Surprised By God

Corrie ten Boom tells a simple but profound story illustrating ways in which God answers prayer:

When she was incarcerated in a prison camp, one day she caught a severe cold and was distraught because she had no handkerchief. She told her sister Betsie, who was a prisoner with her, that she desperately needed a  handkerchief, and said "What can I do?" Betsie responded "You can pray!" When she saw that Corrie's only response was a patronising smile, Betsie took matters into her own hands and prayed, "Father, Corrie has a cold and has no handkerchief. Will you please give her one? In Jesus' name. Amen.

Soon after this, Corrie heard her name called. At the window was a friend who worked in the prison hospital. She handed Corrie a little package, which Corrie opened and was astounded to find a handkerchief! "Why did you bring this?" Corrie asked her friend. "How did you know I had a cold?"

"I had no idea," her friend said. "But while I was folding handkerchiefs in the hospital, a voice in my heart said, "Take one to Corrie ten Boom."

Corrie ten Boom's comment was: "What a miracle! Can you understand what that handkerchief told me at that moment? It told me that in heaven there is a loving Father who hears when one of his children on this very small planet asks for an impossible little thing - a handkerchief. And that heavenly Father tells one of his other children to take a handkerchief to Corrie ten Boom."

This story - recounted in Peter Wagner's book "Praying with Power" - reminds us of the power of prayer as evidenced when we bring our requests before God, and listen to God that he may direct our steps. Not only bringing requests, but listening to see whether God wants us to be part of an answer.

November 16, 1997
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