One of the many things that I’m grateful to my parents for is that they taught me to pray specifically. We grew up hearing stories of how God provided for them in such specific ways. For instance, when they moved to Indiana, where my Dad was to be a youth pastor, they didn’t have a vacuum and my Mom prayed for one. When they moved into the house that they were renting, she found a vacuum in the closet. Or when they didn’t have money to buy groceries and their neighbor knocked on the door holding a large pot and said that she just made beef stroganoff for her family and then remembered that they didn’t like beef stroganoff and asked if my Mom & Dad would like to have it. My Dad would always conclude that story with “So we ate beef stroganoff every night for a week…”
When Erin and I were kids they would tell us to do the same. I remember praying in the driveway for our car to start or when we were in desperate need of a lawn mower, we had a garage sale and we prayed for $75 because that is exactly the amount that we needed. We made $75!
As Lilia and I are moving into our new house, we have several needs but two that top the list…a vacuum and a washer & dryer. Neither of us have extra money lying around so we’ve been trying to shop around and see what we can get for the least amount of money. We currently have a vacuum but not long after we bought it (4 years ago) it was dropped and never seemed to work the same. We would still vacuum even though it did a terrible job…at least it made us feel better about ourselves. I try not to think about the fact that our carpet hasn’t really been decently vacuumed in all that time! Anyway, after trying to clean the rollers, the filters, etc and nothing worked, we knew we had to suck it up and just buy a new one…somehow…with money we really don’t have.
I was sitting at my desk on Thursday and crunching numbers in my head and I and realized that I hadn’t even thought to pray about it. So, right then and there I asked God to provide us with these items.
After work I went to Courtney’s house and she and Cathy (her mother-in-law) asked if we could use a washer and dryer because they had an extra set and they would rather someone be using them than having to store them. I said “ummm…yes please.”
The next night, our friend Ken offered to help us move our couches and some how it came up that our vacuum didn’t work and he offered to look at it. He took it apart and pointed out 3 filters that we didn’t even realize existed and where obviously ridiculously clogged. So, after cleaning the filters, our vacuum is as good as new! What?!
I recently heard a sermon from Francis Chan and he said he thought some of the most amazing experiences he’s had has been when God answered prayer in such a specific way, not necessarily because of the way God provided but because he (Francis) realized that God HEARD him. That’s totally how I felt. I talked to the creator of the Universe and he heard me. I already knew that God hears me but sometimes I need to be reminded of truths that I already know. I know that sounds weird but it makes sense to me 🙂