What God Did
Has God answered a specific prayer for you recently that really made you feel especially loved by Him?
Sitting in my Lutheran 9th grade confirmation class of about 8 kids, my teacher, who was also a parent of a couple of kids in another middle school study class, Mr L, told me a story that really made me stop and think.
“I was riding home on the metro after work last night and I was later than I usually leave because I’d been delayed at work,” he began. “An announcement came over the loud speaker that our train had been paused, and that we would have to stop and wait for awhile.”
Mr. L continued, “So I knew that it was no coincidence that I was there at that time, and I knew that God wanted me to pray.”
“But how did you pray when you were around all those people on the subway?” I interrupted. “Did you pray out loud and could everybody hear you?”
“No, I just closed my eyes like I was taking a rest. Lots of people ride like that, Janice.” Mr. L said.
“So then what happened?” I wanted to know. Prayer where God initiated it or answered it was new to me. I’d been taught rote memory prayers before, or even just talked to God like He was somewhere up there, but I did not really know if He actually heard me or cared about what I had said.
“Well when I arrived home about one hour late, I turned on the news and there was a story about a woman who had fallen into the tracks. The news report said that she is still alive and that is all that I know.”
“But don’t you want to know more about what happened?” I said with growing impatience. How could Mr. L be used specifically by God to pray, but did not want to know any more details about the outcome?
As if he could understand what I was feeling, Mr. L explained, “I didn’t need to know all that happened. I know that God had me there to pray and I did, and I know that He intervened to help her as a result.”
“But how?” I asked. Somehow this was real important to me. Why would Mr. L not want to find out more when God had used him? I sure did. I’d never heard a story like this before.
Later that I night when I went home, I thought about it some more as I lay in bed. I even decided to pray about it. “God,” I began, “What happened to that lady? How did you answer Mr. L’s prayers?”
Mostly I forgot about this incident, and life went on as it normally did. But it was several months later that something happened that I will never forget.
My father worked in downtown Washington DC and his office was helping to sponsor a science conference for deaf people. Attendees were flying in from all over the country, and needed to be picked up at the airport. Dad asked me if I’d like to invite a friend and then we could take the day off of school while we volunteered. Would we like to do that? You bet!
My friend, Kitty, and I waited in a lounge room with alternating maroon and gold vertical striped wallpaper and a large oval brown table in the middle, fancy chairs around it, and a couch against the wall. Coffee, water, and big round sugar cookies sat on the narrow table on the far side of the room.
Here we waited and when the attendees phoned in that they had arrived at the airport, then my friend and I were sent out via taxi to stand near the baggage claim to pick them up. We held a sign with large letters spelling the name of the conference so that they could find us.
Kitty had been the one to come with me because she was my friend who knew sign language too. Several of us had been learning together and we had made weekly visits to an adopted grandmother on Sundays who was deaf and that we had practiced having conversations with.
Soon my dad came in the lounge to give us instructions about the first two people that we were to locate and to pick up: It was a deaf doctor with his assistant. Off we went, and we were pretty excited to have this adventure.
Back in the lounge after retrieving the two passengers, our job was now to make them feel comfortable. Getting them drinks and sitting across from them at the table, we had time to visit and to talk.
The conversation went something like this:
“What is your job?” I asked.
“I am a surgeon specializing in a new treatment that I have developed,” the man answered.
“What do you mean?” I asked. There was plenty of time to find out information while we waited for our next assignment.
“Do you remember about this time last year when a woman fell into the local subway here?” the doctor asked.
Boy did I remember! “Yes!” I exclaimed. “Yes I do!”
“That woman had her hand severed off at the wrist -completely. No one had ever been able to restore an appendage like that before and bring it back into working order. However, my colleague and I had created a method and done so only on animals. This woman was our first human case, and it worked! Today, even though her wrist is somewhat stiff, her fingers can do the things that they used to do.”
The realization began to sink in. This was the outcome that I had so desperately wanted to learn about! This was the answer to Mr. L’s prayers and why God had made him late and paused his train on the subway so that he could pray!
You can imagine that I asked him to repeat his story to me several times again, and that I asked for more and more details so that I could grasp all that had happened. There was plenty of time as we all sat in the lounge waiting.
You can imagine the phone call that I made to Mr. L when I returned home that night!
And, you can imagine the sweetness that I felt of God’s love for me that day. God had heard me. God remembered. God cared.
Now I was one more step along in understanding how important it is for us to pray for others when they are in need.
“Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save,
nor his ear too dull to hear.”
Please take a moment to share with me a time when God answered a prayer in your life.