This #BeBoldGirl story from Amy Carroll from Proverbs 31 was originally posted September, 2016. I recently asked how what she learned from the women in India made a difference in her own life. Be sure to read all the way to the end for an update from Amy.
It was an epic story filled with conflict, mystery, and suspense, but it wasn’t a story just told for our entertainment. It was a true story– with God as the hero.
Our little band of women from Proverbs 31 Ministries sat in a small room in India filled with women who faithfully attended the literacy class led by Mission India. One after another, women in the class shared the stories of God’s presence in their lives.
Only months before, these same women didn’t know that God loved them. They didn’t realize that they were valuable and created in His image. They didn’t recognize the work that God was doing on their behalf.
Prayer was changing their lives and their perceptions.
Two weeks into the year-long class that would take them from non-readers to being able to read on a fourth grade level, the teacher of the class formed Hope Cells, small groups that were instructed to pray and ask God for what they needed.
And the one true God showed up to prove His power and His love.
When Merry stood to share, our little team was caught up in her epic story. Merry and her husband had been working for about $1 a day as watchmen over a construction site. One night a man came and said that their boss had sent them to get some tools for him, and the man carried away a load of valuable gear. The next day, their boss berated them for allowing someone to steal from the site. He hadn’t sent the man, and he demanded that Merry and her husband pay for replacements.
Tears filled Merry’s eyes as she explained their situation. They couldn’t repay their boss because they barely made enough to survive. Although Merry was terrified, she remembered the instructions from her Hope Cell, and she began to pray and ask God to help them.
Day after day she prayed even though she was almost overcome with fear and tears. Day after day she and her husband waited for God’s answer. After six days, a miracle happened. The man who had conned them out of the tools returned them saying that he had made a mistake. Merry’s prayers had been answered!
Because of how God rescued her and her husband, Merry became a Christian, and her husband was beginning to believe too.
Our team heard story after story of answered prayers. Sicknesses healed. Peace brought into marriages. Abuse stopped. Alcoholism abated. These stories of bold prayers not only built the faith of those praying, they build our faith too.
I’ve been to India three times now, and it’s a country that holds part of my heart. I love the vibrancy, the noise, the colors and the spice, but mostly I love God’s people there. Because of persecution, there’s no such thing as “cultural Christianity” and the believers live their faith with passion and boldness. I learn deep lessons every time I visit.
On this visit, I learned this life-changing lesson:
God delights to reveal Himself through answering bold prayers.
Even though I’m a woman in ministry, I’ve always struggled to share Jesus with my friends outside of the church. I’ve wrestled with learning how to give my testimony, hand out a gospel track, or share the bridge to salvation. I’ve toiled to learn the Roman Road and to memorize the Four Spiritual Laws. (If you’re someone who has felt squirmy about the important discipline of evangelism too, then you know all these terms!) In India, I learned a powerful tool for sharing my faith with others that I can embrace.
Bold prayer is a powerful evangelism tool.
From the women involved in Mission India’s Hope Cells, I realized that God is big enough to show Himself to others. All I have to do is to point them to Him through praying big prayers. He reveals Himself through faithfully answering.
Using prayer as a life-change agent for others is new to me, but it’s building my faith. It’s requiring me to lean on God bravely as I trust Him to answer. The funny thing is that I started down this path wanting to bring Jesus into other’s lives, but bold prayer is bringing more of Jesus into my life too.
UPDATE June 2017
Although I’ve missed some opportunities, I’ve been much more intentional to pray out-loud and on-the-spot for people since I’ve been to India. It’s such a gift to see the peace that only Jesus brings sweep over them, and we walk away filled with the faith that He will be at work. I’ve prayed for a friend’s healing and for hard circumstances in my husband’s job. It’s amazing to know that God wants to answer our prayers no matter how big or small they seem!
Amy Carroll is a speaker and writer for Proverbs 31 Ministries. She’s the author of Breaking Up with Perfect as well as the director and coach of Next Step Speaker Services. Amy and her husband live in lovely Holly Springs, NC with a bossy miniature dachshund. You can find her on any given day texting her two sons at college, typing at her computer, reading a book, or trying to figure out one more alternative to cooking dinner. Share life with Amy at www.amycarroll.org and find out more about her speaker coaching services at www.nextstepspeakerservices.org.