One of the sweetest blessings of walking through life in Christ is how gently and kindly God has answered so many of my prayers. Not always the way or time I thought would be best (there have been tears), but always, always what was and is actually best. It’s almost like I should always just ask and trust him because he’s in control, you know?
This week I challenge you to take some time to think back about God’s faithfulness to you in answering your prayers. Was it unexpected? Unusually clear? Not what you wanted but what you needed? I’d encourage you to share a couple of those past marks of his faithfulness with someone in your life. You could leave it in the comments here, share it on social media, or simply in a conversation with someone you encounter this week.
As Jeremiah 9:23-24 exhorts us – we should be boasting about the Lord and his work:
“This is what the Lord says:
‘Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,’
declares the Lord.”
I have a distinct recollection from when I was 16 and God answered what I thought was such a petty prayer, but one that he really used to grow my faith. I was driving home by myself one Sunday after our evening church service and began to pray silently about how I wanted to trust God more with decisions in my life. I was going to start small – if God really wanted us to present everything by prayer and petition to him, this would be a test of both my sincerity and God’s faithfulness.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” – Philippians 4:6
So what was this big first test? I wanted to swing through McDonald’s and get an ice cream cone (we’re talking the ones for a dollar) but stopped to pray about it and asked God if this is how I should be using my time and money.
Immediately the Holy Spirit told me (not audibly, just in my own conscience), “Not tonight, Mary Beth. Just keep heading home.” Then, just a couple of minutes later, my parents called my cell phone saying they had decided to go to a restaurant nearby for dessert after church and wanted to know if I would join them. Y’all. God didn’t have to bother with my seemingly simple request, but how kind was this?
I asked, he answered, and his answer was better than what I had in mind for myself:
McDonald’s ice cream cone
By myself from the drive-thru
Spending my own money
A much fancier dessert
Sitting down at a “real” restaurant with my parents (good news for an extrovert like me)
I didn’t have to pay for it!
I was so struck with the simplicity of God’s goodness and have often thought about that night. If he cared that much to bless me in that moment in such specific detail, he really does want me to trust him with my big prayers, too. As a teenager, that was a great moment of growth in my faith and while each time I pray the answer isn’t as immediate and clear as that one was, God has used it as a marker in my life to remind me to trust him.
What is something you can recall about God’s faithfulness in answer to prayer? You may not have a stand-out moment in mind like I did, so maybe start today with a simple prayer about something immediately in front of you in life and see where and how God is leading you through your willingness to submit to him in prayer.
WILLOWDALE WOMEN’S SUMMIT
SATURDAY, MARCH 30 — SAVE THE DATE
This is a one day event designed for women to connect with God through worship and each other, through discussion focused on what discipleship looks like for us as women. The day will also include teaching intended to leave you with practical tools and tips for creating and fostering meaningful discipling relationships.
More information coming soon!