God Hears Jemma’s Prayer

Updated: Feb 8, 2021

Hebrews 11:1,6 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen...But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”


This story speaks to the power of praying in faith and it is such a sweet testimony of God's faithfulness. I thought you all would enjoy reading it.


One afternoon Jemma entered the kitchen and announced, “Mom, I never sign my name at school without writing 'I love horses' after it.”


Jemma had a friend who had horses and she would spend a lot of time visiting her and riding horseback. She asked if we could buy her a horse. I said, “Jemma, I don’t think we can afford a horse. You are a talented model. We can pray and maybe God will open a door for you to earn the money to have your horse.” She accepted my response.


Three months earlier, Jemma had entered a contest at National Video Family Home Entertainment Talent Search. You had to recite a few lines from the Wizard of Oz and sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. My mother had called me and told to take the girls. The contest was taking place in Youngstown, Akron, and Cleveland. There was a steady stream of children all day in all three cities. I thought her sister did such a cute job she might have had a chance to win but wasn’t sure about Jemma’s chances. I hadn’t thought a lot about it as so much time had passed since the audition.


I got a phone call one afternoon about a week after telling Jemma to pray and maybe God would open the door for her to get a horse. “Hello is this Mrs. Saunders?” Yes. “I’m calling from National Video Family Home Entertainment Talent Search to let you know Jemma won the Talent Search contest. We would like to have you and Jemma pose for the write up in the Tribune where we will present you with a check for $2500.00.”

I called out to Jemma excitedly, “Jemma you won the National Video Talent Search contest. God heard your prayers. You can have your horse.”


Some might say, “put the money in the bank, save it for her Education”. I thought it was more important for her to learn that God is faithful because, after all, He was. I told her God could answer her prayer. There was no way I would not honor what God chose to honor.

We found a horse, Buckeye Blaze. We rented the horse, boarded it, bought the tack, and Jemma joined a 4-H club. Normally it takes 4 years to learn to ride English well enough to win the cherished blue ribbon. We had enough money to keep and board the horse for nine months. As fate would have it, the Canfield Fair came right at the end of the nine months. I had to go to work that day. Jemma was with her friend Autumn, and Autumn’s mother. I knew she was in good hands and thought she might have a chance at a third place ribbon, I best go to work.

When I got to the fair that evening, I was surprised to learn Jemma won the blue ribbon. They were all crying. A double blessing indeed from her heavenly Father.

I believe Jemma’s life was so full because it was going to be a short one.

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