I've been a firm believer and participant in prayer ever since I was a small child and found out one day in church that Jesus could stop me from having nightmares if I asked Him. I found out at that very young age that He does indeed answer my prayers. I stopped being afraid to go to sleep because He did stop the nightmares when I began to ask Him every night before I went to bed. Eventually, I no longer had to ask Him every night and the nightmares just never returned again. Well, since then I've learned that no prayer is too large or too small for God. He loves to answer our prayers, especially when our prayers cause us to draw closer to Him.
Since we've been in Mozambique, I've actually begun to appreciate and experience prayer much more than I ever have before. Mainly, it's because I realized how much God loves me and how much He so desires to bring His kingdom to me. He says in Luke 12:32, "Do not fear little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Some years ago, I read that scripture and almost began to cry as I realized how much God loves to bring pleasure to His children through His kingdom promises. I realized that not only does He love to bring us such kingdom promises as joy, peace, and love; but that He also loves to bring us things that just make us happy! In His kingdom, there is no lack of anything. He enjoys it when we have no lack of happiness!
Having said all of that, let me share with you some highlights of prayers answered since we've been in Lichinga...
I have a habit of whipping up sweet treats whenever we get short term visitors here. I usually pray while making the treats asking God to bless them so that the visitor(s) would enjoy them. Once, I quickly made some peanut butter fudge forgetting my prayerful habit because I was in such a hurry to get it done. When all was finished, I tasted it and it was absolutely horrible! The confectioner's sugar I used had been stored in a container along with some very strong spices and the fudge tasted like a mixture of all of them! I told myself that it was because I had forgotten to pray over it while making it and I quickly asked God to "heal" the fudge. The next morning, I put the fudge on the table and gave a disclaimer about it's taste because of the flavor of the spices. I explained that I didn't have time or ingredients to make more, so "what you see is what you get". When someone mentioned to me that they thought the fudge tasted great, I decided to try it again. It was perfect! There was no more spice in the fudge! God had answered my prayer and "healed" the fudge! Silly of me to pray and not have expected God to answer!
During the rainy season here, rats usually have a tendency of finding their way into our home. Last January, when Tyren was going to be away in Tanzania for a couple of weeks, I prayed that God would prevent any rats from coming in while he was away so that I wouldn't have to deal with them by myself. Well, God prevented those rats from coming into our house for almost a whole year! We just got "our" first rat last week since that prayer! I should have asked God to prevent rats from ever coming into our house again! Maybe that's what I'll do now...
Another nuisance of the rainy season is that flying termites also find their way into our home at night when they spy any little speck of light coming from the house. They usually manage to make their way in through spaces in the roof. Usually, when they start coming in at night, we just decide to turn out the lights and go to bed under our mosquito nets. Making sure the house is dark seems to be the only way to keep them from getting in. Or, so we thought! Last week, when they started flying in, Tyren put up one of those sticky fly papers (that we brought back from the U.S.) so that they would get caught on it. It was pretty early in the evening and I wasn't looking forward to going to bed yet, but figured that we'd better or else the sticky paper would soon fill up with unfortunate flying termites. Minutes passed by and it seemed that only a few of them had gotten stuck to it. We didn't see any others flying around or landing on the counter, floor, or anywhere else, either. I mentioned to Tyren that they had stopped coming in for some reason and was wondering if the ones that had gotten stuck had some way of communicating to the ones outside on the roof ready to come in, that there was a danger ahead. Then Tyren told me that he had prayed and asked God to keep them from coming in. Wow! I wish we had thought of that when it first happened to us two years ago!
Well, I actually have a list of at least 5 other answered prayer highlights, but I think I have to stop here to avoid making this blog into a book!