Teaching five-year-olds does not often allow for quiet time. They just love to talk! But when they talk to God, their prayers are so honest and they are not afraid to ask God to supply their needs and to thank him for what he does for us. This has made me think about prayer and its importance in our day-to-day lives.
I have always prayed, but it wasn’t until going overseas to serve that I found the importance of and daily reliance upon prayer. It started when I was pleading with God to show me in “bright neon flashing signs” where on earth I was supposed to go after returning from two years in England. He had planted Nepal in my heart months before, but I was having an inner wrestling match to properly accept my calling.
I had been home from London for a few months and things were getting a little desperate. I needed an answer, I needed funds, and I wasn’t sure which way to turn. However I decided to completely consult God in prayer on every decision I made. And he was faithful.
I remember the day well. I was working on the computer when my friend Maree* popped online to answer my questions about Nepal. Maree had been in Nepal for two and a half years and she had initiated my interest in serving at KISC for the 2012/2013 school year. Maree asked if I had done anything about finding funding for the year ahead. I hadn’t. So she offered to email some friends who knew how great the need for teachers was, and urged me to also write to friends and family. We arranged to talk again soon.
Within half an hour she called to say that a friend had replied instantly with “I think we should be able to cover that!” – for the whole year.
If that wasn’t a neon flashing sign, then I’m not sure what is! I learned that the staff at the school had prayed for me that very day about my finances and direction for me to come to KISC. My sponsor also informed me much later that of the hundreds of requests for support he receives, he only commits to those whose message speaks out at him. And then he acts immediately. Even though business was quiet, he stepped out in faith and supported me financially for the year, and God blessed his faithfulness with a successful business year. I was humbled and grounded in my calling to serve the year at KISC.
On the dusty roads of Kathmandu, prayer was a method of survival, necessity and comfort. Adjusting to a new culture, a new climate and a new school was not always easy, but I experienced and witnessed things there that have changed me forever. The school had 40 days of prayer and fasting for the future development of the school and seeking God’s leading. The mother of one of my students asked if we could pray for healing for her husband’s sudden-onset brain tumor. Miraculously, after many months of prayer and medical treatment the doctors found no tumor remaining.
A favourite verse during my time in Nepal was Phillipians 4:6: “Don’t worry or be anxious about anything, instead pray about everything, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers.”
Stepping out in faith to follow his calling was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. I learned that prayer is not just part of our routine before bed, but a constant source of support and comfort, as God cares for us in every mundane and major detail of our lives.
The author served as an On Tracker on a one-year placement in Nepal.
*Names have been changed.