August 16, 2017
“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.” 1 John 5:14-15 (NASB)
I’ll never forget being a young seminary student, husband and father. My daughters, Chrystal and Priscilla, were just itty-bitty at the time, and while my heart held huge visions of serving God someday, the everyday realities of life weighed heavy.
Time was a scarcity. Energy often depleted. And money even less.
God had blessed me with a strong and encouraging ministry partner, my wife Lois, and her support made all the difference in the world. But there came a time when even that was becoming thin. Raising kids, cooking on little income and juggling the demands of starting a church simply caught up to us.
I’ll never forget sitting there with Lois at our small dining room table before heading into seminary for the day. Her beautiful face showed the strain of one-too-many attempts at turning dimes into dinner. My husband-heart was burdened, and so I asked her, “Lois, what do you need for me to continue down this path? Just tell me what it is, and we’ll pray for the Lord to provide. If He doesn’t, I will quit seminary and support the family solely.”
Lois paused before answering, but when she did she was clear: “Tony, we need $500.”
Five hundred dollars was an enormous sum of money in those days — and without so much as a person to ask for it, I wondered how God would supply. But I knew He could if He wanted me to stay in seminary. So we bowed our heads and prayed.
My drive to the seminary that day seemed longer than usual. Would this be my last time to attend school, and would I need to lay my dream of preaching God’s Word on the altar like Abraham had with Isaac?
I was willing if God said that’s what I needed to do in order to be the husband and father my family needed. God knew that. My mind was made up. Either we would have $500 in hand by the end of the day, or my plans would drastically change overnight.
Making my way to the campus mailboxes seemed like a haze at the time. Thoughts flooded my mind. I knew God had heard our prayer and had the power to intervene, but being put in that situation where I needed to see a tangible answer to my prayer — suddenly — left me a little unnerved, as you can imagine. I’m just being honest — this preacher is human!
But lo and behold, when I opened the mailbox that day, inside was an envelope from a man I’d never met but who had seen me around campus. He was in full-time ministry, and the Lord had put me on his mind. As I opened the envelope my fingers trembled slightly as I began to remove not one, not two, but five crisp $100 bills.
Needless to say, I stayed in seminary. Lois and I went on to start the church where I’ve pastored now almost 50 years, and God expanded our ministry reach to many more through other opportunities.
Friend, prayer moves mountains. And it can also move us in our marriages to be able to carry out all that God has in store. First John 5:14-15 assures us that whatever we ask God according to His will, He will hear. Not only that, He will carry it out. He will do it:
“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.”
Why not take all things to Him in prayer — not just the big things — all things? Whether it’s related to your marriage, your family, friends, ministry or even your personal life, emotions, anxiety, hopes — all of it?
He does hear.
He does care.
He is there. I promise.
But don’t just take my word for it — ask Him.
Heavenly Father, please increase my faith in prayer, and give me a hunger to interact with You more regularly on all things. Give me glimpses of Your hand and heart responding to my prayers and draw us closer together each day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Jeremiah 29:12, “Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.” (NASB)
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What one thing can you commit to prayer today?
How can prayer become an increasingly regular part of your life?
© 2017 by Dr. Tony Evans reserved.