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A Mysterious Prayer

posted Apr 6, 2010, 12:58 PM by Elisa Lui   [ updated Apr 6, 2010, 9:08 PM ]

February 2008

I believe in miracles. I believe miracles happen even in today’s era and not just during the biblical times. Some days, the miracles are in the smallest details of our lives. Other days, God’s touch reaches my core. Monday, February 25, 2008 was such a day.

It all began last November. I was hungry to listen to God's voice, and started reading books like He Speaks to Me and Discerning the Voice of God. As I mediated on them, I began to ask God to bring me close to HIM so that I can hear HIS voice clearly and distinctly. That led me to spend more time in listening rather than asking in prayers. And then, something unexpected happened.

As I commuted home the week before Thanksgiving, two names popped into mind: Amy and Gary (not their real names). It was strange that I would suddenly remember these two classmates from UC Berkeley. The last I heard about them was probably in 2000 when a friend told me about their wedding. As I sat on the train, I closed my eyes and began to pray. I figured that God wanted me to pray for them, but what was I supposed to pray for? So, I asked the Holy Spirit to reveal to me what I was supposed to pray about.

It was then my heart began to feel the agony of a broken heart. As I continued to pray for the Holy Spirit to console them, tears started rolling down my cheeks. While crying during prayers was not a strange phenomenon for me, it was the first time that I cried when praying for someone that I haven't seen for so long.

When I got home, I dug up my old phone book. There, I found a number for Gary. I called, but the number was disconnected. I called again, but the number was still disconnected (doesn't hurt to try, right?). So, I knelt beside my bed and started praying again.

I didn't think much about this incident in the following months. Then the week before Chinese New Year (February 7, 2008), I went to the postal office to mail my greeting cards. After I finished, I decided to go to the ATM machine before heading back to the office. Just as I turned on the corner of Sutter and Kearny, right in front of my eyes were Amy and Gary holding hands and crossing the street! At that moment, I remembered my prayers and my attempt to find them. I literally ran to them. (Fortunately, they still recognize me; otherwise, it would have been quite embarrassing.) After the normal greetings, I was desperate to know how they were doing. They told me that everything was great and they were just going to shop for ski jackets for their two kids. While I was happy to know that their lives are going well, I secretly wondered whether I mistakenly interpreted the call from the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, I told them that I have been trying to find them and asked them for their phone numbers.

When Amy and I got together for lunch, she began to tell me the story behind the mysterious prompting of the Holy Spirit back in November. Gary was laid off from his job last October. Trying to be a supportive wife, Amy made a conscious effort to be optimistic. Not only did she not complain, she always told Gary that a better job would come along. Gary sent out resume after resume, but there was no reply. As the weeks passed by, it became increasingly difficult for Amy to maintain her optimism. She began to worry about the mortgage and the cost of raising two young children. Originally, they were planning to sell their condo and purchase a house to give the kids more room to grow up. With Gary's unemployment, not only did this plan seem doomed, she wasn't even sure how long they could stay in the condo before their savings were depleted. Not wanting to burden her husband, Amy kept the mounting anxiety to herself until one night close to Thanksgiving, she just broke down on the floor crying to God. She didn't know what to do. She was desperate for God's intervention.

Gary started his new job after five months of unemployment. However, God did more than just provide Gary a job -- God allowed both Amy and I to experience HIM in the process. Amy grew in her faith, and I experienced a far more practical lesson in hearing God’s voice than I ever anticipated.

"For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him." -- 2 Chronicles 16:9