Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Thank God For Answered Prayers

(Lent Devotion, 2010)

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” John 15:7 (NKJ)

Through the years, one of my most peculiar pleasures has been to try to decipher this particular scripture. If I desire a pony, do I get a pony? Or, on a more serious note, how ‘bout a pair of this season’s hottest boots? Certainly Jesus intended for me to have loftier goals than these!

The concept of answered prayer has been beautifully illustrated in recent years by song lyrics and movie scenes. If I pray for patience, does God give me patience or an opportunity to sit it out? If I pray for courage, does God give me courage or an opportunity to do battle? If I pray for my family to be closer, how might He answer?

In the days that followed (my husband) Terry’s heart attack at the beginning of ‘09, a strange and wondrous thing was revealed to us. During the previous year, Terry had worked hard to lose some weight and, in general, had begun to take better care of himself. However, in those last few months before his heart attack, he had been praying that God would “get him back on track” as he’d started slipping back into some of his old habits.

Terry didn’t know that I had also been praying for something. In those same few months, I’d been realizing that I wasn’t always putting Terry ahead of other commitments in my life. Quite unintentionally, I’d allowed the world around us to slip in-between us. And so, I had been praying that God would help me to appreciate my husband more.

The key to John 15:7 is understanding that when Jesus is our dwelling place, what we desire is what He desires. And when you add to that, “If two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven,” (Matthew 18:19 NIV), then you can expect your prayers to be answered in a very big way ... though maybe not quite the way you expected.

Prayer: Gracious God, thank You not just for hearing our prayers, but also for answering them so generously! I pray that each of our hearts has a renewed sense of wonder for the miracle of Your Risen Son, Jesus Christ, through whom we may truly align ourselves with Your will.

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