Stories of Answered Prayer: A God of Detail
by Luisa Rodriguez
Back in 2004, my brother gave us the news that he would be deploying to Iraq. This was during a time period where the fighting was intense, and the US military was heavily engaged in the war. As proud as I was that he had joined the Army and was doing what he loved, the idea of him being in a war zone was naturally unsettling, especially because he was part of an infantry unit. Surprisingly though, I did not pray that he would not go. I had a much different prayer.
I am one of those few women that studies war and the people in them. It was a necessary part of my former career and a passion of mine. Because of my background, I knew and understood that this was something my brother had to do. You don’t join a football team to sit on the sidelines. You don’t join the Army to stay home while other men and women are fighting.
Knowing that, I didn’t feel that I should pray that my brother would not deploy. Obviously, I prayed for his safety and well-being and that he would return to us in one piece, but there was something else I thought was necessary. I prayed that he would never have to kill someone in close combat.
The mental injuries that war can inflict on a person can sometimes be as damaging as the physical injuries themselves. I had read enough about the psychological impact that killing can have on the fragile human mind that I didn’t want my brother to have to live with that for the rest of his life. It weighed heavily on me. So when I prayed for his safety, I would also pray that God would spare him from taking someone’s life in that way.
As a platoon leader in Iraq, my brother and his men would patrol certain assigned areas within their geographical region. Platoons within the same Company would rotate based on the schedule that would be handed down from above. For the men, it was the luck of the draw, but all the units covered the same ground and had the same “opportunities” to engage the enemy.
Despite a year of patrolling and being part of larger military operations, my brother never killed someone close range. Other platoons within his same Company saw close range fighting and suffered serious casualties, but my brother was spared from that ordeal. He kicked down plenty of doors, arrested suspected terrorists, witnessed suicide bombers explode in front of him—but he never had to look a man in the eye and had to shoot him.
I did not tell my brother I had prayed this way until a few years after his return. During a family gathering he made a comment about how surprised he was that he had never killed anyone despite being in an active war zone. It was then that I let him in on my little secret. He jokingly complained that I had kept him from doing his job and that I was the one to blame. It was blame I was happy to take upon myself.
This is one of many times that I have prayed with specificity. I lay out for God exactly what I feel I need or want at the time. I know He always has the right to say, “NO!” However, when I am specific, I can go back and see that only God can answer a prayer so perfectly or answer a prayer to the last detail. Every prayer then becomes a building block to a stronger faith.
So as you pray, I want to encourage you to write your prayers down and do not be afraid of being specific. God may say, “No,” but if He says, “Yes,” be prepared to be amazed at our great and powerful God!
About the Author
Luisa Rodriguez is a writer and artist who lives in St Charles, IL. Her professional background is in National Security and International Studies. However, recently, Luisa writes mostly about issues that pertain to spiritual growth.
Her daughters are one of her biggest inspirations. Much of her writing centers on female themes and lessons learned from parenting daughters. However, Luisa’s military studies give her a unique perspective on warfare/military themes in the Bible and she weaves that into her articles. Because of this, she appeals to male readers as well.
Because of her artistic background, she often illustrates her own graphics for her written work and website. You can read and see more of Luisa’s work on her website, Fruitfully Living. Follow her on Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.
You can read Luisa’s “Sunday Inspiration” column on the first 1st Sunday each month here at Mustard Seed Sentinel.