In 2014, we had our 3 little kiddos and were expecting another one. Thus, we felt the need to move to a bigger place. Only my husband had a job at the time, so we thought we‘d look in the outskirts of Oslo, Norway for a more affordable property fit for a family of six.
At the onset, we had only a vague picture of what we wanted: a budget, the desired number of rooms, and a woolly idea of places we wanted to live in. We didn’t think it was necessary to ask God for other things that made living in a place convenient: street traffic, distance to the grocery stores, distance to the library, type of schools in the neighbourhood etc.
We searched and viewed all possible houses in the city until we were completely flummoxed. We’d seen all types of properties. The grueling long search soon made us indecisive. We wanted this house and the next and the other.
One day, during either a bible study or a prayer session, I felt the Lord ask me, “What do you really want?” Pointing me to Mark 11:23 which says, “Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.“
This mountain signifying — a definite request.
I believe the Lord nudged me to put it down in writing. After discussing this with my husband, we came up with the following
An attached rental property A street with very low traffic A special school for one of my daughters Walking distance to the train station and grocery stores Finally, I desperately asked God for a prayer room
An attached rental property
A street with very low traffic
A special school for one of my daughters Walking distance to the train station and grocery stores
Finally, I desperately asked God for a prayer room
Around my 7th month of pregnancy, we visited a couple who lived in this calm and well-kept community called Ås, situated in the Akershus province of Norway. It’s lavishly surrounded by quaint houses, well-tarred walking, and bicycle paths and sandwiched by well-maintained hedges. The streets had a calm traffic and were surrounded by lovely greeneries. It also had a short route to the bus stop. The library and the grocery stores were only a stroll away. At first, I was but attracted to the serenity of the neighborhood, the feeling of fresh air, and the birds chirping. The well-kept parks fascinated me even more. As our friends saw us to our car, almost in a flighty way I said,” Lord, I would love to live in a neighborhood like this”.—We were in for a big surprise.
From that time on, we began to consider the Ås neighborhood. It turned out, property prices in Ås were awfully pricey. As we went for property viewings here, we noticed that though the asking prices of the houses were at the upper bound of our budget, they were eventually sold for higher prices — anything from 200,000 Norwegian kroner or more (33,000 Canadian dollars). In fact, one property we’d gone to see in Ås was sold for 1.5 million Norwegian kroner (250,000 Canadian dollars) above the asking price—thanks to the property bubble market.
After this outlandish pricing episode, we were exasperated and decided to take our eyes off Ås and settle for somewhere more affordable. Though our decision was to forget Ås, every so often, the allure of Ås still came tugging at us. One day, we saw a property for sale in our “precious Ås” and decided to give it one more try. Unlike the previous house viewings in Ås, strangely, we were the only viewer for this property. We were rather shocked by this but eventually learned that the property had been on the market for a while. It wouldn’t sell because of a drainage problem in the basement. As we set our eyes on the house, it evoked no special feelings. The house was anything but splendid. Instead, it had a bland and empty look. We were hesitant. On a second thought, we wondered if this could be an opportunity that’s been wrapped in rags waiting for us to refine?
We consulted with some plumbers who gave us a glimmer of hope and on that slender thread, we dared to buy the house and hoped not to be greeted by mold surprises.
After we fixed the drainage problem, we touched up the paintings inside the house, pulled down the wall separating the kitchen from the sitting area and behold, magic happened!
We began enjoying our house with all we’d asked for — a three bedroom house with an attached rental property, the child-friendly neighborhood and a very low street traffic. The closest school which was about 4 minutes walk from our house, was the exact school suited for my first daughter. Not to mention the park merely 2 minutes away.
The day finally came when the former house owner —a Christian woman— came visiting. She was surprised at the changes we’d made to the house. She couldn’t believe it was the same house she’d sold us months earlier. As we got talking, she revealed to me something gripping. “The room in the basement was my prayer room”, she explained, “It was sacred to me and I would want you to do the same.” She said she felt the need to tell me. Astounded by what I just heard, I immediately felt a tingling sensation of God’s love inside of me. In the subsequent days, as I kept wondering why this lady divulged that to me, I was engrossed with the thought that perhaps God wanted to hint to me that he’d given me exactly what I asked for.
I believe God wanted to show us that we could ask for anything —within the boundaries of His will— in faith and receive it. I was mesmerized that God cared enough to hear every single word I uttered. She telling me definitely built up my faith. I believe being specific in our prayers helps us recognize our answer and increases our confidence in God. This definitely jacked up mine.
More still, one year later, in October 2016, the time came for us to leave Norway for Canada. With deep sighs and heavy hearts, we began the process to enlist our house for sale. It was no pleasure having to let go of our “promised” home.
After we contacted a realtor to begin the process of enlisting, we wondered if the balcony and some other things we needed to fix would affect the sale of the house. Here again, prayer dispels doubt. Philippians 4:6 tells us not to worry but to pray about everything.
We employed our new-found truth about the definite request in faith. We asked the Lord to send someone who would buy the house within three months (we scheduled to leave Norway Dec 12th) for a price we had in mind. We had only three months to tidy up the house, sell the house, and handover to the new buyer.
Amazingly, someone who desperately wanted to buy a house in that neighborhood contacted us before our property was put up on the market. To cut the long story short, we sold this property before the official viewing day for 1 million kroner (more than 166,000 Can Dollars) more than we bought it in the previous year. Did I mention that because of the initial drainage problem, we bought the house for less than the asking price?
This is just one testimony of how God answered a specific need and sent financial relieve to offset all our debt.
What we learned from this challenge:
- Being specific forced us to think about what we really wanted
- Writing down our requests helped us visualize our desires — an act of faith according to Hebrews 11:1
- It also helped us pray specifically using related scriptures to target our prayers
- Being specific helped us to recognize when God answered and to praise Him accordingly
- The act made us stand in awe of God when we saw that He actually answered; this made me trust God more in other areas of my life.
- It changed the way I relate to God. I now see God as my Daddy that I can tell all my worries and be confident that He hears.
Do you some thoughts? please share with us in the comment box below.
God bless you!
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