The other night my phone rang, which is not out of the ordinary, but the name on my screen did catch me by surprise. A far-away friend, who I frequently text, but rarely talk to was giving me a call. It was great to hear her voice and wonderful to listen to her news. She called to share an answer to prayer and God worked to give me a good lesson and important reminder.
As I've reflected on our conversation and thought about the work God did, I've realized when He answers prayer there are somethings I need to do. Friend, perhaps you should do them too -
First and foremost, when we hear about or witness answered prayer, we must thank the One who is responsible for it. Scripture instructs us to ask God and gives great examples of prayer, but God's Word also directs us to be thankful. What a wonderful thing to be thankful for...answered prayer!
"Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits..." Psalm 103:1-2
So my first point is rather obvious, but this idea of sharing is two-fold. I know asking for prayer is not always the easiest thing to do, but on the flip side this conversation brought to mind a question - "How often do I share the answers to prayer?" The pure joy and gratitude in my friend's voice was powerful. God's answer was a blessing and my prayers played a part. It's important and necessary to share our burdens, but it's also critical that we share God's blessings. This truly glorifies God and builds up our faith.
"And He did not permit him but said to him, 'Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.'" Mark 5:19
The prayers my friend referred to have been ongoing. These answers weren't quick, but they were perfect in God's timing. When God answers prayer, I'm reminded to press on. Answers do come. God is listening. His way may not be our way, but it is best. In those moments of doubt, may we pray the prayer of the father whose son was possessed -
"I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" Mark 9:24
I truly believe my friend called to share God's answer and thank me for my prayers, but as always God is doing more. He used our conversation to stir up my thoughts and remind me of truths. He is always working, even when, especially when we don't see or understand. His Holy Spirit truly connects His children and puts things on our heart. God is a good God who gives us the desires of our hearts. We are each unique and can be blessed by one another's strengths and gifts. When God answers prayer, I remember how powerful, mighty and good He is! He truly is the giver of all good things and in Him I can put my trust.
Friend, what prayer has God answered for you? Have you shared this answer with others? Chances are you've taught your children to pray, but have you made it a habit to help them look for and thank God for the answers? What would you add to my to-do list for when God answers prayer?
Let's start the wait for another answer now -
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord, you are so good. You are always working and listening. Help me cry out to you and help me see and embrace your answers. Don't let me take answered prayer for granted Lord...may I always thank you, share with others, press on in prayer and remember who you are. Help me pray more because I know you will meet my every need with your glorious riches. In Jesus' Name, Amen.