“…You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” James 4:2b-3
“Hey, Linda, I see the weather forecast for our trip is five days of solid rain,” announced one of my team members. “You’d better be praying now!” I agreed, but the group was a little discouraged as this was to be a treat for the kids. We had planned to make marshmallow shooters and kites to play with on the beach. I am one who prays about the weather, though! Some things often seem too small to pray for (and anyway, doesn’t it rain on the just and the unjust?) Does prayer really change the weather? Does it really change anything? Well, I can testify that it does. Oftentimes, I’m the one that needs the changing, especially if I’m praying for my own selfish desires. “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your own pleasures.” The end of the previous verse says, “… you do not have because you do not ask God.” I believe that! Ask!
Our team did receive specific answers. Though it rained a lot, we had morning windows for games and time every afternoon to play. One of the preschool volunteers came to me almost in tears as she told me that they had taken the children out to play with the large parachute. She explained that the rain stopped, and they saw a dark ring of rain all around them except directly overhead! She was so encouraged with Christ who is in every detail. Also, we had planned a carnival for the last afternoon, and there were several activities that needed to be outdoors. It was raining earlier that day, so we prayed specifically that it would not rain from 3-5 pm. Though the rain did look imminent, it cleared. Just as we were cleaning up at 4:59 pm the first sprinkles started! We were all amazed again at His goodness and timing!
On a different note, I had prayed for my husband to accompany me on a trip like this one many times, and from the beginning he let me know that this would not happen. He would support trips financially and through prayer, but due to a demanding job and no interest in flying across “the pond”, he would not be coming with me. I probably prayed more in the early years of our relationship, but the Lord had not forgotten the desire of my heart. When I asked this time, he said yes! We were able to serve together with our daughter, and it was a surprise blessing! Jesus answered in spite of my lack of perseverance!
Finally, I saw His financial provision. Usually, the Lord provided exactly or above what we needed on our past trips, but this time we came back with a small balance due. For several weeks I asked Jesus to provide and He did not. It was such a small amount I decided I was going to pay for it. The next day, before I had the chance, someone texted me and said they had been busy and could I still use a donation? God is never late! All these and many more answers to my prayers remind me how much our Heavenly Father cares about us and wants to hear from us. He wants the little prayers offered up quickly, the deeper prayers that may require more perseverance and prayers for provision and hope. Whatever, whenever, however, whomever—He is longing to show us His sweetness and provision!