Written By Evi Idoghor
On Saturday, I was in church for a membership class when my pastor mentioned something that had recently become real to me. He stated that there are many things we can do to demonstrate that we are Christians, such as reading the Bible, attending church on a weekly basis, serving, and so on. However, the only way we can recognize God’s presence in our lives is to spend time praying. Prayer is our acknowledgment of God’s existence, and it usually entails asking Him to intervene in the affairs of humanity because we believe He can help.
Consider this: if you don’t spend time in prayer as a Christian, your faith and belief in God begins to wane. He doesn’t appear to be as close to you as the Bible claims. It doesn’t feel like He can actually save you from the dire situations you find yourself in on a regular basis. As a result, God appears to be a fictional character who lives in a faraway country to which you will never have access.
Recently, I’ve had some internal and external conflicts. I published an article about the difficulties I face as a writer. Regardless of the fact that I’ve accomplished a lot in my few years of doing this professionally, it hasn’t amounted to much (that was my thinking). Also, coming from an African family that value certain fields of study, I began to feel like a failure on the inside. After paying for an engineering education, I felt as if I had let my family down. “I don't want to work in that industry; I want to be a storyteller!” I said, sticking my nose in the air.
My father doesn't understand it, and whenever his wife sees me, she asks, “Are you sure you don't want to try something in education? At the very least, you can train to be a teacher in that field.” And I'm screaming in my head, “I just want to write!” However, I find myself looking forward to the financial support they generously provide me with month after month, while I stubbornly pursue my dreams, which must seem fantastical to them. You may believe this because, year after year, I find myself in the same situation, like my relationship status.
I recall. On a Tuesday in November of last year, I decided to go to the movies with some friends. While I was deep in the screenplay, one of them happened to check her phone and discovered a slew of missed calls from my brother. She showed it to me, and I immediately looked for mine, fearful that something had gone horribly wrong. I also noticed a same from him and my father. My heart started racing against the clock. When I returned the call, my father said, “I have been calling you since, where have you been?”
“I am out with my friends and didn't realize my phone was ringing.” I responded.
“You have a job interview tomorrow, and you went out with your friends?” In my mind, I asked myself, “Interview?” Aside from the fact that I had not been informed of this interview, I was not prepared to jump into Lagos roads, spending hours stuck in traffic for a job I did not want and was not qualified for. I declined the opportunity, breaking my father’s heart. And yet what was so heartbreaking for me is that almost a year later, I am still in the same situation—jobless, clientless, full of dreams but no opportunities to live them out. That prompted me to ask God for help.
I began to pray earnestly. I poured out my heart to God like never before. I needed Him to intervene like He did in the past, or at least like the stories of old we read in the Bible. I encouraged myself through scriptures like, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me? (Jeremiah 32:27), “Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture (Psalm 100:3).
Then on my extremely broke days, I remembered scriptures like, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5). “The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season.” (Psalm 145:15.)
I was wide awake on my bed at 2 a.m., unable to sleep, watching an Adele interview, which was somewhat comforting. Seeing a successful creative speak about her life experiences gave me hope that I, too, could use my God-given talents to great effect. A message appeared on my phone a few minutes into the interview. When I picked it up, I noticed it was from someone I had worked with almost three years ago, when I still had a corporate job. With a heart emoji, the message said, “You came to mind today.” I decided to respond to it at the break of dawn. In my mind’s eye, I doubted that the person knew who I was because after we finished the project we worked on, we never spoke again, even though I still remained on their email list.
I responded later that morning, which led to a phone call. When we spoke, it felt like two long-lost friends reconnected after a long absence. To spare you the lengthy details of our conversation, the true reason for our reconnection was revealed. “I saw you in my dream, and when that happens, I usually reach out to the person to see how they are and to pray for them.” I was surprised. They went on to say, “God will meet you at your point of need, and this year will end much better for you than it began. I'm not sure what you've been praying about, but please know that God remembers you.”
That was when I started to lose it. How did they find out I was in distress? How did they know I needed the year to end better than it started? If that was the end of the conversation, it was enough for me to know that God heard my prayers. But that wasn't the end of it. This person then offered me the opportunity to work with them on some major projects over the next few months. If I had any doubts about God's existence before, this completely disproved them. I'm still in awe as I write this, and I hope I never get out of it.
I wrote this lengthy piece today to encourage those who are struggling, feeling alone and as if God isn't answering their prayers. God is with you. Trust Him no matter how bleak or impossible your situation appears to be. Believe in His timing. We have no control over how and when He responds, but I can assure you that He is there, holding your hands in your darkest hours.
When a project I was working on fell through in October, I told myself, “Don't worry, God will take care of you.” And He did just that. Don't be discouraged; God knows your name, address, and contact information—He knows exactly how to reach you and who to contact to help you. His expertise spans from ordering your steps, to providing an answer just when you need it.
Everyone has a god; everyone has who they believe in and worship. But when push comes to shove, the true God is the God who sincerely answers prayers according to His will. “And you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God,” 1 Kings 18:24 says. Through this journey, God has demonstrated that He is the God of all flesh, and that nothing is too difficult for Him.
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