Our son Caleb (9), talked regularly with his friend, Sota* at school about God and salvation and prayed fervently that he would become a Christian. When the school was suddenly closed in 2020 due to coronavirus, we made the decision to homeschool, and Caleb lost touch with his friend. But he continued to pray for Sota every day.
I couldn’t believe it when one day Sota turned up at one of our church clubs. I literally couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw him there.
I talked with a fellow missionary about what had happened and felt challenged. Why was I so surprised that God had answered our prayers and reconnected Caleb with his friend? Did it show my lack of faith that God would answer our prayers?
I think missionary work in Japan can be quite discouraging. It sometimes seems like God isn’t answering our prayers so, when something does happen, we can feel surprised. However, there are many verses in the Bible that remind us that God always hears and answers our prayers, for example “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14 NIV) and “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry” (Psalm 34:15 NIV).
Sometimes God says yes, sometimes he says no, and sometimes he says not yet. But God always hears and he always answers.
So, what should my response have been when I saw Caleb’s friend at church? I should have responded with joyful thankfulness, not surprise. It’s a reminder to me to pray with joy, thankfulness, and humility—knowing that God always hears our prayers and will answer according to his perfect will.
By Sarah, an OMF missionary