Make-a-change Monday~Prayer & Circumstance



Have you ever heard God speak? 


If God called you on the phone, would you recognize his voice? 


I remember as a teenager trying to figure out if God was telling me to do something, or if it was just made up in my head. It can be very confusing to know God’s voice as opposed to the “voices in your head” if you don’t talk to him—and listen to him—enough. 


Many people ask, “Why pray if God already know what’s going to happen?” Here’s the answer: 


Prayer doesn’t change God, it changes us. 

When we seek God’s help through conversations with him and through specific requests, and he answers us, our faith is increased. If we never ask, however, and he gives us whatever we need, our faith is not changed. We chalk it up to circumstance. 

Let me give you two examples. 

Me? A Speaker? 

I went to a speaker’s conference in October of last year. Everyone tells me that with the type of book I’m writing, I need to be a speaker as well. If you know me at all, you know I hate speaking in front of a group of people. One of the things I liked about being a pharmacist is that I didn’t have to sell myself. I stood behind the tall counter and people came to me…one at a time. But I felt like God was nudging me in that direction, so I went.

After the conference, all of the other speakers got their one-sheets ready to be put in a database of speakers to be “on the market.” But not me. I obeyed God and went to the conference, but specifically told God afterwards that if he wanted me to speak at an event, he was going to have to “drop it in my lap.”

Four months later, I was on my way to church with my family and I pulled my phone from my purse and put it in my lap. I turned it on to see if I had any Words with Friends moves, and I saw I had a new text: 

Now how was that for an answered prayer? Even though it wasn’t quite the answer I was hoping for, I certainly couldn’t deny that God had heard exactly what I said and responded in such a way I knew it was him. 


Her Ship Came In. 


My very oldest friend Jacqueline (not in age but in how long I’ve known her) was having a financial crisis a few weeks ago. It was Friday and her family had $30 to make it on until Tuesday. Pretty tough for a family of four, and that included the weekend. She and her husband have both gone back to school for the last few years, and have really struggled financially, saving and getting by the best they could. She was really at her wit’s end at this point, and prayed, “Okay God, it’s time for my ship to come in.”

Now back up a few months for an important detail: Jacqueline’s husband opened something in the mail that had to do with her mom’s estate. He handed her the letter and told her it looked fairly important. She responded by sending them a copy of the death certificate and the other information they needed to settle the issue. 

On this gloomy Friday afternoon, as she was wondering how in the world her family would make it on this $30, she went to the mailbox. In it was an envelope, with the return address simply as “SHIP.” Not thinking too much about it, she opened it to find a check for $10,000.

How’s that for an answered prayer?  

It turns out that the unresolved issue from her mom’s estate was money that had not been claimed, and the company who was now handling that went by the name, or acronym, “SHIP.” 

Jacqueline prayed that prayer on that Friday when she was in a bind. God orchestrated the $10,000 check several months before. That check was coming. God knew she would need it. But when she prayed and her “SHIP” came in, her faith grew by leaps and bounds! 



It’s so easy to recognize God’s voice—even when it’s not audible—when we talk to him enough to recognize when he answers. 


So here’s my {make-a-change} Monday challenge for you: Pray specific prayers. Pray believing that God can and will answer your prayers. It may not be an immediate answer, and the answer may not be what you want to hear. But he will answer, and when he does, your faith will skyrocket. 


From my heart, 
Celeste

P.S. I did speak at the event for Mauldin First Baptist. I was a nervous wreck at first, but God calmed my nerves as all of the women there were so sweet and receptive to what I said. It was a great first speaking event. 🙂

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