As we pray for God’s providence and provision, let’s give thanks for His blessings in our lives and in our churches. Pray that we would be fully submitted to God’s will. Pray that we would use all that God has entrusted to us to bring Him Glory.
King David famously gave glory to God. He praised God for His love, mercy, faithfulness, and protection. When it came time to gather resources to build the Temple, David made sure to praise God for the blessings and providence of the Almighty.
1 Chronicles 29:14-16 says, “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you.”
Answered prayer story: Romans 8:28 says, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.”
We are taught at a young age to make plans and to pursue our dreams. However, when those plans clash with the providence of God, His ways always prevail. God’s plans can affirm the path we are on or can take us down different paths. In all of it, God gets the glory!
One such example occurred when we were missionaries overseas. We had a volunteer team of four men from the United States. During the week, a local pastor we had been working with asked us to visit the next day at 1 p.m. instead of at 9 a.m., which was our plan. With this change of plans, we picked up the team and told them that the Lord was leading us to start a new work in another town. While driving there, we agreed that the main focus was finding a person of peace to start a Bible study.
As we entered a local store, the gentleman behind the counter, who was kneeling, stood up and greeted us. He asked us what we were doing there. We said that we were missionaries and the four guys with us were on a mission trip. He asked us if we were Christians and we said, “Yes.” He then asked, “What kind of Christians?” We said, “Evangelicals.” He continued, “What kind of Evangelicals?” We said, “Baptists.” He asked, “What kind of Baptists?” We said, “Southern Baptists.” He said that he was a Southern Baptist as well! He explained that he had been saved in 1978 through the work of a missionary with our agency who had since retired.
We asked him if he would like to have a Bible study in his bookstore. He said that when we walked into his shop, he was kneeling behind the counter and praying for three things. One prayer request was to do more for the Lord. He had given himself until the end of July to figure out how to serve God. The day we entered his shop was July 27. He said that being able to invite people to study God’s Word in his store was an answer to his first prayer.
During the course of the conversation he asked my name. I said, “Phil.” He then asked, “Phil what?” I said, “Phil Calvert.” He said, “You’re not going to believe this, but the second thing I was praying for when you entered my store was how to find Phil Calvert.”
The previous night, he had been speaking with a Baptist pastor about his desire to serve the Lord. The pastor suggested that he contact a Baptist missionary named Phil Calvert. As he was praying to find me, we walked into his shop. After rejoicing in the Lord, the guys on the team bought some Bibles, books, and CDs. We agreed to visit him the next week when the team had returned to the United States.
The next week, we visited him to plan the launch of the Bible study, and we asked what the third prayer request was. He said that our team had purchased enough Bibles, books, and CDs to pay July’s rent. This was an answer to his third prayer!
We asked him if he knew of a sports stadium that we could use the following July for a volunteer group. He said, “Hop in my car. I want to show you something.” We drove to a facility that included a soccer field, stadium seating, and a community center. He said that he had signed a one-year agreement to manage the stadium. I said that it was the perfect spot, but the group would need it July 8-14 of the following year. He said he had just signed the agreement and it ran through July 15!
The next July, we used the stadium. More accurately, the Lord used that stadium. We brought a volunteer team there and the Lord moved mightily. The team performed a drama, which they called David and Goliath. Our 10-yearold son played the part of David. After the drama, between 20 and 30 people came forward to give their lives to Christ. Praise God that His providence prevails in all circumstances and in all places, and that He had changed our plans the year before so that on this day, many would be saved!
— Phil Calvert
Senior Pastor of Trinity Southern Baptist Church in Casa Grande