This post is one that published to the Pray! Shirt Fridays blog today as well. The thing is that I really want more reader to hear this great story of God answering prayer, so I am sharing it on my personal blog as well. Thanks to Lauren who wrote the post – be sure to read her bio at the bottom of the post and visit her blog which is excellent!
Sometimes, I struggle with believing that I have to pray more generally and let God do things how He wants. Why impose a bunch of stipulations to my requests, right?
“Yes, God, I need my hair to look nice for this job interview, so would you please ‘provide’” a can of Redken Volume hairspray on my front porch at five in the evening? I don’t get home ‘til then, and I’m afraid someone would steal it. It’s pretty nice stuff, you know.”
Do you ever think/pray like this? Probably not. You are probably all really good pray-ers.
I just got a job. It is a 45-minute commute on a good day, and with three cars in our five-driver family, something had to give. In this case, I needed to give. Give someone money in order to get to work.
Technically, there is a bus route that runs to my office, but I wasn’t holy enough to ask Him to provide “a means of transportation,” which would have been the opposite of my very specific hairspray prayer. This would have been a great opportunity to shoot up something like, “God, I need to get to my job. I totally believe that you are able to provide a means for me to get there—you do it however you want. I trust you.”
But I have trouble trusting God sometimes, so my prayer was a little less shiny and a lot more train-of-thought. It went something like this:
“God, I am really, really worried about how I am going to get to work. I have no money to buy a car. My family can’t go on like this forever. I have no money. I don’t know what I’m doing. How will this ever work out? And even if I do get a car, it will probably not be a 2012 Honda Civic with sharp styling and 47 miles to the gallon (which would be sweet). Don’t you understand? I need a car that gets good mileage! But nothing is cheap enough! Ok, just do what you want because obviously I’m hopeless at this. I am still really worried about this.”
Again, you all probably have a lot more faith than I do.
Anyway, I had all these specific prayers about a car, but I wrote off my precious Honda and started looking into other cars (and, incidentally, the bus route, which would have been three hours round-trip.)
So on the other hand, isn’t it neat to pray really specific prayers and watch God do them? God could have responded to my lackluster prayers by teaching me humility with a $2000 beater, but He didn’t. He could have given me a motorcycle or a flying ostrich to get to work, but He didn’t. He gave me exactly what I wanted, namely, a 2012 Honda Civic. And don’t get your undies all up in a bunch like, “But Lauren, didn’t you just work that out for yourself, just go out and buy one?”
And the answer is no.
I had totally written it off, thinking that a 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid was an impossibility. I know it was God because everything was so perfect. We just “happened” to stop in at a used car dealership that just “happened” to have a barely used 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid that was marked down lower than I had ever seen. It just “happens” to get amazing gas mileage. And I shocked the dealer with the interest rate “I” was able to secure.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 7, “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
God took care of every part of this car, even down to the littlest details, no thanks to me. He knows the difference between what I need and what I want, and he delights in answering even my flawed prayers. He loves me!
What do you think? Do you tend to pray more generally or more specifically?
Lauren has worked on and off again at VCBC since she was 15. Serving at camp played a major role in her spiritual development. She was recently hired as a PR intern at a large agency in Minneapolis. She looks forward to seeing what God is going to do with her next, because, heaven knows, God has done some pretty cool things so far.
Lauren blogs about life, food, and photos at pipingdreams.wordpress.com.