“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
Desperate, I discarded my ‘only pray once’ stand and started praying several times a day on the matter. Still no money. By this time I had run out of toiletries and my shoes were full of holes. I reminded God that I had paid a big price to answer His call on my life. What’s the big deal about supplying my needs? If I went out to work I could have earned double what I was believing for in less than two weeks. Little did I know how having to depend on the Lord for my basic necessities would lead me into knowing God in a way I couldn’t have any other way.
I spent my second Christmas as a believer in College alone and penniless. I couldn’t leave the premises because I was still owing on my fees. By this time I was thoroughly deflated. All my sure-fire faith pathways up in smoke. Lesson number one: no good praying for revival, local or global, if there is no evidence my prayer for a tube of toothpaste and a bar of soap goes unanswered.
The first ray of light came in when the Holy Spirit began to speak to me. All the while I was the one doing all the talking. That was the way it was in those days. I prayed and God listened. I am now learning that the Spirit wants to engage me in a dialogue. I was praying for £75. The fees were ridiculously low, even for the 60s. The Holy Spirit said to me, “You want to run when you have not learnt to walk.” He pointed out to me that faith was like weights you lift in the gym. You start light and work your way up to heavier weights as you build muscles and fitness. “You are asking Me for £75, when you have never trusted Me for £1”, He said.
£1? Why pray for £1, when I needed 75. I was looking at living by faith with the eye of the world outside. Normally if I needed money as a student, either I asked my mother for it, or take a holiday job or odd jobs at the weekend. That’s why £1 seemed such a pittance to be occupying my prayers. Yet the Holy Spirit insisted. Small as that is, if you can’t pray it in without sharing your needs with others or working for it, then your faith isn’t working. In that case what’s the point of praying for revival where you will have even less of a chance to influence the outcome? All of a sudden £1 became a huge mountain before me. Because I had never believed God for money before now. So I began beseeching the Lord for £1.
The prayer for finance at this time became more complicated. Though I was going out to preach in churches every Sunday, I wasn’t allowed to touch the honorarium. The Holy Spirit called it predictable source of income, or, as we often called it in the Bible College: cheap deliverance. These gifts from preaching I gave away to other students. During this learning period the answers to my prayer must come from unexpected sources.