I’ve always believed that prayer is not only speaking to God, but seeking His guidance as well, and then taking the time to listen to His still, small voice 1. When a situation arises unexpectedly, I ask Jesus to help me know what I should do, but sometimes I also struggle wondering if I am really hearing His voice or if it is just my own thoughts. Here is a little incident that encouraged me regarding this question.

On a trip to visit my home country, I rented a car online close to the airport. I found what I thought was a very good deal. When I arrived at the rental company, however, I was informed that they wouldn’t allow me to rent the car unless I took out additional insurance, which more than doubled the daily rate and turned what had looked like a good deal into an expensive one. I thought about trying to find a more economical option, but since I was very tired and there were no other rental companies close by, I decided that I would take the car just for that day, and then look for a different car the next day.

The following day, before going out I prayed for various aspects of my day, and one of my requests was that I could find a better deal on a rental car. I also asked God if there was a reason why I was in this situation with the rental company requiring the additional expensive insurance. At the end of my prayer, as I quietly waited, I felt God telling me to just keep the car I already had. I was surprised, as one of the things I am usually concerned about is being frugal, since my life as a volunteer means I need to be conscious of my budget. I did keep the original car, but I continued to wonder if I had gotten it right.

Several mornings later, as I came out of the house where I was staying with friends, I found a police car parked next to my rental car. The side window had been smashed in and some items were stolen, although thankfully nothing of great value. The police told me that they had seen the damaged car and had called the rental company to report it.

I then contacted the rental company and they told me that I could just go to a nearby branch and get a replacement car. I was informed that the replacement of the window, as well as the damage to the interior of the car from rain and snow, would have cost well over $1,000 USD if I had not had the added insurance, but since I did, there were no additional charges. It was suddenly very clear why God had led me to accept the extra insurance costs and keep the car.

I was grateful that I had taken the time to pray and ask God about this situation and had followed what I believed was His leading, even though it seemed contrary to my first impulse and inclination. This incident also taught me that God’s Spirit often speaks to our heart, sometimes with just a phrase or an impression. But if we listen, we can hear His whispers and benefit. “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known” 2.

  1. see 1 Kings 19:11–12 NKJV
  2. Jeremiah 33:3