Jehovah Jireh, My Provider: When God Answers Prayer

Salad set on a table - Jehovah Jireh

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 ESV

God Answers Prayer…with Salad?

Once, I prepared a luncheon for a dozen colleagues. I had prepared three salads, but as I looked at the group around the table and began watching the salads disappear, I knew there was not going to be enough. Prayerfully, I pleaded, “Lord, please let there be enough salad.” People kept dishing out their salads and filling their plates. Each person’s plate was brimming with food as the salads continued to be passed around the table. “We will surely run out by the seventh or eighth person,” I thought to myself. “Please, Lord, let there be enough salad.”

Stunned, I watched salad multiply. Every person took out full servings, every plate was filled and overflowing, and when the twelfth person received each bowl, there was precisely one generous serving left in each of those bowls. “Thank you Lord!”

Multiplying Rice?

My friend, Virginia, shared a similar experience in Papua New Guinea, except she had only one bowl of rice. Eighteen to twenty people had arrived unexpectedly. They stayed for the evening to visit and pray. Everyone was hungry. She had little food in the house. She took the rice she had and prepared one dish. She threw in everything she had in the kitchen into that one dish—an egg, a radish, an onion. It was delicious, but there was so little. The rice bowl was passed. Each person dipped in and the bowl continued to be passed. Her prayer was, “Lord, let the rice multiply because I know there is not enough!” Everyone ate. The rice bowl was passed around a second time. Everyone ate until they were full. It was truly a miracle, the miracle of the multiplying rice and God’s omnipotence.

Our God is like this. He is our Jehovah Jireh, our Provider. In II Kings 4:42-44, a man brings Elisha twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain. Elisha tells the man to feed the 100 men that were there. The man doubts, but Elisha repeats, “Give them to the men, that they may eat, for thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and have some left’” (vs. 43, ESV). And the men ate until they were full and there was food left over.

“Please God…Your Servant is Hungry.”

Never doubt that God will provide for his children, that God answers prayer. Our Muslim friend in North Africa had converted to Christianity. Because of choosing Christ, he had lost his family and his job. Out of necessity, he left the community. He spent all of the money he had and still could not find a job. He was starving. He was so weak. On one very hot afternoon as he was walking, he dropped to his knees and he begged God, “Please God. You know your servant is hungry. Please provide food.” When he opened his eyes, he saw a woman walk out of her house, carrying a dish of food. She walked directly to him and gave to him this freshly prepared tajine.

Indeed, our God answers prayer and delights in providing for His children. Whether it is food, clothing, tuition payments, or house bills, go to God with your needs. Invite Him to demonstrate in a tangible way, His provision for you.

Prayerful Reflection:

  1. God, help me recall the many ways that you have demonstrated that you are my Jehovah Jireh, my Provider.
  2. Lord, show me how to keep record of your provision for our family (e.g., journaling, a “God Blesses Ledger,” tape recordings, oral storytelling, etc.), so that my children can be encouraged through consistent stories of your faithfulness
  3. Abba, help me to remember, even in the hard times, that you are good.

Lord Jesus, thank you for providing everything that I need. Yet, I confess that I often feel that I do not have what it takes to do the work that you have called me to do. However, when I stepped out in obedience, you have provided all that I have needed. Help me to trust you for everything . . . for wisdom, for provision, for energy, for spiritual sustenance . . . and help me to model before my children a true faith and a thankful heart that you are, indeed, our Jehovah Jireh.

June Hetzel, Ph.D., Dean of Education