My 3 amazing ‘answered prayer’ experiences came in three different forms, yet were all undeniably God. He answers, we just have to listen.
There are many times we pray for things that don’t really require an actual answer from God. We either get the outcome we wanted or we don’t – for example, praying for someone be healed (they either are or they aren’t), or passing an exam, or finding the right spouse.
But I’ve had three experiences in my life where I really needed an actual answer. After asking God to help me, I received an answer in each case. They all came in very different ways, but they were all undeniably God giving me the answer I sought.
I hope my examples will encourage you to open your communication with God. If you listen, you will find Him speaking to you.
1- A Decision
The first time I made a plea to God for an answer, it was a doozy. I was in the middle of a medical crisis for my breast cancer treatment and needed to make a decision about my surgery. To make a very long story short, I was struggling with where to have my surgery. I had an appointment with my local hospital but wondered if I should explore my options at a larger hospital that was three hours from home. Family members weighed in on my decision, confusing me even more. I had the appointment at the larger hospital but had finally decided to cancel it after meeting with the local surgeon. But I was torn. Was I making the right decision? It could possibly be a life or death decision and certainly could affect whether I ended up with breasts or not. It wasn’t a decision I could take lightly.
With my appointment approaching, I finally turned to God for help. “Lord, please help me decide what to do. You know I can be dense sometimes, so please give me a big and bold answer so I’ll be sure not to miss it.”
The next day, I carried on with life as usual and got caught up in my work. It was lunchtime before I thought about my plea, then drifted back to the daily grind. A couple of hours later, my phone rang and it was my regular call from the nurse at my local hospital. Kathy had been assigned to help me navigate through my diagnosis and treatment.
My angel nurse.
As I gave her my latest update and told her some people were giving me a hard time about cancelling my consultation at the larger hospital, she stopped me in my tracks with her answer. “Why would you cancel it?” she asked. “I think that would be a bad decision. You need to go.”
Kathy was suggesting I seek a consultation at a hospital other than her own? I was astounded. “Go see what they have to say,” she said. “You want to be happy with the decision you make. No regrets.”
Talk about a big and bold answer! I hadn’t asked Kathy what I should do. I was telling her my decision. She didn’t have an ounce of hesitation as she insisted I was making the wrong choice about not getting the second opinion.
As it turned out, the consultation introduced me to a state-of-the-art surgery option that was not being performed at my local hospital and I opted for that surgery. (They have since established the procedure at the local hospital.)
After our conversation, I told Kathy that she had been an answer to my prayer and referred to her as my angel. I’m absolutely certain that her call that day was in direct answer to my prayer. Her insistence couldn’t have been more unexpected or bigger or bolder.
My sister encouraged me to write my breast cancer story to try to help other women. You can check out Losing the Girls HERE.
2- A Death
When my father passed away, I was fortunate (or unfortunate) to be present. What I hoped was to be a peaceful passing was anything but. He fought it like a warrior. “Is he a stubborn man?” the hospice nurse asked me. “You have no idea,” I said.
I watched in amazement as my father opened his cloudy, lifeless eyes long after he’d become incoherent and looked into an upper corner of the room and raised his hand. I was elated to think either my grandmother or Jesus was guiding Dad to his eternal home.
But he continued to fight for his life. Why? It haunted me for days afterward. I know someone he loved had come for him. He should have wanted to go. But he didn’t.
I couldn’t get it out of my mind.
Waiting for my answer.
I needed to know my father was enjoying the eternal peace and joy of heaven. “Please, God,” I prayed. “I need a sign that Dad’s okay.”
A couple of weeks went by and I still didn’t have my answer, although I continued to ask for it.
One day I realized I’d had a song playing on repeat in my mind for some time. You know when one gets stuck there until it almost drives you bananas?
It wasn’t a song from my era, so I only knew the refrain. But I’d been singing those few words for probably two weeks before it struck me.
“Daddy’s home. Daddy’s home. Daddy’s home to staaaaaaaay.”
I’d been singing the answer to my prayer without realizing it. “Your dad is home,” God was telling me. That’s all I needed to know.
3- A Book Plot?
The past few years I’ve been really trying to find and follow God’s will for me. Writing has been the path I’ve felt called to serve and after writing two adult books to highlight amazing women doing God’s work, I was stuck.
I had no traction on my writing and had hit a wall. I enjoyed the children’s books I’d written and my husband had encouraged me to write more. So, even though it’s one of the most competitive genres, I decided to ‘write for Jesus’ and dive into Christian picture books. It seemed to fit what I thought God wanted me to do.
A plan fell in place. I’d write books about the parables, beginning with The Good Samaritan. As I do, I plowed ahead and started plotting in my mind. The parable would serve as the foundation, but I couldn’t make the idea work.
After two weeks of brainstorming different ideas, I hadn’t found a cohesive plot. This story had existed for over two thousand years, but I still couldn’t make it work on paper.
One morning, in utter frustration, I took it to God. “God, if I’m supposed to write children’s books, I need your help, because what I’m doing isn’t working. If you want this, you have to help me.”
I actually said that prayer while I was making my morning coffee and by the time I sat down at my computer, I had a completely new book idea. The concept morphed into a storyline as I made my breakfast and by early afternoon, I saved my first draft of Heaven is Better.
The ideas continued to flow and I can’t wait to introduce Daysa the daydreamer to young Christians, beginning with Heaven is Better. And yes, The Good Samaritan is also in the line-up for Daysa’s daydreams, although I still haven’t finalized the plot!
The only way I can describe God’s answer to me is a ‘knowing’. I didn’t hear an actual voice, as some people do. I had a fleeting vision that I knew to be heaven and then the rest of the idea just trickled into my mind.
This experience was the opposite of my big and bold answer. It was soft and subtle. I know if I hadn’t been paying attention, I would have probably missed it.
The answer can come in many ways
My three heavenly questions were answered through three totally different avenues, but all were distinctly God. Mine came through another person, a song, and an idea, but God can speak to us in countless ways.
A common experience that people have is getting a message from God through a dream. Although I’ve never experienced a clear sign through a dream myself, I want to share an experience in which I was contacted by a classmate whom I hadn’t seen for eons.
Sandie knew through social media that I wrote books and she wanted to know if I could coach her as she wrote a book. During our chat, she described God’s calling for her to write about her spiritual journey – but she’d been ignoring the nudging. When she finally decided to accept the request, she was faced with a daunting task of writing a book, that she knew nothing about. She turned to God for help and that’s when she saw my face in her dream.
So, although I didn’t experience this first-hand, I know for certain that God sent Sandie to me to help her bring her story to the world. He answered both of our prayers through Sandie’s dream.
He will answer you.
These experiences inspire me to listen to God more closely, even though I’m still a work in progress. I hope they give you help and hope for opening your mind and ears so you can hear your messages from God, too.
How has God spoken to you? Let me know in the comments.