When They Prayed
FROM THE BISHOP DAVID GRAVES   I chose the theme of our 2023 Annual Conference session, “When They Prayed,” based on Acts 4:31: “And when they had prayed, the place in which they ...
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God of the Little Things

June 26, 2017

I like God’s words to Elijah, taken from 1 Kings 17: 2-4. I like them because these words show how personal God is when it comes to our care. He told Elijah to tell the evil King Ahab that there would be no rain for three years. Then God told Elijah His plan for taking care of him during those next three years of drought.

“Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.” Did you get that? Five personal directions just for Elijah:
  1. Leave here
  2. Go east
  3. Hide
  4. Drink from the brook
  5. Eat the ravens I will send
Have you ever heard God’s guidance to you in a clear one-two direction? I have. Just this morning, I could not find the black jacket I wore last night. I looked everywhere it could be, including my car. I decided to pray. A clear one-two direction came to me: one, go back to your car, and two, look again in the back seat.

Feeling a bit silly, I went to my car and opened the back door. No jacket. I looked on the floor. There it was, blending in so perfectly with the black floor mats that I missed it the first time. I love it when our mighty God touches me in those seemingly little things that matter only to me. I located one of my Bibles that way years ago. “Go back to your room. Open the bottom of that small wash stand.” There it was!

Here are three ways to learn this kind of talk and talk back method.
  1. Personal Communication: Pray this prayer: “Lord, order my steps. If I am going the wrong way, show me.” He tells us in His word, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” (Isaiah 30:21)  
  2. Purposeful Listening: Actively seek God’s direction. He speaks in a variety of ways. If we plan how we think He will speak, it won’t happen like that. Allow our marvelously creative God to be creative with you. With purposeful listening, you will give God plenty of time to talk back. It takes practice since most of us are used to doing all of the talking.
  3. Personal Talking: Start talking to Him when you first awake and have a running conversation with Him as you go about your day. This happens with me a lot as I grow older. “Lord, I know you know where my glasses are. Please help me.” He always does.
 I’m glad He is God, not only of the big things, but also of the little. Aren’t you?

The Rev. B.J. Funk, associate pastor of Central UMC in Fitzgerald, has written a book with 50 devotionals on grief based on her personal experience. “Grief is not a Permanent Condition: 50 Devotionals to Help You Through the Grieving Process” points the reader to Jesus and the hope found in Him. Visit www.bjfunkgrief.com for more information and to order. Email Rev. Funk at bjfunk@bellsouth.net.

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