My Personal Testimony & Answered Prayers
by Jeffrey L Girling
I’m starting this page to share with the reader my own personal experiences with the Lord, in hopes it might encourage faith in prayer and faith in the Lord to answer prayer. I also have had my own ups & downs in life, and I don’t want to give the impression that life has been hopping from one mountain top to another mountain top or glory to glory, because I have been through some real tough emotional times in my life, and I have questioned my faith in God several times, but the one thing I could never deny was the fact, that God answered my prayers, which is one reason I believe in God today. (I will be sharing with you some of my ups & downs on this page, but first I’ll start where my first experience with God began.
I had my first experience with the Lord in 1969, when I was only 19 years old. I didn't know one verse in the Bible then, except John 3:16, which a Pastor put in my hand when I was 14 years old, then he said: "If I can't teach you anything else, then at least let me give you this one verse, and I pray you'll never forget it." I didn't!
The thing was: I didn't even know what John 3:16 meant until one day when I was 19 years old. I was all alone in this room, so I was very bored, so I looked for something to read, but all I could find was a 500 page Bible Story Book. I read all the Old Testament stories up to where the New Testament stories began. I then put the book down for the night, because I was tired and it was late.
The next day I skipped the book and grabbed a New Testament Bible from the shelf, and I read the whole New Testament from cover to cover. So you might say I gained a basic history of Bible Stories from Genesis to Revelation within 24 hours. (That is as much as I could comprehend in such a short time.)
There were three main things I comprehended from all that reading. 1. God loves me! 2. He wants me to love him! 3. I was going to hell if I didn't! (Also! I remembered that Pastor and John 3:16) But I was deeply and emotionally touched by the Lord through all those stories. I suppose it was the first time I ever felt loved in my whole life up until then.
So within 24 hours of picking up that book, I was out on the street telling all the teen age boys, that they had to love God or they're going to hell. Please understand! I just had my first experience with God, and I wasn't very well informed how to witness for him. (It was the best I could do at the time!) But it wasn't the end of the story or my life.
The thought of hell devastated me, so I was very concerned about all my loved ones. So I went to everyone telling them about God. But I suppose I was laughed at more than anything else, because I was young with very little knowledge of the Bible, God, especially witnessing. (No experience at all.)
The Thing was: I was raised with a communication handi-cap, because my father never taught me anything, so I was always behind all the other boys in just about everything. Example: I was 9 years old before I ever knew what basball was. All the other little boys mocked and made fun of me because I didn't know what the bases were. It seemed like I wasn't exposed to most things little boys were exposed to.
I wasn't taught how to defend myself either, so I was bullied and picked on continually as a child. This caused me to isolate myself from all my peers, so my communication skills never developed properly. So I never could socialize or communicate as well as the other boys could even into my teen-age years. I was also misunderstood through all my teen years, because I couldn't express myself well.
My father was very verbally abusive. (Not physically!) I was afraid of my father, and my mother was very passive with a 5th grade education from Georgia, so I didn't get any support or comfort from her either. I spent most of my childhood isolated within myself. My mother divorced my father when I was 14 years old. She married my stepfather when I was 15 years old, who continued to degrade, and abuse me until my 18th birthday, when he dropped me off in the middle of the freeway, and told me never to come back to my mother's house. (I spent the next three years sleeping under one bridge and another all over the country completely separated from society because I didn't trust people, nor did I know how to socialize with them.)
I told you all that, because I wanted the reader to understand how emotional it was for me, when I first learned how much God loved me at 19 years old. I also had dreams back then. One of my dreams was just to be able to communicate like other people could. I still didn't know Christian terminology then, so I didn't say Lord when I prayed. (I said God!) Here was one of my prayers: "God, Please help me to speak and say things like other people do"
Yes! That was my prayer to God then! Today! I'm just finishing writing a book I wrote about Old Testament Prophecies of Jesus Christ, which I just put 10 chapters of that book on my website for all to copy & paste free. My book was created for laymen, and not meant to be scholarly, yet I hope it will be persuasive enough to encourage faith in the Word Of God. You can judge for yourselves how well God answered my prayer by reading my comments on this website, and perhaps my book, if you should ever read it.
I always tell people that I believe in God today, because I have prayed and God has answered my prayers. I would like to first share with the reader one of those prayers, because it was the first prayer I remember God answering for me, and it was very special to me. (It was perhaps one of the most emotional & sincere prayers I ever prayed.) More answered prayers will follow.
It was just a few weeks after I read that 500 page Bible Story Book. I was very concerned about people I loved, because I didn't want them going to hell. So I prayed this prayer to God, with tears running down my cheeks: "God, I will tell anyone about you anytime and anywhere, but there's one person I can't, because she's my ex-fiance who's married to someone else, and she will hang the phone up, if I call her. So God, Will you please just lead her into the hands of someone who will tell her about you."
You See! I was out of town once, and my fiance was bored, so she went out drinking at a New Year's party. (We weren't christians then.) She had a sexual fling with this other young man she met at the party. She became pregnant, so she broke up with me, because she wanted the biological father to raise her child.
He was a very brilliant and intelligent young man, who was one of the top three boys of our home state of Minnesota to be accepted into West Point Military Academy. But he was disqualified from West Point after she became pregnant and he married her.
But it was just one week after I prayed that prayer to God in her behalf, when this brilliant young man was standing under the stars one night, when the Spirit of God came upon him, as he reasoned there must be a God as he stared into the stars. (Those were his own words.) But he didn't know much about the Bible, but he was attending the University of Minnesota where he shared his experience with Campus Crusaders, and they nourished him with the Word of God. (He then taught his wife, who was my ex-fiance about the Lord.)
I said that prayer in August 1969, but the next year November 1970: I was standing side by side with both of them in church, with all of us praising the Lord together. He and I became best friends, and the two of us witnessed to many young teenagers together, once we both brought bus fulls of teenage kids every night to six week long revival meetings happening at Souls Harbor in Minneapolis, with Evangelist Brian Ruud Speaking.. He was the one who first taught me about the Holy Spirit. (I guess his knowledge of scriptures & the Lord grew faster than mine did, because he was being nourished through Campus Crusaders, and he had a very brilliant mind, while I was generally sleeping under a bridge somewhere, with very poor communication & comprehension skills. )
Very ironic! I pray for God to lead my ex-fiance into the hands of someone who will tell her about God, and then her husband ends up teaching me about the Holy Spirit a year later. It really meant a lot to me when God answered this prayer! I loved her for one thing, but it also proved to me that God was personally interested in me, and I have been a believer in the Lord every since.
The Lord is no respecter of persons, which means he's personally interested in everyone on this planet. He'll answer anyone's prayers. So I encourage anyone to seek the Lord, because he’ll listen and respond to a broken and contrite heart. The Lord puts much value on honesty and sincerity. (He also wants to be praised.) The Bible says that the Lord inhabits the praises of His people, which means He’s in His glory when we praise Him. (He loves it.)
More Answered Prayers
I want to share some more answered prayers, but I will share some life history first to set the stage for the prayers, so the reader can understand the depth and sincerity of my prayers. God has always been there for me, but I haven’t always walked in the Spirit Of God, which I’ll share afterwards.
I want to share my childhood dream with you, so you'll know how important Fatherhood was to me, and how much it meant to me to be a Father. But this story will also lead into my marriage, as my childhood dream became a reality in marriage.
I'll also be sharing things about the precious mother of my children, because it will lead to more answered prayers, but first I'll tell you a little more about my family life as a child, so you'll understand my childhood dream. I came from a very dysfunctional family, and my father was very emotionally abusive! (Not Physically!)
He liked to yell a lot, and sometimes it seemed like he yelled for no reason at all! (Please don't judge him!) His childhood was worse than mine! Never-the-less! I feared him, and tried to avoid him as much as possible.
I had five sisters growing up, but I have another sister from my step-father now! (Six total!) My father's temper was devastating to all of us, so we hid from him most of the time, because of his temper.
Now I want to tell you what my favorite TV show was when I was a child, because it would play an important role pertaining to my dream, and also an important role in my marriage as an adult.
My favorite TV show was "Leave It to Beaver". Because I would see how the Cleaver family life style was like on the Leave It To Beaver Show, and I knew it was different than my family life. Ward Cleaver was different than my father.
I suppose Ward Cleaver was a Role model to me in a way! I remember thinking, that I wish my father was like him. Remember! I was also close to Beaver's age, so I was watching the show through a child's eyes.
I also remember times I would stare out the window, and seeing the man next door stumbling out of a cab, because every night he'd drink until he was too drunk to walk, while his daughter needed shoes.
It was things like this that sparked my childhood dream. Some boys wanted to grow up and be cowboys, policemen, and things like that, but I wanted to grow up, and be the best father I could be to my children.
You See! I wanted to be like Ward Cleaver on the Leave It To Beaver Show! So I dreamed about being just like him as I was growing up. So my appreciation for a loving family circle stemmed from my childhood dream.
I carried my childhood dream into my marriage, after I grew up, and I was also a Christian by then, so it seemed like my childhood dream was becoming a reality. I finally could have the family I dreamed about!
But I'd like to share some things about my wife, and how we met. I had known the Lord for about a couple years before I met my wife. (Who was actually my first wife. I’m married to another precious woman named Carol now. ). I read that 500 page Bible Story Book in August of 1969. I met my first wife in a Christian coffee house in December 1971.
The first thing I ever heard her say was Jesus! I remember how she would light up the room as she walked in. She had a very beautiful smile, and she would speak the name of Jesus, like someone she loved.
But the coffee house was going to close up in March 1972, about 3 months after I first seen my wife. We were just friends & acquaintances at that time. Our relationship was no different than it was with anyone else there.
But I knew the man, who ran the coffee house well, and he let me stay in it over night the last week it was open. Because I wanted a place to praise & seek the Lord alone. So he let me use the coffee house after hours.
I remember praising the Lord for hours through the night. I also poured out my heart to him, and made my request until him. I remembered my childhood dream, and how much I wanted children.
So I asked the Lord to send me a wife, because I didn't trust my judgment at the time. The coffee house was filled with many young girls, and I could have chosen several of them. (But which one?)
So I ask the Lord to send a woman I couldn't shake! No matter how much I tried! Then I would know she was from him. I said that prayer about 2 days before the coffee house closed to the public.
Little did I know, that the Lord would answer it in a miraculous way! My wife's name was Marilyn, and it was the last day of the coffee house, and both Marilyn & I were there, but we all would be leaving as they closed the doors.
The thing is: Marilyn & I would never have seen each other again after that, except something happen as she started to walk out the door. The Spirit grabbed a hold of me & set me on my feet.
Then these words came out of my mouth! (To my surprise!) I said "Marilyn, we're not at peace! Are we?" But I didn't understand why I said that. But I was even more surprised, when she stopped in her tracks, then she turned around and said "No we aren't"
She then walked out the door, and I thought I'd never see her again, and I was confused why I said that, and why she said what she did. But it was the Lord, because of what happened next.
I was still there about an hour later, when the phone rang, and I was told the call was for me. That surprised me too, because nobody ever called me there! But it was Marilyn on the phone, and here's what she said:
She said: "Jeff, Two days ago, you were the last man I would have picked at the coffee house! But the Lord came to me in a vision the other day, and told me I'd be the mother of your children, and I can't get you out of my mind since!"
Yes! She had that vision the same day I prayed that prayer! I couldn't believe what I was hearing on the phone that day, so I told her to come to the Coffee House the next day! It would be closed, but I knew the owner.
So we talked down the basement of the coffee house the next day. The same basement I praised the Lord in all week before then. The Lord was answering my prayer, but I was fighting it.
Why? Because Marilyn & I were from different side of the tracks. She came from a family, who lived in a nice house. She drove a brand new car! Her family was much like the Leave It To Beaver family. Her father was much like Ward Clever!
But I came from a disfunctional family! I never drove a car in my life before then! I was the one, who use to sleep under bridges all over the country. I suppose I didn't think I had a chance with Marilyn.
So I felt nervous in that basement, and I lacked confidence I could make her happy! So I told her I was leaving, and was hitch hiking to New Orleans, and I tried hard to discourage her, and then I started up the stairs.
But then I felt her pulling on my pants legs. I couldn't shake her, and she pulled me right down those stairs, so there I sat remembering my prayer! Lord, send me a woman I can't shake, and I was sitting in the same place I said that prayer at the bottom of the stairs.
So Marilyn & I walked out together that day, and we were married Dec. 2, 1972. I also prayed for a few other things that day! I prayed for a job.! I prayed to learn to drive, so I could get a car.
It was Marilyn who taught me to drive in that brand new car of hers! I received my drivers license in July that year. I also had a job, and purchased my first car in August 1972. About 4 months before we were married!
Marilyn would have been my first pick at the coffee house! Because we did visit Nursing homes together, and ministered to the old people long before that prayer. I liked her friendly smile so much!
But I never considered her, because I just didn't think I had a chance with her, and she confirmed that by saying I was the last man there she would have picked. So I was walking on clouds when we walked out of the coffee house together, after the prayer!
It makes me think of Psalm 37:4 that says: "Delight thyself in the Lord, and he shall give you the desires of your heart" I loved praising him, and the Lord meant everything to me. (I was so sincere about him!)
So we were married, and even though I was intimidated by my in-laws, because I was from the wrong side of the tracks, yet I grew to love them, because they really were the Leave It To Beaver type family!
But Marilyn & I belonged to a small circle of Christians when we were married, and several members of that circle moved to Portland, Oregon in March 1973 including Marilyn & myself! (In-fact! Two people in that Christian circle were my old fiance and her brilliant husband, who turned to God under the stars one night. It was my first fiance who I first prayed for after reading that Bible Story Book a few years before.)
It didn't take us long to find all the churches in Portland, so we met many new christian friends in Portland almost immediately! But we went through a trial about 3 months after moving there! (The Lord was testing my faith!)
We moved there in March, but by May our money was starting to run out! It was hard to find work, and I was very unskilled, and I didn't know the city well. That was the same year there was long gas lines! (You might remember the gas shortage, so called!)
But in June 1973, our landlord told us we had to move by July 1st, because his niece was coming to town, and he wanted the apartment for her. I was very worried, because our money was almost gone, and we had no jobs.
But Portland always had a Rose Carnival every year in June, and there was a christian coffee house ministry there called the Jubilee coffee house. Marilyn & I went there every day for the next three weeks. Witnessing to people who walked by.
We would be there for hours every day! But I would also spend about six hours a day in the prayer closet at home, because I was desperate those 3 weeks, because I knew we had to find a place by July 1st with no money!
One day Marilyn was witnessing to a man named Gary, who walked by the Jubilee Coffee house. I joined her as we prayed with him, and then told him to stop by our house some day! (Not really expecting him to!)
But about two days before July 1st our money was completely gone. We had no food in the house! No Bread! Nothing! Not even butter! Except one bag of beans. We had to be out in two days!
Also! Another thing! Marilyn's parents also called the first week in June, and said they were coming to visit July 1st! These were the people I told that I would take care of their daughter!
But they were due in town the same day we would have to move out into the street! Do you understand why I spent 6 hours a day in the prayer closet those 3 weeks? I was desperate as I could be!
But then two days before the first of July we were moving our furniture around, and packing our stuff! It was very hot, about 100 degrees! We lived in an upstairs attack apartment with no air conditioner or fan.
So we were miserably hot, and the pressure was severe! Marilyn started to get crabby! (I didn't blame her!) Then I strained a muscle in my back moving the hideway couch, just to make things worse!
It was then we heard some footsteps of someone coming up the stairs! There was a knock at the door! It was that Gary we witnessed to at the coffee house a few weeks before! (The one we never expected to see again!)
I told him to excuse us, and explained the situation. He then told us he would give us a hundred dollars, if we drove him to Salem, Oregon, which was about 50 miles away! But I told him we had no gas in the car!
He told us he would fill the tank, and we weren't in the position to say no! So we drove him to Salem, and we came back with a half tank of gas left, and $100.00. So the next day we drove all over the Portland area looking for an apartment!
But all the apartments were charging $125.00 a month then, and we couldn't find one for $100.00 a month! So about 4:O'Clock that afternoon I gave up! I told Marilyn let's go home! I just gave up!
I no longer said those words, when I started to black out! I was only 23 years old. I never blacked out before then! I never blacked out since. (It was the Lord!) The Lord always comes through, when we can do no more!
I quickly pulled the car to the side of the road, and told Marilyn she had to drive, because I was starting to black out! But when Marilyn slowly drove back unto the road, then we seen a small sign that said $97.50)
You See! The traffic flowed at 50 miles an hour on that road! We would have missed that sign, if I wouldn't have blacked out! So the Lord cause me to black out so we would see the sign. (Perhaps I was being slain in the Spirit.)
It was a nice apartment for $97.50, with a big bay window over looking a beauitiful valley. So we took the apartment for $97.50 one day before July 1st. June 30th 1973. But that's not all!
I still had no money to haul the furniture with! The landlord also told us he wanted a $20.00 cleaning deposite when we moved in the next day.(Which we didn't have) I also had a strained muscle in by back! (I thought about the hideway couch!)
But we had a chistian friend who lived next door, who once drove a semi truck moving furniture! I reasoned he would help me, but could I help him with the strained muscle in my back? (God had it covered!)
We drove home! Told are christian friends next door we found an apartment! The Pastor from their church was visiting them, when we told them. The Pastor told us we could use the church truck the next day! (July 1st!)
So my friend Frank & I went to the church the next morning to pick up the truck. The church was completely empty, except for the person who handed us the keys to the truck! He was only there to give us the keys.
But when Frank & I were crossing the street, then I started thinking about the hideaway couch & my strained muscle! It was at that very second, when we heard a voice cry out behind us.
It was a muscle bound black man, who seem to come out of no where! The church was empty behind us, and no one was in sight, when we walked out! This man came out of no where!
He asked if we were moving! I said yes, but I wondered how he knew that! He then asked if we needed any help! I said yes, but I haven't any money to pay you! He said I'll help you! (He Did!)
With his help, we had the furniture all moved, and the apartment all set up by 11:00 O'Clock that morning! This black man said a strange thing when we dropped him off! He pointed out a house and said "I'm needed at that house now!
Remember the $20.00 cleaning deposit we needed? The Landlord said a strange thing when we first arrived with the furniture! He said he never did this before in 20 years as an apartment manager there!
But he said we looked like nice kids, so if we promised to clean the apartment when we moved some day, then we wouldn't have to pay a deposit! I never had to say a word! He never knew we didn't have it anyway!
We had the apartment completely set up by 11:O'Clock A.M! My in-laws arrived in town 1:00 O'Clock that afternoon. My in-laws never knew about our troubles then, because we never told them.
We also had food, because Marilyn & I applied for food stamps a few days before that! So the Lord didn't have to supply food! But it seemed like he supplied everything else. (That black man is still a mystery in my mind!)
I never had to ask anyone for anything through it all! It was Gary's idea to give us $100.00! It was the Pastor's idea to loan us the truck, who just happened to be visiting Frank that day!
It was the new Landlord's idea to dismiss the $20.00 cleaning deposit, who never did it before in 20 years as a manager, and without me saying a word! The first & only time I ever blacked out my whole life!
But I did do something through it! I spent 6 hours a day in the prayer closet for 3 weeks before, because I had faith in God, and I knew he was my only hope. I have prayed, and God has answered my prayers!
Marilyn soon had a job with the telephone company! I took a few Accounting classes at a Business College, and did some bookkeeping for a Security Guard Company. My first daughter Angela was conceived in that apartment, but the Landlord didn't allow kids there, so we rented a small house in August of 1974, and Angela was born in February 1975.
That was also a miracle, because Marilyn had a hard time getting pregnant, because of a tipped uterus. So Marilyn prayed about it, and we also kept praisng the Lord every night, and it was during that praise, when Marilyn conceived!
But I was so happy to be a father! I would come home from work, and rock Angela in the rocking chair, until I layed her in the crib at night! I then would take these colored plastic cups in her crib, and shine a flashlight into them, as I turned off the lights!
Pretty colored lights would flicker all over the wall. Angela would lay there for hours watching those lights, then she would fall asleep, and I would go to bed. I was living my childhood dream.
More answered prayers will follow after more history here.
It’s true that the Lord was answering my prayers, but I wasn’t giving him glory for it then, because I was young, foolish, and very ignorant of God’s ways and His Word then. I was always into my own emotional and physical needs, so I couldn’t decern or be sensitive to the needs of another heart including God’s own heart.
I believed in God, and I read the Bible, but I was always debating various Christians about trival issues which had nothing to do with salvation. I also had a lot of anger from my childhood after being abused as I was growing up, so my anger would show as I argued in my debates with other Christians. It troubled Marilyn’s heart greatly because we couldn’t visit church events or Christians without me getting into some sort of senseless argument of one kind or another. (I remember many times when Marilyn would be embarrassed and ashamed of my behavior around other Christians.)
I also didn’t have many skills then or much education, so properly providing for us was extremely hard for me, and Marilyn always earned more money with the telephone company than I did. I also stopped praying after a while, and became distant from the Lord. So eventually my relationship with Marilyn was damaged beyond repair. (1978 Marilyn filed for divorce.)
I wrote an article to men on this website titled "God’s Precious Gift Of Womanhood". I wish all young husbands could read it, because I was very ignorant when I was young, so I didn’t understand the things I do now about how to treat women. (I must have wondered a thousand times: What if I would have understood those things when I was young, would it had made a difference and saved my marriage?) I know in my heart that things would have turned out different, if only I could have read my own article about womanhood. Ironically: It was Marilyn who shared a Christian Book with me, that gave the analogy of the huge hotel relating to a man’s relationship with his family, but you’ll have to read my article about womanhood to understand what it was about. (It’s just that I didn’t understand the analogy back then, but I sure do get it now! But I had to go through 20 painful years to understand!)
So Marilyn and I went through a very painful and bitter divorce. It led to 20 years of bitterness in my heart, and I couldn’t go to church because of painful memories of Marilyn in church. (It hurt real bad.) My childhood dream was shattered through divorce, when I couldn’t be with my daughters as they were growing up, which was the root cause of my bitterness. (But the Lord would pull my bitterness out by it’s roots in 1998, and he used my own daughter to do it. I’ll be sharing that story a little later.
But I spent the next several years separated from the church, and perhaps God Himself. I was bitter at Marilyn! Bitter at the system! Bitter at life! Bitter at God Himself for all the emotional pain in my life. (I guess I blamed everyone but myself!) The Bible says we will reap what we sow, because bad seeds produce bad fruit, and good seeds produce good fruit. So all my constant arguments with Marilyn and the church produced bad fruit in Marilyn and myself. (Marilyn’s own words were: I caused her to fall from grace.) It was my actions that caused our divorce, yet I blamed her, life, and God for it.
One little tiny answered prayer in the midst of 20 years of bitterness, just to show that God was there through it all. He never left me for a moment, because He’s faithful, but I had left Him through anger and bitterness. But it was about 1989: I had been separated from God and the church over ten years, after Marilyn filed for divorce in 1978.
I couldn’t feel God anymore! I couldn’t feel love anymore either! I couldn’t feel anything! I felt completely separated from every Christian I ever knew. Most people I was around were drunks, who knew nothing about God. I didn’t drink, but I was just around people who did.
I felt so separated from God, that I could actually feel evil all around me, just like it was surrounding me. I was miserably unhappy, because I would remember the joy and thrill I once felt with the Lord, but I couldn’t feel it then. So I started questioning my faith in God, and started reasoning if He even existed. I almost became an atheist, but there was only one reason that kept me from becoming an atheist then. (I had prayed and God had answered my prayers.) I couldn't reason that away, because I knew God had answered my prayers before beyond any shadow of doubt, so it was just something I couldn’t deny.
So I decided to pray again, but I was skeptical trying to reach God this time because I felt so separated from Him. But I remembered something an old Christian friend of mine once said: "Jeff, if you’re ever in a place where you can’t feel anything for God, then come to God with what you have, and God will meet you where you’re at."
So I did just that: I was walking down the street one night, and here’s what I prayed to God: " Lord, I don’t love you tonight, because I can’t feel love. In-fact Lord! I even question your existence, but I have these memories of you answering my prayers before, so I pray to you now hoping you might hear my prayer once again. But all I can come to you with is an intellectual memory of you Lord, because my heart has been far apart from you and love. But Lord! It’s just that I can’t stand the evil I feel all around me, and I just want to feel your love which I once felt before, etc."
That was the first part of my prayer as I was walking down the street, but here is the last part of my prayer that night: "Lord, I still don’t feel you, so can you give me just a little sign, so I will know you’re even hearing my prayer, so I’ll know you haven’t turned your back on me. Just a little sign Lord."
I only walked one city block after asking God to give me a sign. (About two minutes afterwards.) It was on the very next intersection, when a car came around the bend, and then came to the intersection I was approaching. The car squeeled and slammed on the brakes, and did a fish tale swing in that intersection. (Like spin the bottle.) I thought the car was going to hit me, as the driver slammed on the brakes.
Then the car door opened, and the driver got out. He ran right up to me and he said these words: "The Lord just told me to give this to you, that’s why I stopped so suddenly like that." It was just a little Gospel Trac he gave me. But it was all I needed, because I only asked God for a little sign, that he was hearing my prayers. I then walked around the bend in the road, and I noticed a secluded area where I again prayed to the Lord. It was there when the Holy Spirit fell upon me as I praised the Lord for a few hours, and I felt His Spirit more than I had in over ten years. (Just like I did before.)
But that was only half of the story. Because the Gospel Trac had the name of a new church that just opened up stamped on the back of it. I called the church the next day, and I learned that an old Pastor friend of mine from 1976 was Pastoring the church. It was a Pastor Friend, who had been in India for the last several years before then, and I didn’t even know he was back. (I had really missed him a lot.)
So I reunited with my old Pastor friend the next day, and he had some very interesting things to say about that Gospel trac, car, and driver. Here was his words the next day: "Jeff, I have only been back from India a few weeks, and I just started this church. I know every Gospel trac from this church, and that Gospel trac isn’t one of them. Also! There’s less than ten members of this church, and I know all of them, and not one member of this church even closely resembles the description you gave me of that driver, who gave you this Gospel trac, and I also know every car that’s ever been in this church parking lot, and no car matches the description of the car that swerved in the middle of that intersection last night."
Here’s the thing about that: The Car! The Driver! The Gospel trac! A mystery to this day! I just asked the Lord for a little sign, and received a mystery I still can’t solve to this day, and I received it within three minutes of the prayer. It might seem like a little thing, yet so big and important to my heart at the time. (1989)
My prayer tonight as I write this is, that the Lord will touch all who read it. I pray the believer with faith will have even more faith in prayer. I pray the skeptic who reads this will be less skeptical of prayer. It might not be enough to convert a skeptic, but I know a skeptic will never convince me that God hasn’t answered my prayers because I know God has. To the skeptic I say: "Keep reading! Because more answered prayer to follow.
The next prayer would take place in 1993. But first let me set the stage for it. I was in and out of the Spirit of God for the next few years. Yes! The Lord was dealing with me as you just read, but I was still in bitterness because of my divorce, so my relationship with God was still on shaky ground. (I was also a slow learner. I guess!) It still hurt to go to church because I would still remember the painful memories of when my wife and I stood in church together. (Even though it had been over ten years from our divorce.) I also resented losing the day to day relationship with my daughters through the years. So I had a lot of emotional issues to deal with. (Not to mention my childhood roots.).
I was also still around people who drank a lot, and I felt like the lone ranger when it came to religious matters, because it seemed like I was the only one who believed in God among those I was with during that time period. It was hard to speak a lot about the Lord, when I was so spiritually weak myself.. (Yet! I managed to slip a word in here and there.)
But then it was 1993, and I was all alone in my apartment one night. I was very depressed and perhaps a bit suicidal, because I remembered all the back slidden years of bitterness and depression, and I was growing weary and tired of it all. So the Lord started to reason with my heart. Here’s what he said to my heart: "Jeff, Why don’t you witness for me like you use to do?”
Yes! That’s what he said to me! But I laughed at him, because I remembered all my back sliding, and all the drunks who didn’t want to hear about God. So I laughed at God, like Sarah laughed at God, when God told Abraham he would have a son at 100 years old. I just thought it was hopeless for me to be a witness again. But the Lord kept pressing me, so I became angry with the Lord, and here’s what I said: "Lord’ Just show me one person who wants to hear me talk about you or the Bible. Just one Lord!" (He did!)
It was just about two hours after I said that to the Lord when the telephone rang about 10 O’Clock at night. It was my niece who never called me before in her whole life. (First time.) Here was her exact words to me as I answered the phone: "Uncle Jeff, I know you know things about the Bible, and I need someone to talk to me about the Bible, but I can’t find anyone to talk to me about it, so I'm wondering if you will talk to me about the Bible?."
Yes! That was her exact words, just two hours after I told the Lord to show me just one person who wants to hear me talk about Him. She and I talked all through the night and morning hours. We were still talking at 8 O’Clock the next morning. It was the longest time I ever talked to anyone about the Lord in one session in my whole life before and since that night.
My niece continued to call me night after night, and we started getting into 4 hour praise sessions with the Lord over the telephone together. It was during one of those praise sessions, when we asked the Lord to intervene in my sister’s family, because there was much violence and strife happening in her family circle. Then a month went by before I heard anymore about my sister again! (But Good News! Since that prayer my sister went to church, and was baptized with the Holy Spirit! She was speaking in tongues all within weeks of our praying for her, and all we did was pray. We never even talked with her. Just prayed for her, and the Lord sent strangers to minister to her.
Another thing happened then in 1993. I was praising the Lord one night, and the Lord told me that he was going to visit the apple of my eye! My daughter Angela gave her heart to the Lord that year , and she has been a Christian every since (I had nothing to do with it. I didn’t talk to her about the Lord then. Somebody else did.). The Lord also told me he was going to pull my bitterness out by its’ roots, but that wouldn’t come until five years later in 1998.
It was 1998 when I was visiting my daughter Angela once. Angela had been a Christian for five years then, and she was praying for her parents, because of the bitterness between us. Angela would try to speak to me about it, but I would use my Bible skills to cut her off at the pass so to speak. But it was then I noticed the pain in her eyes. (The pain in her eyes cut through my heart like a firing dart! Piercing my heart to pieces, as 20 years of bitterness melted within me, because suddenly I remembered my childhood dream about fatherhood, and I remembered the day Marilyn and I had Angela dedicated to the Lord when she was only 3 years old, and I stood there thinking how happy and proud we both would have been to hear our daughter talking about the Lord like she was doing that night.
So the lights came on for me, when I realized that bitterness isn’t what I wanted in the first place. I certainly never wanted to see pain in my daughter’s eyes, and I should have been praising my daughter’s words about the Lord, instead of trying to justify my bitterness through the years, and making up excuses why I had failed her. It was then I made an oath to myself and the Lord that I would never hold bitterness in my heart ever again.
I started reaching out to my daughters more than ever before! I especially reached out to my twin daughters, who were just babies when Marilyn and I divorced, so they didn’t know me very well. It was about that same time, when one of my twins hugged me once with tears in her eyes too. I never realized my twin daughters missed their relationship with me so much.
It took much prayer and reaching out, but Marilyn and I started talking after never speaking to each other in over ten years, and on Septemtember 8, 2001. (Just 3 days before 9/11) Marilyn picked me up in her car with our twin daughters Krissi and Kari in the back seat, as we all drove up to Angela’s house together, to surprise Angela with both of us visiting together. (I don’t want to see pain in Angela’s eyes. So it was one of my prayers being answered that day, and I bet it was a few of her own prayers being answered too!)
It was a very special day for our family circle, because it was the first time the twins ever remembered riding in the back seat with both their parents in the front seat. It was the first time our daughters saw us both peacefully under one roof together in over 20 years, and the first time the twins ever remembered the whole family circle together in their lives, because they were babies when we divorced.
Marilyn and I were never romantically involved since the divorce in 1978, but we are both on friendly terms today. Infact! Marilyn has already visited this website, because she just emailed me the other day and told me so. She might even be reading this page.
I want to finish this page by saying there has been other prayers the Lord has answered for me, but I wanted to give some of my testimony or history of my life, so the reader could have more insight and understanding about me and the Lord’s dealing with me. The Lord did suggest I start witnessing again for Him in 1993, and then gave me reasons why I should. (My own daughters eternal souls could have depended on it.!) My niece was also another soul the Lord cared about.
Those who have read the first page of my book on this website will know I once asked the Lord how I can know the Bible was His inspired word? It was in in 1993 I prayed that prayer to the Lord. It was just a few days after my niece called in 1993, when I asked the Lord to show me how the Bible is inspired, because I was really impressed how quickly he had my niece call me, after I told him to show me just one person who wanted to hear me speak about him or the Bible. (So I said to the Lord! My exact words: "Lord, You’re good! That was quick! Just two hours! I couldn’t find anyone in over ten years, but you sent someone in two hours! O.K Lord, How do I know the Bible is your inspired word? I believe you exist Lord! Because you answer my prayers. But what about the Bible Lord?"
It was then the Lord taught me about the Old Testament prophesying about Jesus Christ hundreds of years before Jesus was born. My book on this website is a product of that prayer. Today! I’m a believer in Jesus Christ, and I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. (All because of answered prayer in my life!)
In closing I want to say that I’m very happily re-marrried now to a very Precious and Special Christian Lady named Carol, who shares a similar childhood experience as my own, so the Lord has blessed me with a very dear soulmate, who I cherish and love with all of my heart. We are both so compatible with each other, that we both marvel how wonderful our marriage is, and we both believe our marriage is another answer to both our prayers, because we both yearned for true love for so many years.
We met through the Christianet website at: www.christianet.com
We married in September 2005. Just thought I would give Christianet a little advertising, because of our graditude. (Ironically! It was Marilyn who first told me about Christianet in 2002.) I'll never forget Marilyn's words once. (I caused her to fall from grace.) I can only hope and pray that I have helped encourage her faith the last several years, with hopes that I have been instrumental in restoring her faith some. Yet! Another twist could be: How do I know Marilyn wasn't praying for me through the years? Could it be, that neither of us really ever lost our faith in the Lord?
The Lord is the Author and Finisher of both our faiths, and our souls are in his hands. I do know that all three of my daughters are Christian believers, and I believe both Marilyn and I both have given testimonies which encouraged their faith. Marilyn is my witness that things I wrote here are true, and there are other witnesses as well.
But my new wife Carol is my witness to how well the Lord has just blessed my life, because I couldn't have asked for a more compatible wife than I have now. Carol is the fulfillment of everything I ever dreamed about! Fantasized about! Yearned for! Hoped For! Believed in! Desired for in a Special Lady and Wife! I wouldn't trade Carol for anyone or anything in this world. I'm 100% sure she's a perfect match for my heart! She's the one who stands out among all other women. She's More Special and Precious to me than anything in this world, and it's something I'll never let her forget. (I said of this world! Now the Lord in Heaven is another thing!) The Lord will always be number one in Carol's heart and my own heart.
There's one last thing I want to tell here: Since 1998 my faith has been in all the Lord can do through me, because I lost complete faith in myself, because of the mess I made out of my life through the years. So I put my faith in the Lord instead of myself.
(1). I was computer illiterate in 1998. I couldn't have turned on a computer if someone would have paid me a $100.00 to do so. (Running a computer was just a fantasy to me in 1998.) But now I run a computer and website. (2). I just wrote a book about Old Testament prophecies of Jesus Christ on a computer, that stemmed from the teaching of the Lord Himself in 1993. (3). The Lord isn't finished with me yet! The Lord has given me visions yet to be fulfilled! I have prayed, and the Lord has answered my prayers.
God Bless You All! I Pray He’ll Touch All Skeptics Who Read This Page In Such A Way They’ll Never Forget. So They’ll Learn To Have Faith In The Lord!