I love living in a world full of surprises with a God who knows our hearts. This story is just one of many reasons why!
Our team visited the town of Bognor, in England, to do some ministry there. Two of us were walking around together looking for someone to stop and talk to. We saw a homeless man sitting by the side of one of the shops smoking a cigarette, so we decided to go and sit with him. After introducing ourselves we spoke for some time and had a great conversation. He told us that he was a Christian but didn’t say too much about his faith. While we were chatting, James, a friend whom we had met through a local church, walked by on his way to work. We introduced him to our new friend but he was unable to stay long and soon went on his way. At the end of our conversation, we asked if there were any specific things he’d like prayer for.
He replied that he simply wanted things to get better for him, especially with Christmas just around the corner.
We prayed for him before continuing on down the street.
A few days later, we attended a home group at the church where we had met James. As James was leaving he asked, “Hey, when you prayed for that man, did you pray for his cigarette addiction?” We told him we hadn’t, we’d just prayed for things to get better. James went on to tell us that
a few days earlier the man had stopped him on his way to work and told him that since we had prayed for him he hadn’t desired a single cigarette!
Not only that but James told us he was really inspired by our willingness to stop and talk to anyone and how he wants to talk more with this man and others. We’ve tried going back to find him and ask about it ourselves, but we haven’t found him yet however we will keep looking!
It is amazing how God knows exactly what our lives need.
Even when we ask for simple things, like for life to take a turn for the better, he knows how to interpret our heart.
I believe God knew one thing which would really push this man in the right direction was healing him from his cigarette addiction. God is constantly reminding me of what it means to wait in a place of expectancy versus expectations. Don’t even try to picture what God will do, because it will almost never be how you imagined. We may not know how He will work, but we can know His heart is for us.
by Grace Matteson
YWAM World Explorer DTS student