Written by Steve Cianci
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
It’s amazing to me, as I look back over my life, all the times that God has answered prayers just when I needed it. His timing is always perfect.
When I went to Bible College I faced many challenges but one of the biggest was financial. I saved just enough money to make the first payment and went off in faith believing I would be able to find a job near the school to make the next payment. Easier said than done. When I arrived on campus I quickly went to all the local businesses to put in applications. 21 applications to be exact. No one was hiring.
My prayers went from “God, I trust You’re going to provide what I need” to “Oh God, You’ve got to provide or I’m going to get kicked out of school!” Sometimes we need to get a little desperate with God.
At my school, when you got behind in your bill, they would line you up one by one outside the comptroller’s office to be individually interrogated.
I can still picture the scene, scared looks on the student’s faces, young people leaving the office whimpering with their heads down. It was not pretty.
When I got into the office, I had the president on my left, the dean on my right and the comptroller in front sitting behind this intimidating desk. I told them how I had applied to 21 places but did not find a job yet. The comptroller’s answer was memorable. “Well if you don’t have the money for school then maybe you’re not called to ministry.” Obviously, he had the gift of encouragement.
But by God’s grace, through many prayers I did manage to get a job and stay one payment ahead of getting sent home. This went on for three years.
Even while working multiple part time jobs I was on the edge of being dismissed so I would cry out to God for help and then, boom! I would get a check in the mail, or a little extra in my pay check. One time, someone even gave me $1000 just when I needed it!
Many miracles came just in time, in answer to prayers. Then came the big one!
In my third year, I started to date my future wife Tina. We fell in love, and after a year we wanted to get engaged. One big problem- all my money was going to the school and how could I possibly buy a ring? But, by faith, we went out to the jewelry store and picked out a beautiful ring.
I remember my heart sinking as I looked at the joy on Tina’s face while she tried on the ring. I was thinking, how I am going to get the $500 needed for a deposit when I was thousands behind on my college bill.
As we stepped out of the store, Tina and I stood on the sidewalk and prayed, “God, we don’t know how this can happen but we know you are the God of the impossible. We stand in faith that You’re going to help us buy this ring.”
A few weeks later, I received a call from my youth pastor and his wife back in Connecticut. He asked me “Steve, how much do you owe on your college bill?” Not knowing where he was going with this, I told him the number. He paused for a moment and said, “We’ve been praying and we believe God is leading us to pay that entire bill off for you.”
(They had recently received a long overdue medical settlement. Also as an answer to prayer, that came through almost at the same moment Tina and I were praying outside the jewelry store.)
I was over the moon. So thankful for God answering my prayers. But when I received the check God had one more blessing for me. They put in an extra $500 for whatever I needed. God is so faithful! He not only paid off my bill but gave me the money for the ring!
All in answer to a simple, but believing prayer.
What do you need from the Lord today? Stand in faith, lift up your voice to heaven and believe God for a miracle. He has done it over and over for Tina and I and He will do it for you!
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).
Steve Cianci is a bi-vocational pastor and church planter from Hartford, CT. In September of 2014 he and his wife Tina planted Cedar Mountain Church in Newington, CT. Over the past 15 years, they have served in various other ministry capacities including: inner city outreach, worship leaders, children’s and youth pastors. Steve and Tina have two boys. Steve also works as a practice leader and cloud solutions architect for an IT consulting firm.