“Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3)
There were two sections of empty chairs before me: about 150 to the right and 150 to the left, but I sat on the floor at the back of the church in the dark. I had been fasting and praying and chose this secluded spot to hear from God.
“Lord, please speak to me,” I prayed, promising to do whatever He asked no matter what it might be. I sat quietly and waited to hear His voice.
I want you to pray for someone.
The words came into my mind out of nowhere without me having to think at all. I knew it was God.
“Who Lord? Who?” I asked with much excitement. I knew how to pray. This was an easy request and something I liked doing.
I want you to pray for someone’s feet.
“Yes, but who Lord? Who is it?” I asked again, eager to find out who I would be praying for.
It is a man.
“OK, but who Lord?” I pleaded, all the while wondering why He was taking His time giving me little snippets rather than just coming out and telling me everything at once.
He sits on the left side of the church.
“Yes, Lord, but who is this man?” I asked again with great anticipation.
It is Mr. B
My heart sank! Of all the men in the church, why Mr. B?! This businessman’s large stature and formal appearance caused me to shrink in comparison. He was a Goliath in my eyes. Who was I to ask him if I could pray for his feet?
“But, Lord . . .” I tried to reason.
There was no getting out of this one. I had asked the Lord to speak to me and He answered. The ball was now in my court and I had to follow through. It would be a week before I would see Mr. B again at church. Maybe I could work up a little courage by then.
The week quickly passed and I was no less fearful come Sunday morning. My insides churned, my heart pounded, and my mouth was as dry as cotton – and Mr. B hadn’t even arrived yet.
It wasn’t long before I spotted him and his family over by the table in the foyer. I forced myself to walk up to him and began with a simple and easy greeting even though I felt like a dog with its tail tucked between its legs.
“Good morning, Mr. B. How are you doing?” I asked, hoping he might say something about his feet so that I could make a smooth move and ask if I could pray for him.
“I’m fine, Lydia. How are you?” He asked, as he got ready to leave the table and move on into the sanctuary. It was now or never.
“Mr. B, I . . . I was wondering how your feet are. Uh . . . if you might need prayer for your feet.” I fumbled through my words not really knowing the proper why to ask a man like him if I could pray for his feet.
“No, my feet are just fine,” he said, as he made his way into the sanctuary to find a seat.
I quickly turned around and walked away totally cringing in embarrassment. How could I have been so wrong?! Had I not heard from God? Was the ongoing conversation I had last week just between me and myself?! I felt like an absolute fool.
The following Sunday, I was at the door greeting those arriving to church. In walked Mr. B on crutches. I was in shock, and asked him what had happened. He just shook his head in disbelief and continued inside. “Poor man,” I thought to myself, not knowing what was going on with him.
Towards the end of service that day, in response to the pastor asking if there were any prayer needs, Mr. B stood up.
“Last week,” he began, “the Lord had Lydia ask to pray for my feet and I told her there wasn’t any need. Had I been obedient and let her pray for my feet then, I might not be in horrible pain right now. I have a terrible case of gout in both feet! If it’s not too late, I could really use the prayer.”
My mouth dropped open! I had heard from the Lord! But at that moment, it didn’t matter, because all I really cared about was this man who was in so much pain that he needed to use crutches to come to church. We all gathered around him and prayed for his feet.
My dear friends, step out in faith and ask God anything. He will answer you. Only do not put him in a box or expect Him to answer the way you think He should. He is God. His ways are different from ours:
“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
Secondly, don’t allow the pride in your heart or the fear of man to keep you from receiving the blessings of obedience:
“If they obey and serve Him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.” (Job 36:11)
Lastly, persevering through difficult situations produces godly character in us and fills us with a hope we need never be ashamed of:
“We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-4)
What are you waiting for?!
PRAYER: Lord, thank you for answering me and teaching me to obey you at all costs regardless of the fears that may grip me. Amen!