Understanding How God Answers Prayer

One night I was unable to sleep, so I began reading a book on prayer. The author stated how simple true prayer is, and Yolanda (name changed) came to mind. Yolanda had come to a few of our Nav gatherings and we started meeting to read the Bible together. The author said that God designed helplessness as a necessary component of prayer; I wrote “Yolanda” in the margins.

The next morning, I headed to campus to meet with Yolanda.

“I was thinking about you last night,” I said. “I started this book called Prayer. It was written by a pastor imprisoned in a concentration camp during World War II for his opposition to Nazi Germany. Let me read you a part …”

Yolanda listened and then we talked openly about faith, doubt, and the Gospel. She was beginning to realize that her obstacles to Jesus weren’t really obstacles.

After another time reading the Bible together, I asked her, “So, what is holding you back?”

“I’m not sure,” responded Yolanda. “It seems so big, it feels like there is so much I don’t know … I would really like to finish reading John first.”

So, after we read the last chapter of John I asked Yolanda, “What do you think about the conversation between Peter and Jesus—why you do think that John would end this book with their conversation?”

“I guess because that’s what we all have to decide. In the end, it doesn’t matter who told you or what others think but what you personally think about following Him.”

“So what do you think?” I asked.

“I still don’t know the answers to some questions,” said Yolanda, “but, I do want to follow Him.”

That night, a newcomer to our group asked Yolanda about her involvement. She told him she had just finished reading John. “So would you call yourself a Christian?” he asked.

“Yes, I am,” she said.

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