The Lamp Pole Dilemma and my Answered Prayer – by Mark Finley

12476874_10209147316738925_825719190_oThroughout our nearly fifty years of ministry, my wife Teenie and I have seen God answer our prayers repeatedly. Recently we’ve experienced God answering our prayers in a major way as our new Living Hope Seventh-day Adventist Community Church nears completion: this is a faith project that has cost around $4.5 million dollars, and has been funded largely by generous donors in answer to many prayers.

Now we are at the stage of getting our occupancy permit, and soon we can officially open our doors.

Our new church facility and school of evangelism is located in Haymarket, Virginia in a quaint shopping center with lovely shops and restaurants. A few weeks ago, we had a dilemma. Up and down the street next to our new church there are a number of elegant tall lamp poles to provide light in the evenings for the community. The dilemma occurred when someone ran into one of these lamp poles with their car and destroyed it. Naturally we expected the shopping center owners would fix the pole and because of this, we didn’t think much about it. But not long after the accident we were notified that it was our church’s responsibility to replace the lamp pole. We also discovered to our surprise that we would not be given our occupancy permit until we replaced the lamp pole and had each of the street lights functioning. The problem was, where would we find a replacement lamp pole? After all, these poles may be typical for affluent neighborhoods, but it’s not like you can just go down to Lowe’s and pick up a replacement.

Immediately I began to pray. “Heavenly Father, I have no idea where to find such a lamp pole, but You do. And so I’m asking you to help me! We need to get the permits for our church so we can move forward and now this is holding us back. We don’t know what to do, please give us wisdom on how to proceed?”

Not long after, I had the idea to contact the manager of the shopping center that sits just a few hundred yards away from our church. The manager and I have become friends and I figured maybe she could point me in the right direction. When I shared my dilemma with her, she responded, “Pastor Mark, we have a vacant store in our shopping center that we have used to store different supplies. This building has one of those exact lamp poles lying on the floor. It’s brand new! We’ve been needing to get rid of that pole so we can use the room. We’d be happy if you would take it. No charge!” She then gave me the lock combination to go retrieve the pole.

Reminded once again that God cares about my life and about our needs, my heart overflowed with gratitude and thanksgiving to the Lord. Truly we serve an amazing God. Nothing is beneath Him; not even the task of helping me find a needed lamp pole for our street!

Mark Finley, Assistant to the President, General Conference

Note: To view this week’s world church prayer requests, click here!

To download & print this blog, practical application, & prayer requests, click here!

4543060842_e4fdb33047_bPractical Application: 

The Bible tells us, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Ps. 119:105). It also tells us, “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Isa. 30:21).

No matter what obstacle you are facing; the obstacle of needing to locate a difficult lamp pole, the obstacle of lack of finances for a big project, the obstacle of disease, of despair in face of great loss, or some other impossible mountain, God has a solution. He may not show us what is around the corner, but He promises to be the Light to our path today. Let’s cast our cares upon Him and trust in His Word. And the help that we need will come just when we need it most.

Dear Heavenly Father, Not only can You help us find a difficult lamp pole, like You did for Pastor Mark Finley, but You are the Lamp for our feet and the Light to our path. Show us how to cling to You, how to trust in You, and how to stand upon Your Word. The devil has hurled a thousand obstacles and many trials across our path, but You are greater than any obstacle we could ever face. We look to You for hope, for help, for strength! In Jesus’ precious name, Amen!

Promises to Claim: Ps. 51:15

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  • Wojtek Janiuk


  • Khethy

    Amen may God be with us and may we learn to put all our cares at His feet, He always makes a way out for us. Thank you for the encouraging testimony.

  • Baiba

    Amen! Our God is bigger than our problems!

  • Debbie

    Jesus has all the answers. Thanks you Lord!

  • tsholofelo

    Amen! God answers prayer and will always do. Praise God with me. I spent a week with children at a neighbouring village in a stewardship seminar for children. Thirty seven children attended and among them were 12 non adventist and 4 of these have shown interest in being baptised and joining the church. I thank the Lord for His leading and ask you to pray with me for the ways of continuing to teach these children and keeping them rooted in his word. This village has only a small company of sda believers meeting every Sabbath in a small shelter and really needs support so as to establish a church. Pray for the young man who is doing his missionary work tnere as a pioneer and for the mother church responsible for this company. I thank you for joining us in prayer. Have a blessed week and enjoy the blessings of God as they are renewed on daily basis.

    • Debs

      You and your program are in my prayers. You peaked my interest with regard to your stewardship seminar for children. It would be an answer to my church’s prayer if you can provide any guidance on what program and/or materials you used to help us with setting up our children’s stewardship program. May God continue to bless you in your every endeavor.

    • Praise God, he’s wonderful.

    • PNB

      I have joined you in prayer. Jehovah Jireh – Peter Nigel

      • Geoffrey Orwa

        Amen. Praise be to God.

  • Ros Farrell

    What an amazing God we serve. The One with the panoramic view of every situation we will face and is patiently waiting for us to come to Him and ask. Praise His holy name.

  • Sonia Brown

    In Jeremiah 33:3 God says,”Call on me and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things which you do not know.” Thank God for answering our prayers in the most amazingl ways. I have proved Him and vow to always trust Him.

    • Pauline


  • Jeanette

    Amen! He is a faith building God. Thank you for sharing this story.

  • Tracey

    I know God that you are already ahead working things out for mom and I and I just want to think you and praise you for the miracles you are about to do for each one of us.

    • PNB

      Yes, God is working things out for you and your mom. Praise Him now. Be blessed. – Peter Nigel

    • Pauline

      Praise God and amen!! The answer is already on the way.

  • Ziyanda Dewa

    Praise God 🙏🏾.

  • Michelle Hibbert

    God is interested in every detail of our lives..Praise God.

  • Every aspect of our life is important to God. Nothing is insignificant when it comes to His children. And he still answer prayers. Thank God for his love.

  • PNB

    Praise JAH for answered prayer! Always take it to the Lord in prayer.

  • Annette Alleyne

    Thanks for this shared answer to prayer. It may seem insignificant but it surely demonstrates how deeply involved God is with our everyday needs and how He cares. This experience has enhanced my faith in God and is encouraging me to continue to seek an answer for a specific need and victory I am seeking. I am confident that God will grant me success amidst the struggle. He knows my name. He knows the victory I am seeking and I believe He will give me the victory ultimately.

  • Gloria Mosha-Onchiri

    Amen Praise the Lord! !
    You have encouraged me so much.I live in U.K and we are currently worshiping in the community hall.We are raising money for a church building.This year as a church we have given ourselves a target to raise £40,000.We need more than that for a church building.Our membership is 60 people in total.We are believing God to provide the money please pray that God will do a miracle of provision so that His name will be glorified. Thank you.

  • Akudo

    Smiles> Great testimony! God’s love for us His children is so broad. Blessed be your holy name dear Jesus. Blessings God’s great mouth-piece.

  • April

    Awesome. My light in kitchen need replacement

  • Thembie Mapingire


  • Natasha

    Thank You for being my prayer answering God in my time of need. I praise You in advance for answering my request that I have laid before You Great Adonai. I know You are my provider, I trust You, in Jesus precious name, amen.

  • erick

    Our God is amazing Father who knows exactly what we need and has designed the best way on how to get it.
    He protects and provides for us in amazing way

  • Letty Kaltonga

    Amen, very powerful testimony. The prayer need is very simple, you are telling the LORD your situation and asking Him to intervene according to HIs Holy Will and Timing. You have touched and moved me Pastor Mark Finley to depend on the LORD in all spiritual and physical needs and let Him to answer us in all.

  • Geoffrey Orwa

    Amen…. This is a timely post. I woke up at night to seek the face of God in prayer. One question has been, to know what God has in store for my life and that of my family. I know in the fulness of time. I shall know better. He still answers prayers. Amen

  • Chris S

    Here’s a photo diary of the journey of the Living Hope Seventh-day Adventist Community Church, mentioned by Pastor Finley:

  • vernon

    God is good. Praise the Lord.

  • Maurice Mwansa

    Amen,we praise God for that powerful testimony .May God help us all to fully trust in Him