Praying Like Gideon


Late Friday night, I got a highly-secured e-mail telling me that I have been accepted into the Indiana University Ed.D. program in Language, Literacy, and Culture Education. I have no idea how I’m going to finance this, but I am excited. To say that this isn’t in itself an answer to prayer…would be intentional ignorance of God’s hand.

Back in January, I prayed:

God, if you get me into this program without taking the GRE and with most of my application materials arriving late, I’ll take it as a sign from You, and I’ll do it.

Starting a doctorate program is intimidating. I hate failing, and I’m terrified that I’m not smart enough, not committed enough, not….whatever. But after finding out that there was an online doctorate program inclusive of international and third culture education studies, I finally applied.

Against all odds, I was accepted. My prayer was answered. And my prayer immediately became:

Well, that’s great God. But, if You’ll provide financial aid, then I’ll know its You, and I’ll do it.

And almost instantly I saw the echoes of Gideon’s “dew on the fleece, no, wait, that’s too easy, put the dew off the fleece” prayers. How ironic that it’s the story of Gideon that I’ve been studying all year with the Young Life ladies.

I think my prayer needs to be less questioning of God’s already-evident work, and more confident that God will finish what He begins:

Lord, thank You for working. Help me to have the faith–and the courage–to walk forward in this. Help me to see You leading and to follow You no matter how hard the path becomes.

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