Confident Faith in God Stories
STORY #2--Prayer for Finances
A couple of years ago during a class on Christian spirituality I (Klaus) was teaching at Talbot School of Theology, each week we would pray for one student, standing around him or her and praying as a group, praying as the Spirit would lead us. One of the students in the class, Jason Lanker, was in his second semester of doctoral studies. Jason and his wife, Heather, had asked God to provide for the tuition bills, as an indication of God’s guidance to go back to school. “That way, if the finances ever dried up, I would know that He was leading me in a different direction.” But when this second semester arrived, since Jason was still short of funds, he saw this as God testing his trust in him. So Jason kept on waiting for God’s provision. Then a letter arrived notifying Jason that his tuition bill of $2,117.60 was due by Friday. But on Friday no funds arrived. Jason was flabbergasted. “How could the God who had made His will so clear just one semester before, have left me out in the cold? My disbelief was palpable and by Monday morning the anger that had been brewing all weekend boiled over in a two day tirade against God.”
Tuesday evening was the doctoral class. When the time came, class members gathered around Jason and we prayed for him, including his request to pay his tuition bill. On the ride home from class, Jason’ heart began to turn from anger to brokenness, enough to hear God’s voice. God reminded Jason that Jason had set up the arrangement about finances coming in as an indication of God’s provision for doctoral studies. Instead of asking God’s answer, Jason was upset. It was a reminder to follow God, and not the particular path I happened to be on at the moment. Wednesday evening, Heather was looking through some of letters that her senile grandmother had written to her but had never mailed. Her father had accidentally found these letters as he was rummaging through some old piles at his mother’s (her grandmother’s) house. To her amazement, included in the many letters with expressions of love for her were a number of bank bonds. After all the bonds had been tallied, they totaled $2,000! When they deposited the bonds in the bank the next day, the bank receipt reported the figure of $2,117.60! The bonds had appreciated. As Jason looked at the receipt bearing that specific amount, tears began to flow in response to the miraculous provision from God, and the guidance to remain in doctoral studies.
© J. P. Moreland and Klaus Issler, 2008.
In Search of a Confident Faith: Overcoming Barriers to Trusting in God, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity), pp. 142-143.
“Ask and you will receive; everyone who asks, receives. This is the eternal law of the Kingdom. If you ask and receive not, it must be because there is something wrong or missing in the prayer. Let the Word and Spirit teach you to pray properly. But do not lose confidence He wants to give you, that everyone who asks, receives. . . . As a child has to prove a sum to be correct, so the proof that we have prayed correctly is our answer. If we ask and get no answer, it is because we have not learned to pray properly. . . . Christ had good reasons for speaking so unconditionally. Be careful not to weaken the Word with human wisdom. . . . Lord! Teach me to pray.”
Andrew Murray (1828-1917),
With Christ in the School of Prayer,
(New Kensington, PA: Whittaker, House, 1981;
originally published London: James Nisbet, 1887), 40, 44.