Taking Chances

Dear Reader:

Taking chances…I have never been much of a risk-taker…especially financially… mainly because I felt during all those years of raising children as a single mom… that I couldn’t afford to take a chance on opportunities that I might have risked if it had just involved me and no one else.

Still deep inside…I do harbor a bit of a risk-taker in me…jumping on opportunities to see the world through scholarships and educational institutes that paid for several of my overseas travels. Jumping into graduate school with two children already in college and praying for a scholarship to arrive in the amount needed to take my next class…which always seemed to happen in the most creative ways.

When I reflect back on the times I did gather the courage to take a risk on an opportunity to grow as a person inwardly or as a professional growth extension…it was usually successful.

So when I came across this devotional message (Faith Gateway Today- “A Prayer That is Answered Specifically“) by Anne Graham Lotz…it made me stop and reconsider some ideas that I had planted in my head…which perhaps, needed revisiting.)

Do you pray specifically?

It’s been said that the person who asks God for nothing won’t be disappointed. In other words, people are afraid if they pray specifically they will be setting themselves up for disappointment when God doesn’t answer specifically. 

I know parents who don’t teach their children to pray specifically because they are so afraid their children’s faith will be damaged when God doesn’t answer specifically. Their cautious attitude, of course, does its own damage to their children’s faith by teaching them that He doesn’t answer specific prayer. 

People who don’t pray specifically may not be disappointed but they surely miss out on the thrill of moving Heaven as evidenced by the specific answers God does give. God may still bless them and give them an answer. It’s just that they won’t recognize it as the answer because they never specified what they were asking of Him. I know what it’s like to pray generally and miss out on the blessing of receiving a specific answer. But I also know what it’s like to pray specifically.

She then went on to list some everyday prayers that we all offer up subconsciously most of the time….after reading some of hers I thought a few minutes and added some more specific prayers that have come my way.

Examples from Anne Graham Lotz:

  • Locating an empty handicapped parking place when I took my husband to his doctor, 
  • Finding the right gift for someone’s birthday, 
  • Bringing the dog back when he’s run out of the yard, 
  • Helping my granddaughter pull up her math grade, 
  • Locating my husband’s misplaced hearing aid — for the hundredth time, 
  • Ensuring that the apple pie I make for Daddy is the best ever.

And even some bigger ones from the author like:

  • Inspiring thoughts, and the words to express them, for this book,
  • Meeting the deadline for submitting the manuscript, 
  • Breaking open a passage of Scripture so that I have the framework for a message, 
  • Releasing my husband from the hospital in time for Christmas Day at home, 
  • Enabling me to remain alert as I stayed with my Mother all night before she moved to Our Father’s House. 


As I thought back over daily prayers for specific solutions that I once never gave a second thought about…I started realizing the power of prayer in everyday situations

*Praying for a kind motorist to let me in a line of traffic that needed to turn right and the motorist did so with a smile and a wink

*Running late for an appointment and having every single signal light on Trolley Road turn green as I approached it

*Praying that Jakie wouldn’t be shy and cover his face with his hands at his end-of-the year program (like he did last year)…not only did he not cover his face…he was regaling in the limelight and never missed missed a beat the whole night.

*Praying that I won’t start boo-hooing during Rutledge’s pre-school graduation this coming Thursday night…* this prayer is still out for review…pending…

And larger specific prayers….

One that stands out in my mind was an opportunity to travel to Snowbird, Utah as one of two teacher representatives from SC…I was told that the State Teacher of the Year, Jeanne Sink, was going and a teacher from Summerville, Rene Harris, whom I had never met at that time. She had been chosen as the second representative. I had not made the cut…and oh how I longed to go see the West and be a part of the IMPACT II national grant. I kept dreaming about it and looking at pictures of Snowbird.

About a month before the departure date for the others…Jeanne Sink called me aside at a supper we were both attending and asked if I would take her place in representing SC? The meeting coincided with her family’s beach week and that was the most important thing to her…spending time with her family. I remember driving back from Columbia thinking…”God sure does work in Mysterious Ways.”

And…the best part was that I got to meet the invincible Rene Harris who would later become Tommy’s teacher for two years and a dear dear friend to me. If I ever considered myself creative…it floundered beside Rene’s elevated level of creativity.

We would end up taking several more trips together around the country and even to Demark… having so much fun! Rooming with Rene kept me in stitches the whole time! I would fall asleep in sheer exhaustion from laughing.

*Rene had a big benchmark birthday last summer and I am still thinking what creative “gotcha” gift I can come up with….am bringing in reinforcements…Honey Burrell…together we will plan a sneak attack…Rene will never see it coming.

So until tomorrow…When we ask God for what He wants to give us, we can be fairly sure He has a plan already in place. Our specific prayer gives us the thrill of not only participating in what He is doing, but knowing that we are part of a Divine plan.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh





About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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1 Response to Taking Chances

  1. bcparkison says:

    I think in this crazy world we are living in my most consistent prayer is for protection for all my little grands. Yes…they all woke up this morning…Thank you Father..


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