Monday, July 09, 2007
A Surprise Answer to a Secret Prayer
“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Matthew 6:6There are a great number of Christians who pray for things but never have a clear sense that God heard and answered. What a sad commentary on a life that should be abundant and filled with excitement over the power of prayer and faith in a God who not only hears but answers. One reason for uncertainty is the lack of specific prayer and the habit we have of seeking help from human sources rather than meeting with our Heavenly Father in secret. Years ago at the starting line of my missionary career I was challenged to meet with God in the secret place and petition Him for things that only He could do, then while telling no other person watch God work. Oh how He showed Himself real to me in those days and in the years to follow! It was an exciting lesson learned. The neat thing is that now, 26 years later, God is still in the business of meeting me in secret and rewarding me openly.
Such has been the case in recent months. There are some yearnings of the heart that can only be voiced to God alone, things much too personal to trust to another human. I have come to recognize God as my source of strength, my hiding place, and my great provider. Knowing God in such an intimate way gave me the courage to pray a secret prayer from the heart. I asked God to either make me content to serve Him alone, or bring someone into my life who had a passion for God with whom I could serve. I got real specific and made a long list of character traits and attributes that I would want in a future mate. Honestly, I didn’t think there was a man alive who fit my criteria.
Imagine my surprise when God proved me wrong and answered my secret prayer by bringing Jerry Burton into my life. Jerry, a pastor in Ohio, was widowed 2 years ago. He was Malcom’s friend who was a source of strength and encouragement during his year battle with cancer. He became my friend during that time as well and was one of my encouragers through this past year. When I had at last submitted to God’s perfect way, it was as if God said, “Now…here is the answer to your prayer.” Soon I will be Mrs. Jerry Burton and I am excited to embark on this new phase of life, serving a wonderful God who answers prayers!