Jeannine Brabon recently left Columbia at 4 a.m. to travel to the States. Because of a storm their plane was delayed, and she finally arrived in Miami at 3 p.m. She was exhausted but looking forward to spending time with her brothers. Unfortunately, her sister would be unable to join them.
Singing alone in God's presence is one of the most neglected aspects of personal worship. At least forty-one Psalms specifically refer to "singing praises" to the Lord. The psalmist wrote for us to sing praises almost as if it were the most important thing he could write: "Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises" (Psalm 47:6).
One Sunday night at church, I recognized that my friend was discouraged. The Holy Spirit dropped into my mind the idea to take her to lunch the next day. But immediately I recalled that I was planning to spend that day cooking for a ladies' luncheon on Tuesday. I had a Better Homes and Garden recipe selected that would take too much time to leave until Tuesday morning.
"God called me to preach," wrote Rev. Lawrence Schaper, a minister who is now in heaven. "I never, from that day to this present time, asked Him to supply any of our needs. When I was a boy working for my father, he supplied all of my needs without my asking him; now, since I have been working for my Heavenly Father, I expected Him to supply all of our needs and He did. I believed God." Such an underlying confidence that our Heavenly Father will supply both honors and pleases God.
Jewel crawled out of bed with heavy problems on her mind. On top of her list was their daughter caught in the web of an eating disorder. Two friends also had children with serious problems--one had a son in prison, the other had a 16-year-old daughter who was pregnant but not married.
Sometimes it is those small answers to prayer that mean the most to us. Rosalind Goforth relates in her book How I Know God Answers Prayer an incident that she said may seem trifling to some, but to her no answer in her life ever brought more intense relief.
When God called Ling, a Chinese girl in the 1970's, to be His messenger, she didn't own a Bible. She simply walked from village to village sharing her faith. Whenever she came to a village that owned a Bible, she would memorize verses for her next message. But she longed to have her own; she knew the people she ministered to needed to hear and understand the Word.