What Prayer Can Do: Getting Down to Specifics

Her daughter taught her that when it comes to prayer, it's sometimes all about the details.

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- Posted on Apr 20, 2015

Pray the details

For months my husband, Mark, and I had been saving up to get a third family car so that our daughter Anne would have something to drive when she turned 16. With four children, another car—and another driver—in the family would be a godsend.

Then came the bad news: Our well had dried up, and so did our savings when we drilled a new one.

“I guess I’ll just have to pray for a car,” Anne said when we told her.

Anne wasn’t just being a good sport. She really prayed for that car.

“I’m praying specifically, just like you taught me,” she explained to me one evening while we were doing the dishes. “I asked God for automatic transmission because I don’t drive stick, four doors so my brothers and sister can climb in and out easily. And I asked that it be blue, because that’s my favorite color.”

“That’s a tall order,” I said.

Of course God could provide Anne with all those things, but that didn’t mean he would. “You could learn to drive stick, or deal with having only two doors,” I suggested, handing her a plate to dry. “And it doesn’t matter if the car’s blue, right?”

“I know,” Anne said. “But God says we should ask specifically for what we want, so that’s what I’m doing. I leave the rest to him.”

Later that night I confided in Mark. “I don’t mind her being disappointed by us, but I wouldn’t want her to ever feel disappointed by God.”

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“Don’t worry so much,” Mark told me. “She knows that the prayer is more important sometimes than the answer.”

The next morning I climbed out of bed, got a cup of tea and checked my e-mail. On one message I recognized the name of a man I knew from church. He was buying a new car, and remembered that we had a daughter who had just turned 16. Would we like his old car—for free?

“It’s automatic transmission, four door, perfect for a young driver,” he wrote. “Oh, and I don’t know if it matters, but it’s blue.”

Little did he know how much it mattered.

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Tags: Guideposts
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