I was taking prayer requests one day several months ago. It was the normal “please pray my tooth falls out”, “please help my parents have a good day”, “please heal my scratch”, and the ever so popular request with first graders, “please help my (insert pet of choice) not get lost”.
As I was writing the request on the board I was having my own dialogue in my head, I’m sure none of you ever do this, but this happens to me on a regular basis. It went something like this: “I should add Scott to the list. No, because then I’ll have to answer all the questions first graders have. Thankfully God hears all prayers even those not spoken.”
It was at this point that someone else joined my conversation. “Does God really hear your prayers? You’ve been praying and asking for healing for Scott for many years.”
I responded, “Yes, I’m sure. “
“Oh, then why are you and your family struggling once again? Your husband’s neuropathy has gotten so bad he cannot work. He is applying for disability, it can take years. How are you going to make it on just your salary for years?” The uninvited guest responded.
“Oh Lord, hear my cry. I know you are our provider and you hear me.” I prayed.
However, the seed of doubt was planted.
Yes, I did this all while I was taking my students prayer requests. I was writing the last request down, and still hearing the uninvited guest’s voice in my head.
I turned the volume down on his voice and asked my students, “Anyone else have a request?”
The girl who had the first request raised her hand, “Yes, Sweetie, do you have another request?”
“Can I pray for you and Mrs. Smith?” she asked.
I was taken back because they usually don’t ask, they just pray that I have a good day or that I’m able to teach everything that I need to.
“Of course you can pray for me. What is your request?” I responded.
“I pray that Mr. Smith has a good day and he feels good”, she stated with a big smile on her face.
At that moment I heard a soft, kind voice say, “Yes, I hear your prayers, I have you my child.”
“That’s not for Mrs. Smith, that’s for her husband!”, another student yelled. Trying to hold back the tears, I said, “a prayer for Mr. Smith is a prayer for me too.”
Later that day I sat and thanked God for answering my prayer. My student’s prayer for Scott was a prayer for me. Scott was on the list, I didn’t have to answer all the questions of why, and most importantly it shut up the voice of the uninvited guest. God did hear my prayers and He is always listening.
God spoke to me through a six-year-old little girl. She prayed my prayer for me. While I struggled with putting my request on the list and Satan trying to put doubts in my head, God prompted this little girl to pray for me. He planted my very prayer request within her on my behalf.
That night on the way home the DJ on the radio station read these verses from Philippians 4:6-7, NIV, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I started to cry. I didn’t need to worry about Scott, money, and most of all about whether or not God heard my prayers. There is no doubt in mind He does hear all prayers. At that moment I thanked God again and I knew that everything was going to be ok.
Oh, Heavenly Father, I thank you that you hear our prayers, and that we can come to you with ALL things. I’m also thankful that you use those around us as your messengers. I ask you to help us be ready to hear those messages from you. I pray that we can be observant and open to hear what you want us to hear. Amen.