I recently remembered something from 50 years ago. I recalled praying with my friend, Ken. We were face down in the carpet at his home in Lakeland. We were seeking the Lord together.
I heard Ken contending in faith. He was boldly claiming wealth. He used the gold in Las Vegas as a metaphor. He asked God for riches that he could use for kingdom purposes.
His words encouraged my faith. Being stirred up, I became bold. I said to myself, "I need a bigger car. Why not ask?" So, I prayed, "Lord I need a car!"
Lana and I were squeezed into a 1967 Plymouth Valiant as we drove around Florida, speaking at various home meetings and churches.
I heard the Lord speaking. He asked me, "What kind of car?"
I replied, "A mercury."
"Green." Then I quickly added, "with air-conditioning and a big trunk."
Weeks later, that prayer being forgotten, I received a call from a man in Pompano Beach. Jim and his wife hosted a prayer group in their home and owned a used car lot. He wanted me to drive down and speak that coming weekend to his group.
I agreed, then said, "I'm in need of a vehicle. Can you help me?"
"What kind do you want?" While on the phone, standing in my mother's house, I was looking out the door at her Buick. Without thinking, I said, "A Buick."
"Fine." I have what you want. Come on down. If you like the car, I'll take you to my bank."
Lana and I went down to Jim's, stayed in their home, and spoke Friday night to his group. I remember Jim remarking afterwards, "I noticed as you went around praying over each one in the group, you prayed the exact encouraging words they needed to hear." He knew the people well. I did not.
In those days I was ignorant about the gift of prophetic utterance. I'd simply prayed as I was led by the Spirit. Later I learned that "praying by the Spirit" is often a precursor to "saying by the Spirit," the charismatic gift of prophesying.
Before the meeting, Jim had taken me next door to his used car lot and showed me the car he selected for us, a brown Buick. I looked at it, cranked it up, and I said it would do nicely. We even waxed the hood of the car.
The next morning over breakfast, Jim announced that he couldn't sell me that car. He said the Lord had given him a dream and showed him something bad about the Buick. He took the car to a mechanic. Sure enough, the warning was confirmed. The car had been run hot and one of the engine's cylinders had overheated and was damaged.
"I've got another car I can sell you. Let's look it over." We went to his car lot. I liked it. Jim drove me to his bank where I signed the paperwork. Lana and I drove home that day, thankful for our comfortable vehicle.
Later, I was invited to pastor a congregation in Baton Rouge. I flew from there back to Lakeland and loaded up everything we possessed, filling up our car's back seat and spacious trunk.
A year later I'm in my office in Louisiana looking out the window, staring at my car. I realize, it's a green Mercury! It has cold air conditioning. It has a huge trunk, one my three-drawer dresser had fit into for my drive to Baton Rouge.
-- Ron Wood is a writer and minister. Email him at email@example.com or visit www.touchedbygrace.org. The opinions expressed are those of the author.Editorial on 07/31/2019
Print Headline: Asking in faith