By the way, let me tell you how prayer works sometimes. I have been led to pray for certain of my children that they would seek joy. We pray for our children daily, even our grown ones. So this past month these ones whom I started praying that they would seek joy, one daughter's car and purse with all her I.D. and credit cards was stolen. (And then her car was found and returned.) One son was in a wreck and his car was totaled. (He walked away without injury.) One son was in not one, but two knock down, drag out fights with his group home roommate and was taken to the E.R. (At least his roommate is now an ex-roommate.) Hmm, so do you want me to pray for you? God works in mysterious ways.
Often it is good to pray using Scriptures. As an example, I will use Psalm 34 and tell you a tale from years ago about a lovely young woman named Gina in our congregation. She was a Christian, she was humble, she was beautiful, she was sweet, she was an extremely hard worker, and she was homeless. By day she was a waitress in a Greek restaurant. By night she lived in her car. When we discovered this, we tried to help her and became involved in her life. The money she made all went to support her husband from whom she was separated and to whom she entrusted the care of her preschool daughter. She hoped for restoration of her marriage. In fact, her husband invited her to a picnic. Gina was so excited.
However, we miraculously found out through one of his roommates that he was into satanic worship, had begun a process of changing his I.D. and had made plans to leave the state with their daughter, and had filed for divorce. Somehow, Gina was innocent of all this, just trusting and supporting and by doing so hoping she was doing the right thing for her little girl. She had no idea that the divorce was marching on to its conclusion needing no more action. In fact, the Sunday that the divorce's finalization was posted in the newspaper was the day he had invited her for a picnic.
Gina was heartbroken, but it awoke the mother bear instinct. So instead of a picnic, she took back her daughter with whom she had full custody, and we helped to hide them both by arranging for them to live with a family in a remote mountain home offered by caring people until the danger of his kidnapping was foiled. Her husband came to the church in an uproar tearing up his Bible, threatening to beat up my man until his secretary called the police. But God prevailed.
"Gina will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in her mouth.
Her soul will make its boast in the Lord;
The humble Gina will hear it and rejoice.
O magnify the Lord with me,
Gina sought the Lord, and He answered her,
And delivered her from all her fears.
She looked to Him and was radiant,
And her face will never be ashamed.
This poor woman cried, and the Lord heard her
and saved her out of all her troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamped
around Gina who feared Him,
and rescued her."
When I think of Gina's face, I think of her radiance.
Nobody can mess with God's precious ones.
He's got you covered,
by His wings.
Do you get the picture? I can say from this perspective, in the past tense, how God did divinely intercede for our sweet friend Gina. There was no logical reason that we were tipped off, but we were. The angel of the Lord encamped around that young homeless mother in her car. She was such a good little mother when she got her daughter back. And that Greek restaurant had the best antipasto which I crave to this day which Gina insisted on treating us to.
"O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man (or woman) who takes refuge in Him!"