How Do I Know It was God Who Answered My Prayers?

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As I woke this morning to begin my day, my focus was on the multiple activities we are planning for children with life-threatening diseases. Where do I begin? Who will be willing to donate their time for this worthy cause? I looked at my checklist and realized we are in need of a host who will captivate the audience as we educate and advocate for families with children battling sickle cell disease.  How can I love these families as deep as I do and use all of my energy to make a difference in their lives? I need direction, connection and someone who has truly been an advocate to assist with making these events a success.

I began to pray and reminisce over the years how I didn’t think there was value in praying. I never knew if God answered my prayers or did I just make the decision to take the road to the left. I remember asking my family and friends why do you say God spoke to you? Did He tap you on the shoulders and say something? How did His voice sound? My godmother finally said to me one day to read Judges 6 and let her know when I finished it. I called her an hour later and said I read it. She said, “Reread it.”

At the time, I didn’t understand the need to reread what I had already read. I found out later that the moral of the story was Gideon wasn’t sure if it was God speaking to him so he prayed in specifics and received his answer. Now when I am faced with obstacles big or small, I pray in specifics, asking God to direct me.  It is truly a great feeling to know that God answers prayers and that I can speak to Him without an appointment at anytime.

When I became a single parent of four children, I prayed. When I received an eviction notice, I prayed. When the power company turned my lights off for no payment, I prayed. When my car was repossessed, I prayed. When my marriage ended in divorce, I prayed. When I received that devastating telephone call saying my son had been shot and died, I prayed. When I had to start motherhood over due to raising my grandson after my son’s death, I prayed. There are no challenges that will come my way that will prevent me from talking to our Heavenly Father and trusting that His will be done in my life. I went from traveling the road of trying to handle it myself to the road of prayer that leads to our Creator. Now my day begins with spiritual exercises: praying at 5:30 a.m., reading and studying the word of God, planting and watering positives seeds while knowing that God will cause a harvest.

Prayer should not be a ritual you do just to say, “I prayed,” but rather it should be a serious conversation with God, knowing in advance He will answer. Prayer changes things, and if you haven’t embraced this open communication with God, keep living and one of life obstacles will knock you to your knees. While you are down there, pray. We become transformed women living transformed lives through the avenue of prayer.



Aretha Cleveland                                                                                                              www.ArethaCleveland.com                                                                           winningbattlesinyourmind.org                                                                   www.winningthebattles.wordpress.com                                                                              www.twitter.com/reecleveland


Online editor for Hers magazine.


  1. Avatar

    Tribune Head

    February 11, 2015 at 3:59 am

    Aretha , I am so happy and proud of you. Yes, God really has put a blessing on your life. Keep using your gift. You are an asset to so many. Love in Christ, Tribune

  2. Avatar

    Carolyn J. Walker

    February 11, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Wonderful article. Thanks for giving your incite on prayer. I know it works. Let’s keep praying.

  3. Avatar

    Denise Williams

    February 11, 2015 at 10:33 am

    My Sister Aretha, May God continue to be your guide. You remind me of Esther. You have great courage in doing what God has placed in your heart to do. May He continue to Lead and be your guide through all that you do to Glorify Him and helping others in their trials and different situations. You are a great Inspiration to myself and many others. God Bless you and may He Bless you Mightily.

  4. Avatar

    Mattie Florence

    February 12, 2015 at 3:35 am

    Aretha, I am so proud of your hard work. You ate truly an excellent example of putting your faith to work.continue to do good
    By uplifting Christ
    Mattie i

  5. Avatar

    Beatrice Spates

    February 12, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Wonderful article! There is truly power in prayer, the best conversation you can have with anyone is with God. Continue to let God use you as a vessel to reach others because you are truly blessed with that gift. I love you and continue your great work!

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