Today’s post is written by Terry Gassett, a new friend of mine. In her true story, she shares a difficult prayer-struggle she had with God, the amazing gift she received by respecting his denial of her request, and the lessons she learned. I invite you to read her story; I believe you will gain a fresh appreciation for how God rewards those who struggle in prayer. To learn more about Terry, follow this link to her website.


What God Did As I Stood Still

Each morning I am given a gift—an invitation to spend time in intimate fellowship with OUR Father through the Word and Prayer. I am invited to share my heart with Him and listen as He shares His.

Over the years, I have poured out my heart to God in prayer.  I have prayed long prayers, short prayers, passionate prayers, bold prayers, and even at times fearful prayers. I have also prayed desperately, begging God for things I wanted and that He chose not to give me, but instead receiving from his hand better things that I had not even known to ask for.

Many years ago, my husband was serving as full-time pastor at a small church in Natchez, MS.   He received a call to come and serve a congregation in Chalmette, Louisiana (a suburb of New Orleans) where I had grown up. Although we had moved away from New Orleans shortly after we were married – I had spent almost every waking moment praying to The Lord to move us back! I had never lost my love for the city or for its people, many of whom were like family. I was elated at the news of the call and thought that The Lord was finally answering my many “begging” prayers to move back home.

We went down to New Orleans as a family, met, talked and prayed with the congregation for God’s guidance.  To my dismay, my husband announced to me, shortly after the prayer time, that he had heard an almost audible NO in answer to our prayer for guidance.  I didn’t want to admit it at the time, but I too felt like God was saying NO.

Both of us wanted to be sure of God’s answer, so we went home and prayed some more.  I prayed fervently, wanting so desperately to hear a resounding “YES.” I wanted to go back home. BUT, it still seemed to both of us that God was saying NO. This was terribly confusing, as the timing and circumstances seemed right, and on top of that, God had opened a door hadn’t He?

I asked God to speak to my both my husband and I in a clear way, with a clear answer, in a way that we each could understand, and had this recurring dream:

Night after night, I saw the city of New Orleans flooded and in ruins, with thousands of people stranded. I saw our own family, walking in knee deep, muddy waters, unable to get to safety. Though I did not understand what these dreams meant, I did know that through them The Lord was warning us not to go. These dreams coupled with the almost audible NO my husband had heard, led us to turn down the call.

For a year, I grieved what might have been.  I was angry at God for opening a door only to close it. I didn’t understand what his purpose(s) could possibly be for doing this.

As I brought my WHY questions before the Lord, he remained silent for that year; then,  in his timing He spoke to me through the scripture which reads “Stand Still and See the Salvation of The Lord.” Exodus 14:13.

It wasn’t until three years later that hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. In the aftermath of the storm, the levees broke and the city was flooded. My friends all lost their homes, some even lost their lives.

Chalmette, which had never before flooded, was flooded as well.  Had we gone, we too, would have lost our home, our church, and possibly even our lives.

Words cannot express the mixed emotions I felt at the time; grief over the disaster that had fallen on my beloved City, overwhelming heartbreak for those who were suffering greatly, survivor’s guilt, and gratitude.  Gratitude to MY FATHER who remained faithful to answer my prayer, not in the way I envisioned, but in a way that was in accordance with His will and was for my good!

I think it was then, that I learned some lessons in prayer that will stick with me for life.



15 Responses

  1. Thank you both for releasing this post on prayer. Your honesty of heart is so needed for us that are still learning about the responsibilities and amazing privilege of being prayer warriors. ❤️

  2. Thank you for sharing your story, Terry. It’s such a good reminder of how God has a better plan for us than we can ever have for ourselves and to trust Him in that–even when it seems like He’s not listening. He had other plans for you and your husband, and I am so glad our paths have crossed!

    1. Thank you Norma – He certainly does! However in my humanness I often STILL find myself in need of that reminder. That is when I go back to His Word to read His Promises and when I look back in remembrance of all He has done for me personally in the past. He has never failed me! I am so glad our paths have crossed as well!

  3. Yes. It happens that way so many times. We should NOT demand, just ask God for what we think we desire and leave it in HIS hands, for HE knows better than we do what the answer is.

  4. Terry,
    This was such a clear answer to your heartfelt prayer. And a beautiful example of listening to His answer and obeying His direction. Reading this makes my imagination run wild about all the things God is doing in each of our lives to protect us. But if we are not in communion with Him through His word and prayer we are not as keenly aware that it is His hand. Thanks so much for the reminder to hold fast to our loving Father.

    1. Thank you Rosemary for your insightful comments! I appreciate them and you.
      You make me wonder too how many times and in how many ways Our Dear Lord has protected us from circumstances and sometimes even from ourselves! He is indeed a Loving Father!

  5. Thank you for the opportunity to guest post on your lovely blog Jane. It was an honor.
    May you continue choosing grace and blessing others along the way as your write about it here.

    God Bless My Friend!

    1. I’m honored that you choose to share your wonderful story of answered prayer on my website, Terry! As I read it, I felt awed by God’s persistent and protective love for us. I am so glad you listened to him.

  6. Wow, what a great story and testimony of how God can and will work in our lives. Even if we think it’s a good thing and we want something so bad we need to really pay attention and listen to what God says. I know in my own personal life I need to listen more and talk less. Thank you for sharing this story Jane. It really blessed me today!

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