How much stronger can your faith be in answered prayer? STRONG. Maybe even Orlando Strong or Boston Strong or NYC Strong. We should just call it USA Strong since our strength as a people is one of the identifying characteristics of Americans (even though this administration would rather just apologize for it). We are strong and we’re not going to let a bunch of whiney jihadists following the alleged writings of some pagan god destroy the love that we have for one another. OK – that’s my political speech for today. Let’s get back to answered prayer … and for all of you praying that God would destroy (or turn) the terrorists, your prayers have already been answered. Read Revelation.
When I was in the hospital facing an operation that might uncover that the worst of the worst diseases, cancer, had invaded my body; I knew a lot of people were praying for me. A huge group of people at church, ladies I didn’t even know yet at Bible Study Fellowship, friends and their friends, blog readers (whom I count among my friends!), family, and (I would later find out) my parents friends and fellow country club members. That was a whole host of people. And you know what?
I felt every prayer.
How? Because before and after the surgery I felt as if a blanket of love had enveloped me. Even when I awoke in the Recovery Room with my doctor’s hand gently laying on my arm, his little face smiling at me, and his warm eyes glowing – delivering the worst possible news – I still felt awash in a blanket of love. OK, that could have been the drugs, but I don’t think so. Because the same feeling persisted over the next few months as I went home, recuperated from the surgery and open wounds in my belly, and then started chemotherapy to kill what my doctor’s hands couldn’t. I was buoyed by prayer and the warmth of a lot of love. Praise Him that He hears the prayers of His saints.
Even when I sat in a hospital for 11 days and still hadn’t received a visit from any pastors in my church I prayed that God would send me a man of the cloth to talk to and pray with and within minutes the hospital Chaplin was at my door. Praise Him!
Even when I wound up back in the hospital when a hematoma had burst under my incision and I had to receive a wound vacuum to help close the open wound, it didn’t look like it was going to happen. I put a call in to three mighty prayer warriors to pray quickly to right what was going wrong. In less than 15 minutes the situation became 100% positive. The nurses said they never saw such progress. I said, “You must not know my God.” Praise Him for answered prayer!
All along this journey I (and others) have prayed and we’ve received answers to our prayers. Although not always what we’ve prayed for or wanted. I certainly didn’t want cancer, or an open would that would persist for six months, or weird salt & pepper curly hair, or neuropathy in my feet so bad that my toes feel perpetually stubbed.
But prayers always go answered.
Remember in Daniel 10 when the angel Gabriel told Daniel that his prayers had been heard immediately but he’d been fighting against Satan to get to Daniel with the answer and even needed Michael’s intervention to make it happen. In some cases we might still be waiting for an answer to our prayer. In others, and probably more frequently than we care to admit, it could be that we just don’t recognize the answer because we’re so set on what we want rather than God’s will for us that we don’t see it.
I remember a counselee talking to me about needing financial assistance. There were several things happening in her life that could be covered easily if she’d only had more money. She (and I) had been praying for a few weeks for a new, better paying job for her. About four weeks into our sessions she came in really distraught that another interview had gone without a job offer. It was getting down to the wire and she was getting more and more frustrated. After we prayed again, we spent the rest of the time discussing the good things that were happening in her life. As she spoke I got the sensation that I should be making a detailed list. At the end of the session I was almost laughing out loud. All of the “little good things” that had happened had removed the need for her to get a new job. God had answered her prayer – just not in the way she thought she needed it. Among other things, her two grown boys had both gotten jobs and agreed to pay $100 a month each to the household, her older son had taken on his responsibility for his car insurance, her father had gifted her with new tires for her car, and a neighbor had a garage sale which netted her a couple items she so desperately needed. God didn’t want her in a new job. He wanted her right where she was and had met her needs – almost to the penny. He is so amazing! He cares so much for us. Why do we forget that?
For now, if you don’t have one already, why don’t you start a prayer journal? I have a little blank book and on the right page list my prayers and leave the left, facing page blank to record the praise when the prayer is answered. Seeing the request and the answer laid out in this manner will go a long way to strengthening your faith. I can guarantee that you will be surprised about how God answers prayer time and time again.
Now … I promised my Ephesians 3:20 story and I see I’m well over 900 words. To tell this whole story would be another 1,000+ words. So I regret I must leave it until next week – BUT – I don’t regret for one instant getting to talk longer about answered prayer!!
That really just thrills my heart. Thank you, Lord!
Praying you have a wonderful weekend with answered prayer of your own!