Stephanie Ehmke, MA, LPC
A Fising Tale
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Matthew 21:22 (NIV)
I tell people all the time to pray about everything, and I do mean everything.
Learning to pray like this is a new thought for many people. On a weekly basis, it seems as though I have a conversation with someone who thinks that God is too busy to hear about what they consider “small things” in their lives. This makes me sad because by only going to God when something big or awful happens, they are missing out on growing in depth and intimacy with their Savior when life is good.
The fact of the matter is, when we learn to share “small things” with God, it actually becomes much easier to share big things. It’s like taking baby steps in our faith journey. The greatest prayer warriors I know didn’t become that way overnight; they’ve learned to pray-well over time as their relationship with God deepened, through years and years of getting to know one another better.
Over the years, this idea of praying about everything has been a common theme that I regularly encourage my husband to employ. I see what it’s done for my relationship with God and I want him to have that closeness as well. However, I’ve learned that there is a fine line between encouragement and nagging when it comes to this sort of thing. (Just a word to the wise, we are not our spouses Holy Spirit). So, I love it when I see him implementing this kind of praying in his own life without “my encouragement.”
A few years ago, I not only saw my husband exercise this kind of prayer but also was blown away by the level of faith he exercised and by how God moved.
Pulling into our driveway on Saturday evening, I was a little perplexed by the fact that my husband’s truck was gone, even though he was out mowing the lawn. I immediately started writing stories in my head. “Did it break down? Did he run out of gas somewhere?” my thoughts ran wild. Taking a deep breath, I got out of my car and walked towards him to find out the problem.
Turning off the lawnmower, he walked over and met me in the driveway with a smile. “Hmmm”, I thought, “This relaxed smile is kind of unexpected if there’s a problem.” So, I asked, “Where’s the truck?” Very calmly he said, “Oh, it's down at the lake. I just need you to take me to pick it up later.”
Feeling impatient because no details were given, I snapped, “So, why is your truck down at the lake if you’re home and how did you get here?”
He begins, “Well, I was down at the dock, messing around with the boat when I noticed a storm was rolling in. I was trying to hurry and get everything together when I accidentally knocked my truck keys into the lake.”
He shook his head and continued, “It’s 15 feet deep there, the storm was coming, and my truck windows were down, so I just called Cody (our son) to come pick me up. I asked him to bring the bucket of spare keys from the office, but when he got to the dock, my spare keys weren’t in the bucket. So I just had him bring me home.”
Now at that point, I began feeling really, really frustrated, but I wasn’t saying a thing. In my head, the questions began to pile up. “Where were the spare keys? How much was it going to cost to replace the keys if we couldn’t find them? Did Todd put plastic or a tarp over the open truck windows?”
To my surprise, the story wasn’t over.
He continued, “When I got home, I grabbed my fishing pole, put 4 split-shot sinker weights and 2 treble hooks on the line, and drove my work vehicle back down to the dock.”
I’m thinking, “Seriously, you decided to go fishing with a storm coming? Really?”
He then said something that left me speechless, “As I walked down the dock I prayed, ‘Lord, I really need my truck keys and I could use your help right now.’ Then I walked over to where the keys had fallen in, I threw the line out and slowly drug it along the bottom of the lake towards me.”
With tears in his eyes, he grinned, lip quivering a bit, “When I reeled the line in, the keys were on the hook. On my first cast.”
I stood there for a moment, stunned. All I could say was, “Are you serious?”
His grin then became a smile, a mile wide, “Completely. I went back to my truck, rolled up the windows before the storm came through and drove home in my work vehicle. I just need you to take me back down to the dock to get it later.”
Now I know God answers prayer, but this one left me speechless and in awe of just how much God really does care about the small things in life.
God is definitely NOT a “Jeannie-in-a-bottle” answering every prayer just because we ask him too or because we believe he can. In fact, there are some big and small prayers he has left unanswered in my life over the years. However, that doesn’t mean he’s not listening.
Moments like the one Todd experienced at the lake remind me that God is ALWAYS listening, and strengthens my resolve to continue encouraging others in praying about everything.
So do it, bring every need before the throne of God - no matter how outrageous it may appear – and see what he does. Who knows, maybe you’ll find yourself stunned and in awe, just like I was by how God answers.
For Your Reflection…
God is always present and listening. Do you talk to him about everything? Why or Why Not?