Prayer is an important part of the Christian life. The disciples recognized this and asked Jesus to teach them to pray. Jesus responded to this request by providing them with “The Lord’s Prayer” found in Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4. A little later Jesus told his disciples that “…they should keep on praying and never give up” (Luke 18:1).
We need to be reminded that prayer is neither a magic wand to wave over difficult situations, nor a blank check to cover all of our needs. Nevertheless, as in the following story, God sometimes chooses to answer a prayer request in a very powerful and specific manner.
One day, a lady received an urgent phone call from her daughter. She informed her mother that she was immobilized by a very serious medical situation and was in desperate need of a certain medicine. The mother took time off work and headed for the nearest drugstore.
She quickly parked her car and had the prescription filled. Returning to the parking lot however, she discovered that she had locked her keys inside the car. In a state of panic, she called a friend for advice.
The friend told her that if she could find a piece of wire or coat hanger, she might be able to open the car door. She looked around and to her delight, found an old metal coat hanger lying on the ground, but she wasn’t able to unlock the car. In despair, she bowed her head and asked God to send her someone to help.
Almost immediately, an unshaven, rough looking man wearing a leather biker’s jacket approached her. He asked if he could help. She explained her dilemma and asked if he knew how to use the coat hanger to get into the car. He replied, “Sure”, walked over to her car, and with one slick motion had the car door open.
She hugged the man and said, “Thank you so much! You’re a very nice man.” The man replied, “Not really…I was in prison for car theft and just got out yesterday.” The woman hugged him again and with thanks in her heart and tears in her eyes, prayed, “Thank you God for sending me a professional!”
Her naivety is humorous, but the simplicity of her faith is refreshing. Possibly she knew not only the Lord’s Prayer, but also the verse preceding it – “…Your Father knows what you need before you ask” (Matthew 6:8).
— Pastor Ross Helgeton is senior pastor at Erskine Evangelical Free Church