Living on a Prayer

Jehovah Jireh…the Lord Will Provide.

This has been our story for over a year now. Actually, it’s been our story our whole lives, but we haven’t recognized it, not really, until this past year.

I honestly didn’t think that this kind of living was possible, where you pray and God provides either the money or the means. I mean, I always knew He provided little things along the way, but not like this.

I wouldn’t call it living by faith so much, because truly at times I had none. I feel like I spent much of the year walking around in angry confusion. I fought hard against being truly dependent on Him.

A year ago, If  I had been told that we would still be living like this, I would have laughed and cried and maybe thrown a fit or something. Believe me, I’ve thrown many along the way…fits, that is. Many have been aimed at Jeff, but the One I’m really fighting with is God.

That’s what it comes down to. I don’t really want to admit that, but there it is. If I really believe that He is in control of everything, He could have fixed this for me, and He’s done the opposite. He’s gone after the very idols I clung to and has ripped them away. Greed. Security. Safety.

I recently read a book about George Muller, and I was astounded at the way Muller lived His life, praying about everything and allowing God to lead him.

Muller ran an orphanage for the children in England in the 1800’s and trusted that God would provide for his needs and also the children’s needs (some 10,000 children over the course of his life). One lady in England said that praying and trusting God to supply all their needs wasn’t the way that they did things in England.

Muller never had an income, and he never asked anyone for money. Sometimes, they were barely scraping a meal together, and sometimes they didn’t have anything at all, but Muller prayed, and God always showed up.

I read his story, and his story spurs me on to replace all my worries and all my fears with prayer.

This year, our own bank account would be at nothing, and we wouldn’t have any way of paying the next bill or buying food, and someone would show up at our door with money or food that Abba had told them to give us. We would pray for specific amounts of money, and that amount of money would be supplied. This didn’t just happen once or twice but many times over the last year.

We fought this way of life (depending solely on God)  for a long time, but around October, we decided that we would stop with the strategies of trying to figure out how to earn our own way and just listen to the Holy Spirit and that we would walk through whatever doors He opened…kind of like surrender…kind of like allowing Him to lead….

“The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him.  Doing things for God is the opposite of entering into what God does for you.”

Resistance has come when I don’t want to follow Him, because I don’t know where He’ll take me…and that’s been the scary part. Still is.

But the more I read in the New Testament about following Jesus, it seems to be about being dependent on Him and allowing Him to work through me…through all of us.

I guess He knows that I become too dependent on things and paychecks that come in regularly, rather than Him. This is a lesson that has been hard for me to learn and one that I’m still learning daily.

Along the course of this year,  He’s brought odd jobs and ministry stuff for Jeff and then has taken some things away and has brought other things along to take their places.  Sometimes these things pay; sometimes they don’t. It doesn’t really matter though. He has always provided what we needed at the time.

One morning as I was lying in bed, I was stressing out about the opportunities my children might be missing out on because of the way we’re living. And then I was reminded, that Abba is also supplying for them what they need as well.

The coolest thing is that our kids are seeing our prayers answered. Real, tangible prayers that acknowledge our complete dependence on Him and Him alone.

Even with everything that Abba has supplied,  I find that I often come back to the children of Israel in the wilderness because I feel like I am so similar to them…whooping it up when God provides and then quickly turning  around and whining, “I need, I need.” 

They all ate and drank identical food and drink, meals provided daily by God. They drank from the Rock, God’s fountain for them that stayed with them wherever they were. And the Rock was Christ. But just experiencing God’s wonder and grace didn’t seem to mean much—most of them were defeated by temptation during the hard times in the desert, and God was not pleased. The same thing could happen to us. We must be on guard so that we never get caught up in wanting our own way as they did. (I Cor. 10)

Depending solely on Abba hasn’t been easy. Far from it. It has been wilderness living for sure, and I have been defeated time and time again, but I don’t want that to be the story of my life. I want my life to point to Him and His goodness…His faithfulness.


Jeff said to me just the other day, “What if we never run out? What if we always have enough?

That being said, we’ve seen how God truly provides what we need, maybe not what we think we need, but what we actually need.

A while back, my fourteen year old said, “I really like living this way.”

My response, “Whoa. I wish I could say that all the time.”

Living on a prayer…

This goes against what our culture tells us we have to do in order to live the good life. But I think, in all honesty, I am living the good life, and it’s not what I thought it was…


6 Responses to “Living on a Prayer”

  1. March 22, 2011 at 11:48 am

    I just happened to stumble upon your post today and was really truly blessed! There have been times that we have gone through exactly what you are going through! Transitions in ministry leading to uneployment for a period of time… and feeling like you can never “win”. But looking back on those times we know that we were “winning” the whole time because every single one of our needs were met during that time! How great a God to supply ALL our needs 🙂

    Thank you for sharing your heart!!

  2. 2 Kirby Myers
    March 22, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Great insights! Been experiencing similar myself. Retired in ’07; watched the economy crash in ’08 and my 401k vanish by ’10; lost the investment property I had been counting on as well. Jobs? Few and far between, but through it all God is faithful! He has provided our NEEDS!

    There has been stress in the home, as this is a radically different approach to “making a living.” Watching for God to open doors and willingly walking through them is exhilarating! Going from a career with above national average income, to taking any work at minimum wage, is not what we Americans anticipate as “retirement!” But I have experienced the peace that comes from seeing His promises fulfilled.

    I’m left contemplating the place of “planning” for the future. Someone said recently, God makes plans and expects us to do the same. OK, but that does not negate “set your affections on things above, not on things on this earth.” Nor has He changed: “Take no thought for what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, or what you shall put on. Your Father knows that you have need of these things… Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Planning without worry… focus on heaven, not this life. Now there’s a well thought out career map!

    Might as well enjoy the ride!

  3. 3 shelg
    March 23, 2011 at 5:17 am

    Love to hear your words and your story since I can’t live right beside ya 🙂 The wrestle is so familiar, thanks for sharing! Love you guys much!

  4. 4 meesha
    March 23, 2011 at 8:41 am

    there is a significant difference between “the” good life and “a” good life…

  5. 5 bethany
    March 25, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Your words are so profound and insightful! The realm of it all surfacing so many areas — from our dependence and security, to society’s “ways”, to our belief in God, and our “believing” God — believing that He fulfills our prayers. I am so blessed to know you. I am reminded that in my own little rat race, there is a bigger Purpose that I should be following, and relying on, and believing. Thank you for sharing your heart all ways. I love you!

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