We were quite poor when I was about eight years old. We lived in a small, old log cabin in Georgia, way out in the country where you could not see or hear our closest neighbors. The house was about a fourth of a mile from the dirt road and about a mile and a half from a small store. And on this particular day we were out of food and out of money. My mom figured out just exactly what we needed and the cost, in order for the six of us to have another meal, was exactly seventy nine cents. Then she called all five of us children in and told us about our need. We all knelt while mom prayed. Then mom let us go back to our playing.
Later that day, my older brother Buford, went in the house through the open back door. (We had no screens so the doors were always open except at night or during bad weather.) As he stepped over the threshold he saw several coins lying, lined up on it. He picked them up and took them to mom. Of course she counted them immediately. Seventy nine cents, the exact amount needed immediately and the amount we all had prayed for!
At that young age I really could not grasp the truth that God hears and answers prayers and I remember that for the next several days I tried to figure out where those coins came from and how they got there. I checked all around the door, both sides and above. I thought there must be hidden treasure there some place. I never did find any more coins there, but I did find hidden treasure.
The treasure I found was learning that God does answer the prayers of His children. This incident made a great impression on my mind. It has been of great value in my life. It became a very valuable treasure hidden in my heart (Psalms 119:11). It has been like a little leavening hidden in a portion of meal (Matthew 13:33). It gave me a base on which my faith has grown over the many years since.
I thank God for a mother who believed in the great power of prayer. I think it is important to notice also the result of my mom taking the time to involve us in the need and praying with us for God to provide for our needs so that when He answered in such an undeniable way we knew that God had heard and answered that specific prayer. This was such a valuable lesson. One I have never forgotten, even after the passage of some seventy three years. This was the first miracle I can remember in my life in direct answer to prayer.
I think it was also about this time that our mom started reading the Bible to us children quite often, or maybe I just started paying more attention. I consider those times of great value. The time she spent reading to us from God’s Word developed in me an appreciation and love for the Bible. I sincerely believe that those who neglect prayer and the study of God’s Word will be overcome by the attacks of the devil. I also know that prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven’s storehouse of unlimited treasures. Therefore, through the study of God’s Word and experimental religion, I have experienced many wonderful answers to my own prayers. Past experience and a growing faith, assures me that God is not just a good friend, He is my very best friend. And He is deeply concerned with my life and is always waiting for me to call on Him. He never withholds any good thing from me (Psalms 84:11). I invite you to "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him". Psalms 34:8
If you don’t yet know that you can trust God, try this. Begin reading the Bible a little every day. I would recommend you begin reading the Gospels first: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. And be sure to spend prime time each day talking to Him as to a friend.
It is true that God will not answer your prayers unless you are ready to become a friend to Him, but one thing is for certain; you don’t have to wait until you are good enough to come to God. God knows all about your past, yet He is willing to forgive you. If you come in repentance asking Him to forgive what you have done in the past He will do exactly that. And if you are not sure you are sincere you can even ask Him to help you to be sorry and truly repent of those sins. Then He will give you a new heart and mind that will be in total harmony with His. He wants to create in you a character like His own, one that is kind and gentle, strong and pure. He invites each of us to come before His throne in prayer regardless of how bad we might have been in the past.
He asks us to come with a real sorrow for our past sins, but if you commit to let Him change you He will accept you where you are and will begin to mold you into the person He wants you to be (and the one you want to be). He wants to cause you to become kind, thoughtful, and courteous, to have a forgiving attitude toward others and to be patient and loving. He wants to develop in you that Agape love. (“Agape love” is that unconditional, self-sacrificing, parental love.)
Even though our God is an all knowing God, you need to be aware of one thing that He does not know. He does not know a better time than now for you to come and ask Him to be your friend. Now is the time to begin a new life with Him.
“Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2 ***