Philemon 22 – And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers.
This verse reminds me of dear friends and a memorable answer to prayer. Shortly after we were married, we were living in Lansing, Michigan. We were going through the normal struggles that many new ministries go through. God blessed us with an older couple, John and Sue, who were wonderful friends to us and were an inspiration to many. They opened their home and lives to so many young men and women to help them grow in the Lord.
Fasting and prayer were vital to John and Sue and a part of their daily lives. They viewed them as essential elements in seeking the Lord and being empowered to be the man and woman God wanted them to be. We were often amazed at how God spoke to them and used them to bless others. They were loving, kind and selfless.
The Lord spoke to them about establishing a foundation and pouring everything they owned into it where they could minister to people in need of help or encouragement. They purchased a big old house and 50 acres and it became the center of their work and a place of prayer. It was a home where they could have people stay with them for various periods of time to minister and help them.
There came a time when I was struggling with the work we were attempting to do. While praying the Lord put on my heart to call John and Sue and ask if I could come and spend a few days there with them to seek the Lord. When I did they encouraged me to come. It was a blessing to be there – spending time in the word and prayer and gleaning wisdom from John and Sue.
While there I was reading Philemon and the Lord really quickened this verse to me – so much so that I mentioned it to John and Sue at breakfast. They grinned and informed me that the Lord had spoken to them a couple of weeks earlier that I was to come and spend some time with them there. They had the guest room prepared for me and were confident that through their prayers I would come. I am still blessed by memories of this simple yet profound example of God answering prayer and His using Christians to express His love.