Why I am confident that
God answers prayers

Or: How My New House Got Built

There are 24 people on a private mailing list who are committed to praying for me and for whatever I ask them to support in prayer for Good News Ministries, my family, etc. Most of them have been doing this since 2003. I greatly appreciate their gift, and I’m sure they are part of the reason why many of my prayers get answered.

Sometimes, when I send them a new, urgent or heavy-hearted prayer request, one or two of them tell me that of course God will take care of it, because he always answers my prayers, and one of the reasons why they like being on my private prayer team is because they get to watch God work wonders. However, whenever I hear that, I feel like replying, “Who — ME? My prayer requests?” There are some very important prayer requests that were first made back in 2003 and I am still waiting for good results!

Seeing the 10 years of prayer requests through my friends’ eyes is very enlightening. And encouraging. And it enables me to grow in confidence in God.

The key to success in prayer is revealed in the scripture: “We have this confidence in him that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” (1 John 5:14)

I am now living in the house that was built by divine intervention.

Unless the Lord build the house...

Getting a construction loan at the worst time in economic history since the Great Depression required divine intervention — and persistence in seeking how God wanted to intervene. This was not the only obstacle that Ralph (my husband) and I faced. There were quite a few. One of them was our own doubts. We asked: Is it right to expect God to help with this project? Maybe he doesn’t want us to have this house. Maybe he knows something we don’t, like for example Ralph losing his job after the house is built.

Well guess what. Ralph did lose his job just exactly when the house was finished.

Confident that God answers prayers

However, I had confidence that this too is a good thing as part of God’s plans for us. I truly believe that God blessed Ralph by delivering him from a high-stress job where he was miserable, and since God was behind the lay-off that made Ralph unemployed, then of course he had a new and better job lined up for him. I’d been praying (and so was my prayer team) for a loooooong time for Ralph to get a life-giving job. (So, you can say it’s my fault that he was laid off! LOL!) And praise God, just before his lay-off benefits ran out, that new job came to light.

Where do I get my confidence from? I look backward through time seeking clues that God has been working a plan. For example with the house — when we found the land to buy, a few divine interventions occurred that gave us the confidence to go ahead and purchase it. Well actually, the clues go back even farther into the past. We had almost bought a different piece of property a couple of years prior. At that time, we “accidentally” found the builder who would be God’s hand-picked selection: John Lapsley of Southern Oaks Homes, who happens to be a Catholic and who prayed for us sometimes in the middle of the night as hard as Ralph and I were praying when we faced obstacles. We have enjoyed wonderful conversations with him about trusting God.

Terry waiting for the house to get builtWhen we found the right piece of land in 2008 (which was much, much nicer and closer to home and our church and our friends, etc. than the first lot), John sent over a trustworthy land surveyor to measure and tell us whether the land had enough buildable space without cutting down trees. Before we could decide to buy the lot, we also needed a scientist from the Environmental Protection Agency to come and tell us whether the wetlands on the property would prevent us from building. John informed us that the EPC always takes about a month to get there. We needed an answer right away, because the bank that was selling the land gave us only 15 days to do the research, and we were fast running out of time. (Of course, we were praying all along for divine guidance.)

To John’s utter amazement and faith-growing delight, the EPC scientist showed up exactly at the same time the land surveyor was on site, which allowed them the opportunity to talk to each other.

God was showing us that he was involved; he made it possible for Ralph and me to make the purchase with confidence. Three years later, after struggling to get construction started but meeting obstacle after obstacle, I was therefore able to reason that the hardships were not warnings from God telling us to quit and sell the land. God was not telling us to accept our losses because we’d made a mistake. We could confidently push ahead, because God would not have helped us buy the land if he wanted us to abandon it.

There were other signs, too, including a peace within me that passed all human understanding. And today as I sit in my new house, and watch my parents enjoy it (our house is also their assisted living facility), or when I share my morning prayers with Ralph on our balcony, or when we take a romantic stroll down the wooded driveway in the dark of night, I know that the unanswered prayers — because they are prayers inspired by God’s will — will someday become answered prayers that will make for another faith-building story to share.

Praise the Lord!

© 2013 by Terry A. Modica


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Good News Ministries of Tampa Bay is a Catholic adult faith formation and evangelization ministry in the Diocese of St. Petersburg. We offer events such as seminars, retreats, courses, and parish missions. Our speakers for Catholic adult education specialize in teaching the Church documents, Bible study, the Vocation of Marriage, and prayer. Our services include daily Good News Reflections on the readings from Catholic Mass, WordBytes e-magazine, Virtual Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Online Rosaries, and much more. As a non-profit charitable organization, GNM charges no fees but accepts donations to continue ministering. Catholic Digital Resources is Terry Modica's writing services company. Good News Ministries of Tampa Bay, Inc., is an equal opportunity agency; we never practice discrimination based upon age, ethnicity, gender, national origin, disability, race, size, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic background, other than as allowed by law.