God blesses us all the time. Sometimes in small ways and sometimes in great big ways! It seems that it is quite the same with our prayers. Although I do believe He always answers our prayers—it may just not always be the way I think that He should or in the time-frame I think that He should answer them.
The Lord has taught me some big things about prayer as of late. Like why pray if you don’t expect Him to answer? I have done a lot of praying but honestly, I have not seen a lot of obvious answers. Now I am not saying that He is or has not answered, just that I do not always see the results and especially right away.
Recently I was reminded of a time several years ago when my daughter, Becky lost her wedding ring. She just had her first baby and they had gone swimming at David’s place of work. She took her wedding ring off her finger to shower in a public place and forgot put them back on before she left. She was devastated! When she finally told her husband, he even put notes on the bulletin board at work with hope that the person who took it would see the note and return the ring.
A few weeks went by and we were visiting when I noticed that her ring was not on her hand. She tearfully told me the story and as we sat on her bed we prayed together asking the Lord to return her ring and even allow the person wearing it to be very uncomfortable with it on their finger. I remember very distinctly that something rose up in me as I prayed for this situation feeling certain that she would get her ring back.
It was but a couple of weeks later that my daughter’s husband David, received a package at work with no return address label. He opened it to find the stolen wedding ring. We were amazed and so grateful, both realizing that God had answered our prayer as well as the prayers of others who were also praying for the ring’s return to its rightful owner. It had not so much been the value of the ring as it was the sentimental value considering the diamond had once belonged to her great grandmother. We were ever so thankful for this victory indeed!
It is interesting how James talks about the “prayer of faith” being enough to even heal the sick.
James 5:15 NKJ
“And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”
James 5:13 NIV
“[The Prayer of Faith] Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.”
James 5:15 NLV
“And their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well. And anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.”
The various versions show that it is possible for a few different things to happen here in regard to the “prayer of faith”:
The sick will be saved
The sick will be healed
Those in trouble should pray
I am not certain what we do with those prayers that appear to go unheard. But it does seem to me that when God does answer our prayers whether big or small, that it should certainly serve to increase our faith for the next time. (Kind of like filling for reserve.) For even when it doesn’t look as if something is happening, we have to believe that God has heard and is applying Romans 8:28 to our situation.
Let me leave you with another amazing little story of my own. About four years ago I lost an earring. It was one in a pair of simple hand crafted opals set in sterling silver, that were a gift from my mother. (I should never wear French hook earrings with out stoppers on them and have since tried to remember to do so when wearing that type of earring.) These were a lovely little pair–probably not extremely valuable but they have sentimental value being handed down from my mother. I had no idea when or where I could have lost the earring and I looked high and low (literally) around work, my car, etc. all to no avail. I never dared to tell mom, as she would have been terribly disappointed. I did pray though and I asked the Lord if He would help me find them so as not to upset mom should she ever ask. And I always believed that they would show up.
A few years later, the earring was still missing and I even toyed with the idea of having the jeweler see if I could get a replacement. This could not be done without knowing the company who made them. Well that was out because I would have to ask my mother and then she would know the story. So I just let it rest.
Last fall I found myself vacuuming the floor of the radio station studio as my husband and I ripped out carpeting to prepare the floor for the new carpeting that was to be installed the next week. I was naturally amazed at the dirt that showed up after the carpet was ripped out. I was on my hands and knees with my husband’s big old shop vac, giving the final touches on the nooks and crannies way underneath the console. I bent down low to the floor to look under a computer that sticks out on a low shelf and to my utter amazement there was my opal earring! There is no logical reason for it to have survived the carpet rip-out, and the shop vac’s super suction to be found just sitting there on the floor, but for God!
Once again, God answered a small “prayer of faith” and it served once again to bolster and fill my faith reserve once again. A reminder to pray with the expectation of getting the right answer, at just the right time!
Matthew 17:20 NKJ
“So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”
Father, you absolutely amaze me when you answer our prayers. I know that there are many that we do not see and I am thankful that You are the one Who sees the big picture. I would ask that You continue to remind me that when I ask, I am to ask in faith, believing for Your perfect answers every time! I want to exercise the “prayer of faith” when I pray for one to be healed and or saved or simply to find a lost something of importance to whomever! In Jesus’ Name!