By CHRISSY SANDERS
It has become a well-known joke among Christians today: “Don’t ask God for patience…because if you do, He will give you a situation that puts yours to the test!” We laugh because we know there is truth to this; but the greater truth to be taken from this statement is actually how powerful praying specific prayers can be.
A couple of weeks ago, the sin of racism and its grotesque infiltration in society was weighing heavily on my heart, and I decided to ask God for something oddly specific: an opportunity to be a part of the solution. As inadequate as I felt even asking, I knew that God had given me a heart for racial reconciliation — and that He had never let me down before.
Little did I know that the very next day, God would introduce me to His friend, Mr. Neddie Winters — who just so happened to lead a wonderful organization called Mission Mississippi. Sitting at a table with a few members of his team, I learned that Mission Mississippi was actively working to break down racial barriers, extend grace and exemplify racial unity while calling the Church to live out the grace of the gospel.
God may as well have handed me the opportunity I’d asked for on a silver platter.
Sometimes, God answers our prayers in ways that satisfy or surprise us; other times, the answer that we receive from Him is “no.” But the beautiful thing about prayers is that they never expire. Our prayers are not simply paperwork that shows up on God’s desk for Him to file through, put a stamp on, deliver and then discard into the trash.
Instead, the prayers that we prayed years ago, as well as the prayers our grandmothers prayed for us, are all still heard by God today, and answered according to His will, because our prayers are precious to Him. He hasn’t discarded or forgotten them.
In the same way, racial reconciliation has been prayed for by countless saints over multiple generations. And with the strides that Mission Mississippi is making toward true unity, it is overwhelmingly evident (now more than ever) that the Lord is still hearing each and every prayer of those who have gone before us.
If racial reconciliation can be brought to Mississippi, then there is surely hope for the rest of the world. The key is: never be afraid to ask God for an opportunity to be a part of His work, regardless of your fears, your inadequacies or your failures.
For He said in His word, “For everyone who asks receives, the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:8)
Chrissy Sanders is a graduate of Mississippi College and a native of Clinton. She and her husband, Steven, have served in various ministries over the past 10 years, and have two sons, Sterling and Ransom.