Prayer and Provision
I am amazed at the number of times that God has provided for me when I have asked Him for my needs or desires. It often happens on the same day that I ask. He has granted me exactly what I've asked for so many times that I have now come to expect it. As long as it is a selfless request, He gives it every time that I can remember.
One day I asked for a flannelgraph so that I could teach my two toddlers about God. That same day, I went to a yard sale, and, of all things, they were selling a flannelgraph. They sold it to me for half of what they were asking because that's all the money I had. I used that flannelgraph for years and taught hundreds of Bible lessons with it.
Another time I was going yard saling with my mom. I abruptly pulled over to the side of the road and said, “I forgot to pray first.” I prayed that I would find a slide projector for $20 because I had some slides from England and all over the world that I had collected for teaching purposes. Lo and behold, at one of the yard sales, there was a slide projector for $30. I asked if I could have it for $20, and the person said yes. When I later showed it to my dad, he said it was worth $300. It was a good one, and he said that he was jealous. Since my dad was a pastor, I offered to give it to him. My dad said no, that God had obviously provided it for me.
Another time I asked God for a frame for a nursery rhyme picture in my daughter's bedroom. I found an oak frame with matting that matched the poster, all for $6 at Goodwill. Money was very tight, and I needed that money for food. I stopped and asked God if I was allowed to buy the frame. Yes was the answer. After that I went to the grocery store. On the empty parking lot, I saw money lying on the ground. I picked it up and saw that it was $6. It felt like a kiss from God, because I really did need that $6 for food. I knew that God had paid for the frame and gotten it for me as a present. God felt near. He is so specific. He could have easily had $10 or any other amount, or nothing on the ground. But He wanted me to know that He was the One who was in control of the situation.
I led a group of Cub Scout boys for two years. Every time I asked God for something related to Cub Scouts, He gave it to me. I asked Him for sports equipment, and sports equipment practically rained on me. I found leather mits and bats in good condition for 99 cents each, or just one or two dollars. It was ridiculous. I had never seen so much sports equipment at Goodwill before. A few weeks later, I was wondering how I was going to find 8 large jars for terrariums. The next day a fellow believer said that she had been saving big jars, and she didn't know why, but she had 8!
My husband and I wanted to give $100 to a short-term missions couple going to Africa. I asked God to help me sell stuff, and sure enough, we made $100 just in time.
My husband and I had determined in our hearts to send a $10 bill to each of our nieces and nephews for their birthdays. Most of those kids were adopted and had rough lives. My sister had no money. I knew it meant the world for this month's birthday kid to get that money. I had no paper money; I only had coins. So I went to a resale shop and sold some toys and kid clothes. I prayed for a $10 bill, and the items totalled $10, so I had the $10 bill to send.
God has provided for me so many times that I can't even count them. But I had to ask. Scripture tells us: “You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4:2b-3)
Ask God to give you the right desires. Then ask for what you desire, and it will be given to you.