God hears us, the Bible says. But sometimes when we feel discouraged, it’s difficult to believe that’s true. Maybe that’s why Dr. Larry Ward penned these words on the last page of his Bible: “He listened and heard my cry.”
Dr. Ward gleaned this encouragement from Psalm 40:1.
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry. (NIV)
Dr. Ward, the founder of Food for the Hungry (FH), saw God answer many prayers in his ministry. He proclaimed God’s faithfulness at every opportunity. In times of discouragement, he also needed to remind himself that God answered prayer.
Maybe that’s why he wrote it in the back of his Bible. He was helping himself remember what God had done, while also looking forward to what God would do.
This year, FH is celebrating our 50 year anniversary. Each month, we are revisiting favorite verses of our late founder. And we are sharing the testimonies of today’s staff who continue to see God’s power through the verses that were special to Dr. Ward.
God Hears Wanda
If you have sponsored a child through FH, there is a good chance you have spoken with Wanda Johnson. As a Donor Engagement Representative, Wanda has spent over 19 years calling new sponsors and donors to simply thank them and ask how FH can pray for them.
When we asked Wanda about a time when God had answered her prayers, she said, “For me, it’s almost every day.”
She wasn’t exaggerating. Wanda prays for whatever needs are presented. “I never know how God might be using me,” she said. “Maybe it’s as simple as making them feel good about their decision to sponsor a child or the donation they just gave. Many times it is a request for a family member, a friend, or a difficult situation. Other times it involves what is happening to them right now.
“Many times, I know I was the one that God used to answer a prayer for someone. The presence of the Holy Spirit can be powerful.”
Not a Spam Call
Wanda shared the story of a recent conversation that almost didn’t happen. She had dialed the number of a new child sponsor. When he picked up the phone, she told him how much FH appreciated his partnership and asked if he had any prayer requests. Then there was a long pause.
“He was apprehensive and not very talkative,” Wanda said. “When he finally spoke, it was with a shaking voice.”
“Forgive me,” he said. “I’m a little overwhelmed right now. I recently lost my wife, and the one thing she always wanted to do was sponsor a child. I sponsored this child to honor her. When you called I was praying for guidance and more importantly, confirmation that I did the right thing.
“What you don’t know is that your call showed up on my phone as spam. I never, ever answer these calls, but for some strange reason, I answered your call.
“As you can imagine, I was left speechless. It’s the simple things that God uses to let us know that he is listening and answering our prayers. Your call is exactly what I was asking for in my prayer at exactly the time I asked for it.”
We Can Trust that God Hears
Can you trust God to answer your prayers in exactly the way you need, at the time He appoints as perfect? Yes! Just as he answered the prayer of this new sponsor, just as He answered Dr. Ward’s prayers through the years, and just as He answers Wanda’s prayers daily, He is eager to respond to you.
“I have had many such experiences in my years with FH,” Wanda said. “I am so blessed to be able to experience the power of prayer almost daily. And you never know when God will use you to answer someone’s prayer.”
More Blog Posts in This Series:
Does God Always Answer Public Prayer?
What Is Poverty?