God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer.
(Psalms 66 : 19)
I had been in the ministry for quite a few months and was
so poverty-stricken that as far as material things were
concerned, I had nothing. I was not married and I was living
in a small rented room. I had no desk, no chair and no bed.
I was eating on the floor, sleeping on the floor and studying
on the floor, walking miles and miles everywhere to do soul
winning. But one day while reading my Bible, I was tremendously
impressed by God's promises. The Bible said that if I would
just put my faith in Jesus, praying in His name, I would
receive anything I asked for. The Bible also taught me that
I was a son of God, a child of the King of kings, and the
Lord of lords!
So I said, "Father, why should a child of the King of kings
and the Lord of lords live without a desk, chair and bed
and also walk mile after mile every day? At least I should
have a humble desk and a chair to sit on and a humble bicycle
to ride on to do my home visitation." I felt that according
to the Scripture, I could ask for these kinds of things
from the Lord. I knelt down and prayed, "Father, now I am
praying. Please send me a desk, a chair and a bicycle."
I believed and praised God for the things I had asked for.
From that moment I waited for the delivery of each thing
I had prayed for. A month passed with no answer. Then two
months, three, four, five, and six and I was still waiting.
Nothing happened. Then one rainy day I was really depressed.
Not having any food that evening, I was so hungry and tired
that I started complaining, "Lord, I asked you to supply
me with a desk, a chair and a bicycle several months ago
but I have not received any of those things. You know that
I am preaching the gospel to the poverty-stricken people
of this slum area. How can I ask them to exercise faith
when I cannot even practice it myself? How can I ask them
to put their faith in the Lord and truly live by the Word
and not by bread alone? My Father, I am very discouraged.
I am not sure about this, but I do know I cannot deny Your
Word. The Word must stand. And I am sure that you are going
to answer me, but this time I'm just not sure when or how.
If you are going to answer my prayer after my death, what
kind of profit will that have for me? If you are ever going
to answer my prayer, please speed it up. Please!"
Then I sat down and began to cry. Suddenly, I felt serenity
and a feeling of tranquility come into my soul. Whenever
I have that kind of feeling, a sense of the presence of
God, He always speaks to my spirit so I waited. Then that
still small voice welled up in my soul and the Spirit said,
"My son, I heard your prayer a long time ago." Right away
I blurted out, "Then where are my desk, chair and bicycle?"
Then the Spirit said, "You and all of my children beg me,
demanding every kind of request but ask in vague terms and
that is why I do not answer. Don't you know that there are
dozens of kinds of desks, chairs and bicycles? You simply
asked for a desk, a chair and a bicycle. You did not ask
for a specific desk, a specific chair and a specific bicycle."
That was one turning point in my life. No professor in the
Bible college ever taught me along these lines. I had made
a mistake but it was an eye opener for me. Then I said,
"Lord, do you really want me to pray in definite terms?"
This time the Lord led me to turn to Hebrews the eleventh
chapter, "Faith is the substance of things (clear - cut
things) hoped for." I knelt down to pray again, "Father,
I am sorry. I made a great mistake. I misunderstood you.
I cancel all my past prayers. I'll start all over again."
This time I gave Him the size of the desk that I would like
and that it was to be made of Philippine mahogany. I wanted
the best kind of chair, one made with an iron frame with
rollers on the tips so that when I sat on it I could push
myself around like a big shot. Then I came to the bicycle
and I really gave much consideration to the matter because
there were so many kinds of bicycles: Korean, Japanese,
Formosan and German. In those days, bicycles made in Korea
or Japan were quite flimsy. I wanted to have a very strong
sturdy bicycle, and since any machine made in the United
States was the best I said, "Father, I want to have a bicycle
made in the United States with gears on the side so that
I can even regulate the speed." I ordered these things in
such articulate terms that God could not possibly make a
mistake in delivering them. Then I felt faith flowing up
and out of my heart. I was rejoicing in the Lord and that
night I slept like a baby.
When I awoke at 4:30 a.m. to prepare for the early morning
prayer meeting, I suddenly found that my heart was empty.
The evening before, I had all the faith in the world, but
while I slept it seemed that faith took wings and left me.
I could not feel anything in my heart. I said, "Father,
this is terrible. It is one thing to have faith but it is
entirely different to keep that faith untill I receive your
answer." This is a problem that is common to all Christians.
They hear a special guest preacher and they are filled with
faith while he is ministering to them but before they reach
their homes, they have lost it all. It seems like their
faith took wings and fled, too.
That morning while I was reading my Bible looking for a
particular scripture to speak on during early morning prayer
meeting, suddenly my eyes fell on Romans 4:17, "God quickeneth
the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though
they were." My heart fastened itself to that scripture and
the truth began to stir my heart. I said to myself, "I might
as well just call those things which are not as if they
were, as if I already had them." I had received the
answer to the problem of how to keep one's faith!
I rushed out to our tent church where the people had already
begun praying, and after a few songs I started preaching.
I expounded upon that scripture and then said, "Folks, by
the blessings of God, I have a desk made of Philippine mahogany,
a beautiful chair with an iron frame and rollers on the
tips, and a bicycle made in the United States that has gears
on the side. Praise God, I've received all these things!"
The people just gasped because they knew that I was absolutely
poverty-stricken. I was bragging about these things and
they could not believe their ears. By faith, I was really
praising God, doing just as the Word of God told me to do.
After the service, as I walked out three young fellows followed
me and said, "Pastor, we want to see those things." I was
taken aback and became frightened. I had not counted on
having to show any of those things. These people were living
in a slum area and once they knew I had lied, it would be
my last time to minister there. They would never come back.
I was in a terrible situation so I began to pray to the
Lord, "Lord, from the beginning this wasn't my idea. It
was your idea for me to tell it like that. I just obeyed
you, and now I'm in a terrible situation. I spoke as if
I have those things and now how can I explain this? You've
always got to help me!" Then the Lord came and helped me
with an idea. I said, "You come to my room and see." They
all came and they looked around to see the desk, chair and
bicycle. I said, "Don't look around. I'll show you later."
I pointed my finger at Mr. Park, who is now a pastor of one
of the largest Assemblies of God churches in Korea and said,
"I'll ask you a few questions. If you answer them, I'll show
you all of those things. How long were you in your mother's
womb before you were born?" He scratched his head and said,
"Well, nine months." Then I asked again, "What were you doing
for nine months in your mother's womb?" "Oh, I was growing."
"But," I continued, "No one saw you." "No one could see me because
I was inside my mother."
Then I added, "You were as much a baby inside your mother's
womb as you were when you were born into the world. You gave
me the right answer. Last evening, I knelt down right here and
prayed for that desk, chair and bicycle and by the power of
the Holy Spirit, I conceived them. It is as if they are inside
of me growing right now. And they are as much a desk, a chair
and a bicycle as they will be when they are seen by people at
the time of their delivery."
They started laughing and laughing. They said, "This is
the first time we've ever seen a man pregnant with a desk,
a chair and a bicycle." Then rushing out of my room they
began to spread the rumor all over town that the minister
was pregnant with a desk, a chair and a bicycle. I could
hardly walk through town without women gathering to look
at me and giggle. Mischievous youngsters would come to me
on Sunday, touch my stomach and say, "Pastor, look how big
you are becoming!"
During those days, I knew every one of those things were
growing in me. Just as it takes time for a mother to give
birth to a child, it takes time for clear-cut objectives
to come into reality. I continued to praise the Lord every
day for the things I had asked for and sure enough when
God's time came, I had every one of those things. I had
exactly what I had asked for - a desk made out of Philippine
mahogany, a chair made by the Japanese Mitsubishi Company
with rollers on the tips so that I could roll around when
I sat on it, and a slightly used bicycle with gears on the
side from a missionary's son. I brought the desk, chair
and bicycle home and my entire prayer life changed. God
had taught me a tremendous truth!
Until this experience I had always prayed in vague terms,
but from that time until today I never prayed in vague terms
any more. If God ever answered vague prayers you would never
recognize the vague prayer had been answered. For this reason
the Word of God specifically states, "What things (be specific...)
soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive
them, and ye shall have them"(Mark 11:24). You must ask
definitely and specifically.
When the son of Timaeus, the blind Bartimaeus, came running
after Jesus Christ he cried, "Oh thou Son of David, be merciful
to me." Although everybody knew that Bartimaeus was asking
for the healing of his blindness, Christ asked, "What do
you want me to do for you?" Christ wanted specific requests.
Bartimaeus said, "Sir, I want to see." Jesus replied, "It
shall be done unto you as you believe," and Bartimaeus'
eyes were opened! Christ did not pronounce healing before
Bartimaeus specifically asked for healing. When you bring
your request to the Lord, come with a specific request,
a definite objective, a clear-cut goal that you desire to