Scripture Reading: Exodus 16
Want to see the hand of God at work in your life this year? Try this: take time to write down each of your prayers in a journal or on a pad of paper. Then leave some space next to each prayer so that you can come back later to record when, and how, that prayer was answered.
Within just a few weeks, you’ll begin to see how many prayers God answers on a regular basis. You’ll also see how often He answers those prayers in a way that you’ll know it was the Lord who answered them. By connecting your prayers to God’s answers, you’ll both see and know that God’s hand is at work in your life.
This is how God said He would answer the prayers of the Israelites when they cried out for food in the desert in Exodus chapter 16:
The LORD said to Moses, “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God’ ” (Exodus 16:11-12).
Starting the very next day, God gave them manna every morning and quail every night, not as the result of some natural desert phenomenon, but clearly as a result of God delivering on His promise exactly as He told them He would.
One day, God answered one of my prayers in a similarly specific way when I was praying about where God wanted me to live and minister.
I was living in Illinois at the time and had a map of the United States laying out on the table. Just out of curiosity, I closed my eyes and let my finger fall on the map. When I saw that it had landed on Dallas, Texas, I closed the map. I really wasn’t wanting to go back to Texas again, since I had just moved back to Illinois from from Texas just a few years earlier.
But later that night, as I told a friend on the phone what had happened regarding the map, my friend immediately described to me a picture that God had impressed on his mind when I said the word “Dallas.” He described a place called “The Ranch,” not the famous ranch from the old TV show “Dallas,” but a scene he had never seen before. He told me in detail about the location of the trees, the sunset, some obstacles, a dirt path, a fence, and a river by, next to which stood one solitary tree casting its shadow on the water.
My friend drew what he had seen on a piece of paper. He signed it, dated it and faxed me a copy. Vision or no vision, I still wasn’t interested in going to Texas! So I promptly forgot about it….until several months later when I got a phone call from a pastor in Dallas, Texas. He wanted to know if I would be interested in moving to Dallas to serve as the Associate Pastor at his church. I had to pull out my friend’s sketch and ask God if there was any connection between the call and my earlier prayer. It turns out there was! You can see the whole story on The Ranch website by watching the video for this lesson.
Suffice it to say we ended up moving to Dallas! Exactly one year later―to the day―I found myself standing on the bank of the river outside our new back yard, looking at a scene that had been detailed a year earlier in a drawing I now held in my hand and included the trees, the sunset, the obstacles, the dirt path, the fence, and even the solitary tree casting its shadow onto the water! To top it all off, just behind this scene was a brand new sports rehab center that happened to open that very month called, “The Ranch.” (This story was the inspiration for how I decided to call my website The Ranch!)
If you want to see the hand of God at work in your life, take time to write down your prayers―then leave room for His answers! When you make the connection between your prayers and God’s answers, you’ll begin to see clearly that the Lord really is “the LORD!”
Want to learn more? You can watch a podcast with more discussion about this topic below.