There are times, though we know clearly the teaching of the Word of God, we are still unable to discern whether we are right or wrong about our response towards a particular issue.
As we seek God for wisdom in the first instance, we will not be disappointed. He had promised in James 1:5 that He will give generously without reproach.
Once, my wife was particularly disturbed about the long corporate prayer in church and had this feeling that the person who prayed was not really sincere in her prayer and deliberately prayed long prayers to impress the congregation. I did not want to make any similar judgment immediately. Firstly, I might err in having a critical spirit on such an important worship as corporate prayer. Secondly, I might hurt my wife by disagreeing straightaway if it turned out it was really so. In Matt 6:5, our Lord did mention that there could be hypocrisy in prayer by loving to stand and pray in synagogues to be seen by others.
I prayed on a Saturday as we would be hearing this long corporate prayer during worship service the next day. I wanted to know if my wife could really discern the hypocrisy or we were overly critical. After finishing my prayer, I turned on the TV. I saw Mr Ron Atkinson (aka Mr Bean) in front of the computer typing this question : “What is the difference between praying in the church and praying in a casino ?” The reply came back from the computer : “In the casino you really mean it.”
Here is another episode of how God answered my prayer with such unique circumstances.
I was disturbed by the malice of the lay leader and his wife, who was a choir leader, against some brothers in church a decade ago. I had no choice but to bring up to higher leadership in the denominational church. As I was about to meet the leadership over this matter, I prayed the day before whether I should simply ignore the whole matter or should I stand on justice.
I could not sleep whole night thinking about how the discussion would go. Would the leadership try to cover up as it would be embarrassing for the church ? Would I be portrayed as a troublemaker ? Did I err in suspecting them of malice ?
At 3 am which I should be sleeping, I turned on the TV and switched to the Crime and Investigation channel. An episode of the Top 10 Crimes – the BTK Killings – was about to start.
What a surprise ! I hardly watch crime stuff. This crime was about a serial killer who was the president of the church council of a Lutheran church and his wife was the choir leader. What a coincidence. The crime came to be known as BTK as the serial killer, Dennis Rader, described how he bound (B), tortured (T) and killed (K) his victims deliberately challenging the police. He went into hiatus when his children were born and he was really a good father. He was only caught later in his 70s when he felt he would not have the strength to commit another crime later. The court granted his wife immediate divorce upon conviction to protect her from possible mental health problem. He was a good husband, good father and a good church leader all this while. Unbelievable !
But I got my answer to my prayer – human hearts are deceptively wicked – and I was right about the malice of the lay leader and his wife. In my discussion with the higher leadership, I told them to read up the BTK killing crime. Later the lay leader and his wife left the denominational church when their malicious acts were exposed.
If I did not turn on the TV at the right time, I would not have watched this similar crime episode.
Surely these are not coincidences. These are God’s specific answers to my prayers. Praise the Lord for His divine guidance always.