I went to dinner with some girlfriends a few weeks ago, and during the drive home one of them said to me,
“Pray about what you want, Joy. I think you already know what you want, but you just need to take the steps to get there. Pray, and ask God to lead you and to provide. Pray and he will give you the next step.”
She said it with such confidence; the confidence of a woman of faith, the confidence of a woman who had experience of God providing for her.
I knew, as she said those words, that she was right. I was relying too much on myself and I lacked the confidence to get myself out of the situation I was in and into a better one. But she knew (and deep down inside, I knew) that I was capable… I just needed help. And if there was going to be one person who could definitely help me, it was God.
God has never failed me. Every time I have asked, he has always provided. Do I always get what I ask him for? No way. But he always – and I really do mean always – gives me what I need.
So I took my girlfriend’s advice and started to pray.
That’s not to say I wasn’t praying before, but if I’m honest with myself, my prayers were pretty… half-hearted. They were routine. Habitual. General. They weren’t from the heart. Yes, I prayed about keeping my family and loved ones safe and healthy. I prayed for peace in our home and in our country. I prayed for friends and their intentions, and for a good night’s rest and for the time to get the things we needed done.
I knew something had to change. For my prayers to be answered, I needed to mean them. I needed to pray with intention. I needed to pray with purpose. And I needed to pray with faith.
So I did.
I started to get specific. I started to pray about my future, and for the dreams I have for myself, my husband and my son. I sat down one afternoon shortly after that dinner and told God what had been on my mind in the past few weeks – nay, months – and asked for his help.
And you know what happened? He started helping me.
Doors started opening. Opportunities presented themselves – from workmates, family members and friends I hadn’t been in contact with for years. The “next step” my friend had so confidently promised that God would provide became an entire staircase. That staircase is growing every day. And it is leading me out of my rut and into the place where I need and want to be.
I just want to be clear here, that God didn’t hand the answer to my prayer in a prettily wrapped gift box, ready for me to open and enjoy. Like Noah with the Ark and David with Goliath, there are things I need to build myself and giants I have yet to conquer. But like Noah and David I now know who I have on my side, and I know his power and love for me. With God’s help and his care I will climb this staircase… step by step.