We’re still talking about answered prayer and I wanted to relate this story specifically because even though God did mighty things at the time (2012) in hind sight (natch!) I can see immeasurably more purpose to His answering one simple prayer of a few women. If you missed … Monday, Wednesday, and/or Friday.
I looked up to find the women’s ministry director leading a young girl I’d never seen before to my table. We’d finished our Priscilla Shirer program the week before and were set to see a new, stand-alone Priscilla video this evening. Deb introduced me to the young woman (whom I’ll call Lisa) telling me that she had just wandered in, was given the option of our program or the Beth Moore study happening in the other room, and had chosen Priscilla. I welcomed Lisa and pulled out the chair next to me. Before the rest of my ladies arrived at the table, I discovered that she was a single mom of a 2 ½ year old boy and although she hadn’t quite said as much, she seemed to be in a bad place.
We watched the video which focused on the principles found in Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV):
20Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Priscilla’s main point was that God is able to do – for you – immeasurably more than you can imagine. How many times do we squander our time with God asking for the easy? The video had affected all of us at the table as several women, and Lisa sniffed and wiped away an errant tear or two. I thought about my own expectations of God. I realized I was tired of asking God for the minimum because I felt some sort of embarrassment regarding my need.
At the end of the video Priscilla had us turn to each other and speak truth into each other’s lives. I turned immediately to Lisa and am not really sure what I said (evidence that the Holy Spirit had taken over) I just knew that by the time I was done she and I and half the table were crying. I laughed as I wiped away the tears that were coursing down my cheeks saying, “Sorry, it’s the Holy Spirit.” Lisa was smiling brightly and her eyes shown as if lit by some inner light. It was clear that whatever the Holy Spirit had spoken to her, it was as if some sort of weight had been lifted from her soul. That was when she told us her story.
Lisa had been a Christian for just a few short years, divorced her husband for adultery, received full custody of her child, and moved back to Florida to live with her parents. She had been abused by her father when she was a child, but had some hope that he’d changed with age? Time? I don’t know, but she was proven wrong. When her father continued his abuse of her and had included her child, she left. Now it seemed she was working a part-time job, was unable to find an apartment due to her husband’s poor credit and her non-credit, and was couch hopping between a few friends – and on the days she couldn’t stay with them – was sleeping in her car.
The one bright spot in her tale of woe was that she did have an interview for a full-time position the following day. One of the ladies at the table said, “We’ll pray for you.” The same way we Christians always say, “I’ll pray for you,” and may or may not. But I couldn’t get the message we’d just heard out of my mind and held out my hands to the young girl and the woman on my right and said, “With what we’ve just heard about Ephesians 3:20, let’s pray right now.”
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us … ~ Ephesians 3:20
I opened the prayer thanking God for bringing Lisa to our table … and then I thought about the promise of Ephesians 3:20 … and then I didn’t hold any punches. I told God there was a reason He brought her to our table and asked Him squarely for a full-time job and an apartment for our young friend and her son. She needed it now and not next month. As the prayer grew and roamed around the table, the other ladies were equally as dynamic. God had never heard such fervor from this group of women in any of our corporate prayer to this point. We ended that that evening with my ladies pouring their hearts into this young woman and opening their wallets in aide.
The events in this post occurred on a Wednesday. We Christians always talk about waiting on God because we’re also human and usually very impatient. Some of my prayers take months and years to be answered (or at least for me to recognize the answer) and I often remind myself, “in God’s timing, not mine.” But, it is absolutely refreshing when we can witness God work in an instant. You’ll hear the rest of the story on Wednesday.
Please come back.