We Asked for 25

by Upper Room Editorial on Friday, August 04, 2017

“I believe God is leading me to pray for 25 children,” Robin, our VBS director, told us the week before VBS. 25 children attending a VBS may not sound like many, but for our church, which has mostly senior adults and empty-nesters, this was a bold prayer.

So we began to ask, “Lord, please send us 25 children. We promise to love them, teach them your word, and tell them about Jesus. We’ve planned the crafts, bought the snacks, practiced the lessons, and invited the neighborhood. We’ve done all we can do. Now you’ve got to send the children.”

On the Sunday night before VBS began, our prayer group gathered once more to pray for 25 children.

“Lord, send the children who most need to hear the good news about Jesus,” we said as we ended our prayer time.

The next morning, two children came.

“Well, Lord,” we prayed afterward, “we asked you to send the children who most needed to hear about you. Your word says you answer prayers, so these two must have been the ones who most needed to hear about you. Thank you for them.”

The next day the two came back, and the Lord sent a few more children from a nearby daycare center. “Thank you, Lord, for the children you sent today,” we prayed. “But Lord, we’re still trusting you for 25.”

On the third and fourth day, more children from the daycare came. We sang songs, taught Bible lessons, and continued to share the Gospel.

On the fifth and final day, 18 enthusiastic children poured from the daycare bus. Three women brought their grandchildren, and a church member picked up a neighbor’s child. Our Bible study leader stood in the corner during opening assembly and counted. I watched his lips moving, "...22,23,24."

“There are twenty-four children here today,” he whispered to me in excitement.

“Twenty-four?” I whispered back, “that’s wonderful.” But inside I was thinking, Twenty-four, Lord? Why not twenty-five? You can do anything. One more child wouldn’t have been hard for you.

Just then, out of the corner of my eye I saw the back door swing open. The freckle-faced son of one of our newest church families sauntered in and took his place on the front row.

Realizing what had just happened, I glanced at our Bible study leader, who was grinning widely.

"Twenty-five," he mouthed.

Twenty-five indeed.

Warm tears pricked my eyes, and an overwhelming sense of gratitude washed over me. God had answered two prayers for our little church. First, he sent us children who needed to hear the gospel. Second, he gave our VBS director the vision and faith to ask for 25 children and fulfilled the vision. As I gazed at the pews full of children singing praise songs to Jesus, I realized anew the truth of 2 Corinthians 1:20: “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.”

God, grant us ears to hear God’s will, faith to pray it into being, and courage to not lose heart when the answer is slow in coming. In the strong name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

- Lori Hatcher

Lori Hatcher is an author, speaker, and pastor’s wife. She and her husband live in Lexington, South Carolina. Lori’s blog and book, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, encourages busy women to connect with God in the craziness of everyday life. Connect with her at www.LoriHatcher.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter (@LoriHatcher2).

11 Comments

Comment by merry of Poteau, OK

Lori, thanks for sharing your encouraging VBS story. Our small churches needs to hear your encouragement.

Posted August 03, 2017 at 08:59PM CDT
Comment by Ozzie of Point Pleasant, WV

Thank you Lori, for a great and strong message about faith and never giving up. God Bless you and your works...

Posted August 04, 2017 at 03:32AM CDT
Comment by Tom of Canal Winchester, OH

Dear Lori, what a wonderful witness to the fulfillment of faithful petitions to our Lord. That your team was not defeated when only 2 children came that first day but thanked God for sending those that needed it most was realizing that we are to thank God for "all" things. Being grateful and praising Him for the smallest response undoubtedly opened a flood gate. Bless you and your team for remaining faithful.

Posted August 04, 2017 at 04:14AM CDT
Comment by Elizabeth of Johnstown, PA

I am humbled to hear of God's exact answer to your prayer. It reinforces that God hears and joyfully grants requests given in Jesus' name.

Posted August 04, 2017 at 05:01AM CDT
Comment by cherie of Inverness, FL

Lori, so happy to see all those smiling faces reaching out to hear about Jesus and to take part in your VBS! Many blessings on your little church! Love to you, sister!

Posted August 04, 2017 at 05:25AM CDT
Comment by Edd of Ocala, FL

God can do all things and you just proved it once again. God is Love for All!!!

Posted August 04, 2017 at 05:45AM CDT
Comment by Gary of Wilmore, KY

LORI: Wonderful devotion about faith & God's love and being a child. Jesus said we should become like children in matters of the faith. May God help us when we are skeptical & judgemental. Also think the blog by your friend about the eclipse is very informative & very helpful because my wife will try to experience the eclipse on 8-21 near Hopkinsville, KY. We are nervous about the expected crowds. Suppose we will have to become like children & simply trust God. Blessings to you & your friend.

Posted August 04, 2017 at 06:54AM CDT
Comment by Rich of Silver Spring, MD

Awesome testimony. Thank you.

Posted August 04, 2017 at 07:21AM CDT
Comment by Rudy of Chicago, IL

Lori, thank you for reminding us that the Lord does answer prayers! May you continue to have a successful VBS.
Rudy

Posted August 04, 2017 at 07:40AM CDT
Comment by Lori of Lexington, SC

Thank you so much, Upper Room family, for your kind words of encouragement and faith. Blessings to you!

Posted August 04, 2017 at 08:15PM CDT
Comment by Jennifer of Oregon, OH

I too can remember my days at Vacation Bible School over 55 yrs ago. I know that God goes with you in your mission to spread his Word. Their lives may not be impacted immediately but you have planted the seed. Praise God for Vacation Bible School and those who lead it.

Posted August 04, 2017 at 11:14PM CDT