by Stan Hudson who served as a Seventh-day Adventist pastor for 38 years and is currently the Director of Creation Ministries at the North Pacific Union Conference
In national polls taken in America, the vast majority of respondents answered the question of whether their prayers had been answered with “Yes!” Answered prayer is perhaps the most meaningful personal evidence that there is a God. That’s why it is so important to pray regularly and with specific enough requests as to make answers obvious. We need to remember that it is in God’s own interest to answer the needs of His people, so that their faith would grow.
There have been three huge prayers with answers that I’ve had in my life.
“Back in the day,” as my son Daniel thinks I lived, I was a cowboy-loving kid in Los Angeles. For one birthday I received a cowboy outfit complete with plastic bullet-shooting six guns. This was back in the day when the world didn’t freak out about playing with guns, of course. In my playing I dropped a silver, plastic bullet into our short dichondra grass. But, where did it go? It should be straight down, I thought, and very easy to see. I sure didn’t want to lose some of my birthday gift. I panicked a bit; what would Mom and Dad say? So I remembered there was this Jesus person you could pray to (we didn’t go to church). I knelt down and said, “Dear Jesus, please help me find my bullet!” I opened my eyes and it was there in front of me, right where I had looked and looked. I closed my eyes and said “Thank you!” My bullet was found.
A couple of years later my Mom told me, “Daddy isn’t coming home anymore.” I cried and cried. Then I prayed to Jesus, Who had answered my prayer before: “Please send Daddy home!” But Dad didn’t come home. I knew things were complicated and I remember I didn’t disparage Jesus, but obviously the answer was “I can’t do that.” But because of Mom’s concerns for my sister and I, she put us in a Christian (Adventist) school.
Years passed until the next serious prayer. I was not a Christian, and I was living in a bachelor pad in Riverside, California with a good buddy David Friend. We were full time employees at two local McDonalds. One night we had a party with McD folks, ending up with Dave, a young lady and I going to a Dennys restaurant at 3:00 in the morning. The talk suddenly turned serious as we reviewed our lives and where we seemed to be going…which seemed like nowhere. We started talking about changing things, then David added “and let’s look for God.” Seriously? The next day he asked me to borrow my Bible. After some searching I found my children’s Bible and he started reading it. Then, I did, too.
The moment came for prayer #3. I knelt by my bed (that’s where you’re “supposed to pray”), and simply asked, “Dear God, it looks like David and I are looking for you. Will you help us? Amen.” The answer was YYYEEEESSSSSS!!! And it still is….