Does God answer prayer?

April 16 was the Columbus, Ohio Walk MS at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. My team, Thompson’s Trekkers, of 15 people was ready to go. Our fundraising was successful toward our goal.

But the weather was not cooperating. High winds and downpours were predicted. This walk takes place rain or shine. Oh how I prayed for shine–at least no heavy rain.

The walk itself is only 1 1/2 miles total and walkers can stop and look at the animals along the trek. It’s a wonderful outdoor experience. Since I’m the one on the team with multiple sclerosis (MS), I use my power wheelchair instead of my legs. Distance walking is in my past. My husband bought me a beautiful rain cape made for people riding in any type of wheelchair and it would protect the power controls on my chair.

Saturday, April 16 I woke at 5:30 a.m. to heavy rain and wind. I returned to bed praying specifically, “Please, God, have the rain abate just till the end of the walk today.” I admit I said this more than once and was hopeful.

At 6:00 a.m. I put our dog outside and the rain had stopped! It was cloudy but quite warm. I learned it was 50 degrees. I believed God was answering my prayer.

We arrived at the zoo around 8:00 a.m. to see thousands of others there for the Walk MS. The sun was peeking through the clouds and the air was cool. While we gathered and waited for our team to arrive, we all commented on the wonderful break in the weather. I shared that I had prayed for a reprieve in the rain. Others had done the same.

We completed the walk, saw bright flamingos, wolves, polar bears, and more. A breakfast was enjoyed by all and we snapped photos. On our way out of the zoo, we stopped to see the manatees and aquarium. We noticed the clouds rolling in.

When we exited this exhibit, the rain had begun. A light drizzle that gets your glasses a little wet. We headed for the car and as we loaded my power chair, the rain stopped again.

Does God answer prayer? Yes he does. I thanked him repeatedly throughout the day for making the Walk MS more pleasant and successful due to no rain.

Thompson’s Trekkers minus a few walkers.

“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Matthew 21:22

Advertisements

Book Review: Under God’s Sky

When  our pastor learned my manuscript had been accepted by a publisher, he announced it to our Bible study. He said in his last church, in Washington State, a man had published a devotional book (and that he had been mentioned in the acknowledgments.) I asked the name of the book and when I got home, I ordered it. Soon after reading part of the book, I ordered two more as gifts.

Under God’s Sky, Reflections for Christian Men by John R.  Hardison, is a great devotional book for anyone. Hardison reflects on his life in Washington with a bent toward men’s activities — hunting, camping in the rough, and more. But I was fascinated with a glimpse into this man’s world and his love for God. It is evident in every word that God has been his beacon and remains his guide through his life — which hasn’t always been easy. He has had his share of sorrow and disappointment.

I first read the devotion called “One Worried Robin.” In part, it reads:

One morning at early dawn, a thud woke me from my sleep. Something had hit our living room windows. Though ordinarily I would have gone to investigate, that morning I didn’t even open my eyes. I knew what it was. You see a robin lives in the trees not far from the window, and he’s a worrier. When it gets light he sees his reflection in the window and thinks that another robin is about to take over his territory. The closer he moves to the “usurper,” the closer the image appears in the window. He spends hours working himself into a frenzy and beating himself against the window. If he would only understand that things are not as bad as they seem–he really is the imagined problem–he would have a much nicer day. Maybe he would avoid eventually hurting himself.

He goes on to talk about how things usually are not as bad as they seem and that we should pray more and worry less. I loved the analogy.

His book has humor, prayer, scripture and real life circumstances that most people will relate to. You will read about life in Washington and writing that draws you into his experiences. It’s a wonderful way to begin  your day.

I recommend it highly.

To order, go to this link: Northwestern Publishing House or check out John’s website and order a signed copy, as long as they last.

Reading

God got my attention. My manuscript was only days away from being sent to Jebaire Publishing for their final approval or acceptance and I dreamt — in a half-sleep, half-prayer — that the book was not ready to send. Then my prayer was, “Show me what’s missing.”

The next morning, as I was walking down the hall to our kitchen, it felt like my left hand was being almost pulled toward a stack of Bibles. In the middle of this stack was my ESV Read Through the Bible. I said aloud, “OK, I’m moving as fast as I can. What is it you want me to see?”

I flipped the Bible open and it came to a section in the back I had never read: “God’s Plan to Save You.” I was dumbstruck, speechless. Right then I knew what was missing in my book. A chapter for those readers who thought God would never talk to them, those who felt unworthy — and aren’t we all? — those who didn’t know what to do with their sin. I said, “OK, show me what to write.”

I sat at my computer and wrote the last chapter I named, “The Good News.” After this experience, I began looking at my reading life.

Being an avid reader, I was tracking my books on Goodreads.com. In about 1 year I had read more than 100 books. Kind of scary that I was spending so much time reading. Many of the books are written by Christian authors with uplifting themes.

Then I realized that I was not making time for devotional or Bible reading/study.  I decided to stop ordering books from the library and finish reading through the Bible. I had stopped at May the year before. I joined a woman’s Bible study at our new church, spent at least an hour every morning reading the Bible, bought a devotional book which I plan to review on this site and started reading.

I’m still at it and don’t plan to ever stop reading the Bible and learning.

When God was leading me down the hallway to the Bible, I knew he was guiding me and I was listening. I was so excited after I wrote that chapter that I called my daughter and told her.

I recommend listening for God’s voice in your life. He will call you in a way you will understand. But he will call and we must listen.

Blessings to each of you on this new day.