We are still responding to the question of whether God is real and if He answer prayers. In my last article I shared an experience of how God provided me a pair of formal shoes for a new job, when I prayed. As I pondered on that testimony, I asked myself: what are the major lessons to take away and I found three:
- People don’t have to be our first port of call when we have a problem – While there is nothing wrong with asking for help, and we know that God can bless us through others, we can take our issues to God first and allow Him resolve them in His own way.
- There is nothing too small to pray about – I prayed for a pair of shoes. Such a prayer may sound silly to someone but obviously God did not think it was silly, He answered to the detail. He even went the extra mile by giving me a brand I desired but could not afford!
- The answer to someone’s prayers may be in my hands. Sometimes you may feel an urge to do a good deed but you are unsure where that thought is coming from. I would say just go ahead and do it. For all you know, someone is praying at that time and God is nudging you in response to that prayer.
My testimony, this time, is not one of provision but protection. This incident took place in March 1996. By this time, I had stepped out of paid employment and set up on my own. Ronke and I were the pioneer staff. We always had Bible study and we prayed before we began work. This day I woke up feeling the need to fast. I think I informed Ronke and she fasted as well. We prayed and took Holy Communion. I found myself reminding the Lord of His promises in Isaiah 43:4 ‘Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.’
After work that day, I left our office in Onikan for Lekki, where I lived with my sister and brother-in-law. Lekki Phase One was then a developing and sparsely populated suburb. Our residence was an appreciable distance from any other building. We stayed in one wing of a duplex, on the other was the Landlord, Pastor Alfred, and his family. My sister and her family where away in the UK on missions work and I was alone in the house with Comfort, the house keeper. Comfort distinctly recalls that before we went to bed, I prayed for God to shield us from danger.
At about 1am, we heard voices in the compound and looked out of the window to see some 2 dozen men in army and police uniforms and fully armed with guns, machetes and other weapons. It did not take us long to figure out that they were armed robbers. We would later learn that some of them held the family next door hostage while the others came over to our side of the house.
Scared to death by what was happening, Comfort and I went into the bathroom attached to my room and locked the door. We then sat coiled up, on the floor, in a corner, praying under our breath. Our prayers seemed to be effective as the men were unable to penetrate the kitchen door, which they had been pounding at for about 30 minutes. But soon we heard a loud thud and cries of triumph from them – the door finally gave way!
Then came the stumping of many boots as they ascended the wooden stairs. Afraid Comfort would shout, I put my hand over her mouth and told her to silently call on the name of Jesus, as I was doing. We could tell they had arrived the sitting room upstairs because we heard them shake the tambourine that my brother-in-law used to make music when He was praising God. As I waited for them to enter our room and knock down the door to the toilet, many thoughts flooded my mind. I imagined us in the bath soaked in blood and I thought ‘is this the end?’ I wondered if anyone in this world had prayed for me that day. And I remember saying to myself that I was sure my father had prayed for me as he did, daily. This gave me hope. But I also told myself that I had not accomplished the assignments the Lord had given me so this could not be the end. Then I wondered how the Lord would deliver us. I had heard that usually on such operation, if the thieves don’t find booty they consider worth their effort, they get mad and kill their victims. We learnt later that those on the other side had demanded foreign exchange and valuable jewellery at the threat of killing Pastor Alfred. The family told the thieves that all they had at home was the tithes which they were taking to church that Sunday. At our end they eventually went away with the television and video player from the sitting room upstairs. Now that we knew they were upstairs, Comfort and I waited with bated breath, but praying.
We heard them go in and out of the other two rooms upstairs but they never came into the room that had the toilet in which Comfort and I hid! This is a mystery I cannot explain till today, especially when I recall that the light in my room was on and the door leading into it from the sitting room was ajar!
Next thing we knew they were calling each other out. A while later we heard voices saying ‘come out this is the police’. I told Comfort not to move. We only responded when we heard the familiar voices of the security man and Pastor Alfred.
The major lessons I take from this incident are: 1. When we get a prompting from the Lord (to pray, to fast, to give) we should obey 2. Parents should make it a habit to pray for their children and let their children know they are doing so 3. When you are in an impossible situation, you can call on God and He will deliver you.
I have put together a book of testimonies from various people and it is titled SEE WHAT THE LORD HAS DONE. Copies are available from Laterna Book Shop.
Koko Kalango is author Colours of Life devotional. She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org