“A Georgia teenager wrote a letter to God and then sent it to the clouds attached to helium balloons – and was shocked this week when she received a response,” reported Michael Foust in ChristianHeadlines.com
“The 18-year-old teen girl, Mykehia Curry,” Foust wrote, “was inspired to write a letter to God about her financial situation. She is planning to attend college.”
“God help me go to college. God this is me again, please help me get everything I need to leave Wednesday. I love you, Amen,” the letter read, according to WMAZ-TV.
Curry will be the first person in her family to attend college, as she heads to Albany State. However, she was lacking some basic supplies that she needed and decided to write a letter to God, attaching it to three balloons and sending it airborne.
According to the article, Curry never thought it would be read by anyone. However, Jerome Jones, a part-time preacher, found the letter Monday on a construction site and decided to help.
“It was God calling me saying, ‘You need to answer this,’ and I did,” Jones told WMAZ.
“It was beautiful. It’s kind of hard to explain,” Jones said. “She was like, ‘Is this mine for real?’ and I said, ‘It’s yours. God answers prayers. I like helping people, especially young people. They’re our future.”
This is a sweet story with a happy ending. However, it prompted me to think a bit about the Bible teaching on prayer.
The Bible teaches us to pray. Jesus said so in his parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18. “Men ought always to pray and not lose heart.” On another occasion, the disciples requested, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Lk. 11:1). And so Jesus gave them a model of prayer, often called “The Lord’s prayer.”
Furthermore, we can be assured that God “hears the prayer of the righteous” (Prov 15:29). God hears. God cares. And God answers. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (Jas 5:16).
Prayer, however, is not wishful thinking. It is not a “pie in the sky,” approach to our problems. It is not false optimism. It is not a desperate, whimsical attempt to get God’s attention. It is not an exercise in futility. It is not releasing letter laden balloons into the air with little hope that it will make any difference.
The Bible says that prayer should be based on belief. Faith in God. Faith that God will hear and answer. The inspired writer James expressed it this way.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (Jas 1:5-8).
God’s answer is not always “yes.” It may be “no.” Or it may be “wait a while.” Prayer is God’s prerogative. Walton Weaver was right when he wrote: “Prayer and the terms upon which God has promised to answer prayer have not been established by man…There are conditions to be met if prayer is to be acceptable to Him.”
Among those conditions is that prayer must be according to the will of God. When Jesus taught the disciples to pray to God it was “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10) In the garden Jesus prayed, “not my will, but your will be done” (Lk.22:42). The only thing I know for sure about the will of God is what is revealed in His Word.
How God works in His providence is not always apparent. We see it in the lives of Bible characters. But as Paul Earnhart once remarked, “Providence can only be understood retrospectively.”
This story is a reminder that God can use people to accomplish His purpose. We are put here to serve others. Minister to their needs. And do good as we have the opportunity. Maybe you are the answer to someone else’s prayer.
Whether we totally understand God’s power or not as He works in prayer, the words of Martin Luther remind us that “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman