When God Cracks the Curtain on Our Prayers

Are you ever been surprised when prayer works? 

When I was a little girl, my grandmother taught me to pray whenever I heard a siren. “Fire trucks, police cars, and ambulances mean someone needs help,” she’d say, “so always say a prayer.” I took her words to heart and have prayed for people who need ambulances and fire trucks all my life. I taught my daughters to do the same. Now I’m teaching my grandchildren. 

They were visiting one evening recently. Caroline (4), Andrew (2), and I were sitting on the front porch. A storm was brewing, and we could hear thunder to our west. Conscious that children are often frightened by thunder and lightning, I used the coming storm as a teaching opportunity. 

“We don’t have to be frightened by thunder. It’s just warm and cold air bumping together and making noise. But we do have to respect lightning. You never want to be out in the open during a storm.” 

As if on cue, a bright light crackled in the distance. More thunder rumbled. Then, over the noise, we heard a different sound—high pitched and urgent. Caroline recognized it first. 

“That’s a ambulance, Gigi.” 

Another insistent wail joined the first. Then another. And another. 

“And those are fire trucks,” I said. “We’d better pray for the people who need them.” We closed our eyes and prayed. “Dear Jesus, please be with the people who need the fire trucks and the ambulance. We don’t know who they are, but you do. Help them be okay. And keep the firemen safe, too.” 

“And if the people don’t know Jesus . . .” Caroline added, opening one eye and looking at me to finish the familiar prayer. 

“. . . send someone to tell them about you. In Jesus name we ask, Amen.” 

We went inside, ate dinner, and settled down to play Candy Land when my daughter glanced at her phone. “Oh no!” she said. “There’s a house on fire in our neighborhood.” Clicking and swiping for a closer look at the news photo, she quickly determined it wasn’t their house. We all breathed a sigh of relief. 

But then our thoughts went to the family whose home was on fire. 

“Caroline!” I said. “Remember the sirens we heard? Those fire trucks must have been on their way to your neighborhood. Maybe the house was struck by lightning. I’m so glad we prayed for them.” 

Later we learned that the family, including the cat, escaped with no injuries. 

Many times when God prompts me to pray, I never find out what the outcome is. I offer my prayers in faith, blindly. I seldom know the situation, the need, or the person for whom I’m praying. I just pray, trusting that God, who knows all the details, will apply my prayers as needed. 

Last week, however, was a different story. For whatever reason, God cracked the curtain on my prayers. Maybe it was to grow my faith. Or perhaps to grow my grandchildren’s. 

Regardless, I’m even more committed to praying for fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars. School buses, city buses, and the neighbors who drive down my street. For people walking by, coworkers in my office, and the children who attend the nearby school. 

Who knows how God wants to use my prayers? 

Who knows how He wants to use yours? 

If you ever wonder if God hears you when you pray, rest assured. He not only hears you, it was His idea to prompt you to pray in the first place. 

“It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24 NKJV).

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  1. Compassion for others. What a wonderful lesson to pass onto your children and grandchildren. Thanks for making this ol' "Grich's" heart grow three sizes this morning.

    1. Somehow, it always seems to be the simplest lessons that are most profound. It's a privilege to pass along my Granny's training to the newest generation. Blessings to you, J.D.!

  2. Anonymous3:15 PM

    About twenty years ago I started praying for a coworker who always had a story of his time at the bar the night before. He came to Christ a year or so later and about a year after that he moved to the middle East to be a missionary. Now I hear about many people in Iran coming to know Christ and I wonder is that because of my former coworker? Is it possible that God allowed me to be a part of someone in Iran finding Jesus? It just proves to me how much more I need to pray for the people around me and around the world

    1. I LOVE THIS! Yes! Wouldn't this be just like God to use simple prayer and a tender heart to light the spark that ignites a country to come to Christ? Thank you so much for sharing. I'm praying now for the believers in Iran. And for you, dear friend. Keep praying. Keep sharing.


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