Recently I have had two experiences that were direct answers to prayer. There is no other logical way to explain them. Some might call them mere coincidences or happenstance. But for me they revealed the direct hand of God in my life.
The first experience took place in Dublin, Ireland.
Historically Ireland has been a very difficult place for the growth of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In the last fifty years approximately forty-five Irish people have been baptized. However, in the last 15 years the Adventist church has shown remarkable growth due to the influx of ethnic groups of various nationalities.
Recently my wife and I have spent considerable time in a variety of multifaceted evangelistic outreach programs in Dublin. We are extremely thankful for the success God has given us in these endeavors.
One Sabbath, as I was walking to church, I specifically prayed that God would providentially bring me in contact with honest hearted Irish people who were interested in Jesus’ last day message. Little did I know that within an hour my prayer would be answered.
While I was sitting in Sabbath School preparing to teach the visitors class that day, two Irish women walked into church. I invited them to class and later discovered that they were searching for the true church. They knew a little about the Adventist church and wanted to know more. God miraculously led them in answer to prayer that Sabbath to the very church where I was teaching Sabbath School and preaching. Eventually they attended our evangelistic meetings, continued attending church, received Bible Studies from the pastor and now have been baptized. For me this was a direct answer to prayer.
The second experience is quite different.
My wife and I along with a small congregation in Warrenton, Virginia are building a new worship facility, school of evangelism and community health outreach center in Haymarket, Virginia. The total cost of the facility is over four million dollars. This past August it appeared that our fund raising had come to a halt. Very little was happening and I was troubled. Each month our contractor’s bills were coming due. While we were attending the ASI Convention in Spokane, I prayed that God would give me some indication that He would see this project through. I personally needed some assurance of His continued blessing. As a result I decided to spend some time alone praying as I walked along the river. As I prayed, I specifically asked God to lead me to someone who could help financially.
Within an hour I providentially met a man I had never met before who has now helped our project significantly. Mere coincidence? I certainly do not think so. I am convinced that in both of these instances God was at work.
Does God always answer my prayers so dramatically? No, but He does it enough to give me the assurance of His presence and the certainty of His love.
Answered prayer is much more than God responding to our specific needs. It is His revelation of love for us. It is His letting us know in concrete specific ways that He has not forgotten us in the joys and sorrows of life and that’s enough for me.
By Mark Finley, World Evangelist
Note: Mark Finley wrote this week’s prayer requests. To view, please click here!