Have you been with a group of followers when someone asked “can anyone share an answer to prayer” and there was silence? What is the response we expect or even want to hear? Is there silence because people are shy or because people don’t know how to pray? Do they(we) think God does not listen and therefore does not answer prayers or is it because we don’t know how to look for answers to prayer? Have you been with believers when the same question is asked and someone in the group shared a very dramatic story that occurred many years ago? Was that the only answer to prayer in that person’s life? Does God only answer dramatic requests? Have you been with brothers and sisters in Christ who were asked to share an answer to prayer and the responses were about stories where God gave them something like a car or paid their phone bill or helped them pass an exam or allowed their unbelieving friend’s brother’s sister to lose weight and dump her boyfriend?
What do we expect to hear when an answer to prayer is shared? What kind of prayers do we think God answers?
It is important to daily be mindful of our relationship with God. Prayer is a means to grow that relationship. There is no doubt that He wants intentional effort on our part. We are expected to speak with Him and He will speak with us. We should try to understand why and how we pray and how to see God’s answers. To see an answer requires that we actually not only look for answers relating to the troubling aspects of our lives, we need to look for God’s answers in all we do. If we start our day with a prayer such as “Lord, help me share my faith with all those I encounter today”, what do we expect should happen? Do you think God would allow us opportunities to love our neighbours or forgive an enemy or connect with an individual who needs someone to talk to? If we could recognize when those events happen around us and respond accordingly, we might see God’s answers to our prayers. It is actually that simple.
Have you prayed asking God to help you change? The next time you are driving and are cut you off think about how you used to respond before that prayer. Have you changed? Did God answer that prayer? If you still flip them the finger, ask yourself whether you really expected God to help you change? As God answers these seemingly vague requests, let’s look for the answers.
God is answering prayer all around us, all the time. If we can’t see the answers, it may be we are only looking for response to the dramatic. Train yourself to daily recognize God’s answer and be an encouragement and share to all who want to hear how God answers prayers.
“Jesus will you help me see You in me and in those around me? When I pray, will you guide me as I speak and open my eyes to recognize when You respond so that I can boldly share with others. AMEN”