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  • John Van Sloten

When You're the Answered Prayer


Twenty years ago my grandfather gave me the bible he was given when he left the Netherlands to immigrate to Canada. This bible was given to him by a group of fellow bakers from a Christian Bakers Union (one of whom did the artistic inscription with all of union members' names).

For the past few years I have been very slowly reading through the psalms at night — stopping as a verse or phrase that catches my attention and meditating on it as I fall asleep. Whenever I choose a phrase I make a small horizontal pencil mark beside it.

After doing this for years I suddenly came across a pencil mark that was made before me — a vertical mark! Scanning ahead there were many of them — each highlighting a particular verse or phrase that caught the attention of either my grandfather or grandmother! I was quite moved by the discovery — here I am doing the exact same thing my forbears did.

So, now I've decided to continue my evening ritual by meditating on the already-marked verses. Whenever I read the words I think about Oma or Opa reading the words. When I pray in response to the verse I imagine them doing the same... which really hit home last night when I read the last half of Psalm 79:13 — "We will shew forth thy praise to all generations."

For generations God has been faithful to our family. Like me and my parents, I am sure that my grandparents prayed for their children and grandchildren every night. Even as I am deeply committed to showing forth God's praise to all generations, so too were they. Feeling this shared passion — across generations — was deeply moving.

As I put my horizontal pencil mark over the mark of my grandparents I felt like I was an answered prayer.


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