of Answered Prayers
God answers prayer when we believe in Him and have faith that He will answer in accordance with His will. People who don't have a faith in God through salvation (forgiven sin) in Jesus Christ are not heard! John 9:31 states, "We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him." Mat 21:22 states "And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive." If you don't know your Lord today, I invite you to read my hub Come to JESUS: Salvation.
1 John 5:14-15 "And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him."
When I was married, my husband did not believe in God. I believe God always answers my prayers. Sometimes He answers "yes", sometimes "no", sometimes "wait". When a child asks his or her parent(s) for something, the parent makes the choice of whether or not the child's request will be best for the child. Likewise, the parents' answer will be "yes", "no", or "wait". Should the child receive "no" for an answer, he or she may become very angry with the parent. Nevertheless, the child should not stop making requests.
James 4:2 states "You want what you don't have, so you kill to get it. You long for what others have, and can't afford it, so you start a fight to take it away from them. And yet the reason you don't have what you want is that you don't ask God for it." Truly, we should not make vain, selfish requests or covet what our neighbor has.
Psalm 139:23-24 state, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
Our heavenly Father not only cares about the major decisions in our lives, but the trivial things as well. He even shares our concerns for others in our lives. The following three testimonies illustrate His miraculous answers to my prayers.
Answers to MAJOR Decisions
In 1982 I got married and became the stepmother of an eight-year-old stepson. My husband and I planned to conceive three more children, each two years apart. A year later I gave birth to our first child, a son. Two years later I gave birth to our second son. We now had three sons. Ever since High School I hand pondered the name of a hoped-for daughter, Alicia. How could we know if our last child would be a girl? We certainly had enough boys.
My husband and I chose to rethink our plans. Adding another child to the family, especially a daughter, would pose some financial problems. First of all, a family of six could not fit into a conventional, five-passenger car; we would need a larger vehicle. Secondly, we would need a four-bedroom home: my soon-to-be teen-age stepson would need his own room; the two younger boys could share a room, but a daughter would need the privacy of her own room. And lastly, how would I be able to work outside the home, while mothering four children? Rational thinking led us to make the decision not to have another child.
I suffered much agony over this decision. Finally, I cried to God in prayer. I reminded Him of how I suffered as a child, having been abused and moved around to different foster homes. I always dreamed of having my very own family, including a daughter. I brought our financial concerns before the Lord. I even went so far as to list all the birthdays and holidays throughout the entire year to pick an "affordable" month for this baby to be born. The only "affordable" month turned out to be February. Although our decision had been made, I told God that if it was His perfect will for us to have another child, He must cause me to conceive, using the birth control method that had never failed us for then four years. I left the decision in His hands.
About three months later, shortly after our youngest son turned one, the symptoms of pregnancy appeared. Six weeks later I went to the doctor to find out a baby was due ~ in February! The forgotten prayer came back to my memory. What an awesome feeling! I finally shared the prayer with my husband. He believed it was just a coincidence. I know better. God answered every one of my requests: we moved into a four-bedroom Air Force base house just a week after applying for it; our baby girl, Alicia, was born (two days early ~ on a Sunday); shortly thereafter, we were able to afford a brand new minivan with seven seats! Obviously, God cared about this major decision in my life.
Answers to TRIVIAL Things
Just as important to God are the seemingly "trivial" concerns we face at different time in our lives. For instance, one time I lost my keys. One of the keys on my keychain belonged to the base chapel where I worked. For a period of three days I fretted and searched for them. I finally said a prayer, asking God to show me where my keys were. In a dream the following morning, I envisioned myself getting out of bed, opening my closet doors, picking out my blue denim skirt, reaching in the pocket, and finding my keys! Of course, I forgot about the dream by the time I woke up. After going about the house doing my morning chores, I began fretting about my lost keys again. Suddenly, I remembered the dream. I ran to my bedroom closet, found my blue denim skirt, felt the pocket ~~ sure enough, my keys were there!
Answers for OTHERS
It's so exciting when God answers prayers. It is just as exciting when God answers our prayers concerning others in our lives, even non-believing husbands! One year my husband became an Air Force Recruiter. He would have to be working 12- to 14-hour days, five to six days per week. Being a caring wife, I desired to surprise him with a coffee maker and a microwave oven so he could take the comforts of home with him to work. We could not afford these things, so I said a little prayer as I went to sleep one night.
The next morning I discovered an extra $40.00 in our checking account! On my way to buy a coffee maker, I stopped in at a neighbor's house to discuss a problem between our children. Just before I left, I told the neighbor where I was going. He said, "I don't know why you'd want to buy a coffee maker; I've got one in the garage you can have." He THEN went on to say, "I've got a microwave oven you can have, too, if you have a need for it." I couldn't believe it! I knew God answered my prayer once again.
When my husband came home from work that day, he saw the appliances sitting on our dining room table. He asked where they came from. I told him they were his. Hi looked confused. I went on to tell him how I had prayed the night before, and today, well, God gave them to us! I gave him a hug. He had no words to say, just awe. Did he believe this was answered prayer? He didn't say. But I knew God loved him very much, as much as He loves me.
The following day I realized my husband's need for a small refrigerator. How could he take leftovers from home and not have a place to keep them? I dared not ask God for any more. He had been so good to us already. My husband and I decided to splurge and buy a small refrigerator, which happened to be on sale at a local store. After we got home, I called my dear friend to tell her all that had happened. She said, "I don't know why you bought a refrigerator; we have one here that's not being used. You're welcome to it." So, we took the new refrigerator back. Once again, God provided even more than I asked for! Ephesians 3:20 states,"Now glory be to God who by His mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of ~ infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes."
May Your JOY Overflow!
There are many miraculous answers to prayers I could write about. Perhaps you, too, have experienced the joy of answered prayers. If not, ask yourself if you truly believe in the One who answers them. Believe in Him, whether or not you believe in your earthly father. Even if your earthly father failed you in some way, your heavenly Father will never fail you. He will answer all of your prayers. But are you willing to accept His will in place of your own? He wants you to experience the joy of answered prayers. Jesus said, "You haven't tried this before [but begin now]. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and your cup of joy will overflow"(John 16:24).