Seed of Prayer
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October 1, 2017
Seed of Prayer
My parents were missionaries, so I was brought up in a Christian family. Due to the nature of my parent’s work, I often had to move to many different places. It was tough for me to change the place and the school. I had a hard time being separated from my friends and also it’s not easy to fit in a new place. This was my situation and I really didn’t like it.
Before I knew it, I found myself holding a negative perspective toward God. I could not believe that God is love. I thought He never pleased me, but rather made me suffer. I could not stop but think that way.
In those days there was one thing I was able to enjoy myself. It was sports. I was kind of like a jack-of-all-trades in sports. However, when I was in eighth grade, I badly injured my left knee during the school basket ball game and was told that I could no longer participate in intense physical activities. Obviously I lost heart. That was hopeless for me, because I was not particularly strong in studying. Sports were the only thing that helped me get the best of myself. Since I was an introvert, I was not able to make friends without sports. Nothing was going right; I lost friends, sports and hope. “Why did it happen to me?” I cried out to God and to my parents.
My parents didn’t say anything to me though my heart was wounded. Yet they handed me a book “The White Dove.” I read it every night, not willingly but just for killing time. However, as reading the book, I was gradually getting attracted to what was written there.
Because of my Christian background, I already had certain knowledge about Jesus Christ such as His death on the cross and His resurrection. The bottom line is that I could not understand that God loved me. What really touched me in the book was Pastor Peter’s words “If you want to know if God really exists, try God,” which led Mitsuko to encounter God. I was born from Christian parents, so I was taken to church since I was small. However, in retrospect, I had never sought God by myself. When the words “Try God” jumped into my eyes, I was almost awakened to have my own faith to seek God. That sounded so fresh to me.
I started to pray to God for every single matter including tiny things. Definitely, God was inclining His ears and responding to my prayers. I was happy to live with God. My life was greatly changed through the prayers of God.
After graduated from high school, I went to a university. As a university student, I was given the opportunity to go to China as an exchange student. While staying in China, I discovered the will of God entrusted to me.
One day in China, when I was praying to God as usual, suddenly a memory from the past came to my head. It was when I was just 3 years old. My parents and I traveled to China. We stayed in a typical small town of China. There I saw a lot of children who were around the same age as me. The town was so polluted and those children hopelessly sat on the street in torn clothes. They seemed to have no future. Definitely they suffered poverty. Though I was just 3 years old, I desperately prayed to God, “God, I want to bring them a precious treasure when I become an adult.”
Remembering it I could not stop crying. I remembered this prayer after 20 years. But I felt like it was just a couple of days ago. I discovered that God had already planted in me the prayer of God. So actually I had known prayer to God since then, and moreover I came to believe that God had sown me a seed of prayer even when I was in my mother’s womb. That’s why I was able to rebuild the relationship with God although I was rebellious toward God sometimes.
Looking back on my life, for a long time I was away from God, and numb to His love. I used to live my life quite ignorantly and self-centeredly. However, now I want to emphasize this point: God is and was always with me and loved me all along. My life is in His hand. Now I want to give Him an offering of praises. Whenever I praise Him, He who dwells in the praise touches me deeply. I don’t have anything, but in Christ I have everything I need. I want you to know that God has loved you with an everlasting love.
from “The White Dove” I
Emi, who had invited me to the Bible study, said, “I wish you could come again next month, because Pastor Peter Shimada is coming.” I had a hard time declining her invitation, because she had treated me three times to Japanese lunch. So I went with a firm determination that it would truly be my last. Incredibly as other times, my scheduled appointments were all postponed, and I became available. I never imagined, however, that only a few words from the gathering would forever change my life.
“Do you think God exists? God does exist. If you want to know, why don’t you try God.”
That was what Pastor Peter said in the gathering. I was surprised to hear, “Try God.” My grandmother used to offer a bunch of flowers and a bowl of rice on a household Shinto altar, though I was not sure if she had so-called faith or not. She often said to me, “Heaven will punish.” I had been taught not to try God or Buddha, or I would be punished. Therefore, I was astonished to hear the clergyman saying, “Try God.”
And the story he shared with us was enough to surprise and excite me. Here is Pastor Peter’s story:
The time came when I quit my job at an oil company and became an independent evangelist. Three months later, our savings hit rock bottom. I had no money to support my wife and our newborn baby. If I did not have money for rent by the end of the coming week, we would be homeless the next month.
I believed that God would take care not only of our spiritual needs, but also of our daily bread. So, I prayed:
“Dear God, please provide me with 150 dollars for rent and 50 dollars for my family’s living expenses for a week, 200 dollars in total by next week. Otherwise I will quit the ministry.”
On the first day of the following week, nothing happened. But on the second day, two letters arrived from my American friends whom I had not seen for a long time.
The first letter said, “Dear Peter, how are you? While I was praying this morning, you came to my mind. I hear that you got married and now have a baby. Please accept this if necessary,” and a 150-dollar check was enclosed. The second letter was similar and a 50-dollar check was enclosed. I received a total of 200 dollars, the exact amount that I had prayed for.
Do you call this a miracle? If this is a miracle, I have experienced hundreds and thousands of miracles in my life. Why don’t you try God?
His story was very persuasive because it was his real-life story. I came home so excited that I could not stop talking about it to everyone in my family. My husband simply said, “It could happen.” As for me I was moved as if peeping into an unknown world which I had never known before.
By the way, I found out later that other people at the gathering remembered his words as, “Try praying, because God will answer your prayers.” However, I could not have heard him wrong. I did hear him saying, “Try God,” otherwise I would not have been so moved.
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.” (Malachi 3:10 NKJ）