Sing to the Lord, for He has done glorious things; let this be known throughout the world.” (Isaiah 12:5)
For the mighty One has done great things for me — holy is His name.” (Luke 1:49)
In an effort to help calm my tendency to worry, my mom taught me to pray when I was a little girl. She encouraged me that I would find comfort in God through prayer. At that point in my life, I hadn’t surrendered to Christ yet, but when I would recite the prayers I was taught, I was filled with a sense of closeness to God that brought me peace. I never prayed specific prayers for specific things. Instead, prayer for me was a source of comfort.
Once I was born again, my prayer life changed. Through the prayers of the Saints in the Word of God, and hearing believers praying out loud, I learned how to pray – in confession and repentance; in humility; for God’s will; for wisdom; in boldness; without ceasing…
Many of the Lord’s responses have been above and beyond what I could have hoped or imagined; others were answered exactly how I had requested. I’ve also had prayers that were answered not in a way I “would have chosen,” because some suffering came with the journey to the answer. But in hindsight, I could see the way God answered it was perfect.
There have also been answers of “no” to my prayers, some that would later become obvious why that was the best answer. Still, others I may never know this side of Heaven why the answer was “no,” but I trust my Heavenly Father’s Sovereignty.
Since becoming a believer, there have been three “noteworthy” answers to prayer that I have received, all of which greatly strengthened and shaped my faith in the Lord.
The first happened when I was a brand new believer. My husband had been out of work for nine months. We were facing the final unemployment check as my husband’s allotted amount had run out. With no other income on the horizon, already scaling back our groceries, eating pasta and pancakes just to preserve money, we went to our penny jars and started counting pennies. We came up with $50.00. We had exhausted all our savings… bills were mounting… things were about to become desperate…
I remember going on my exercise bike, pedaling so fast and praying fervently and boldly, pleading our situation to the Lord, asking Him to show Himself to me in a mighty way.
The very next day, three answers came.
1. We found out that the Government issued another extension for those collecting unemployment.
2. Our church presented us with a $200 check to buy groceries
3. My husband was contacted for a job interview and was ultimately hired.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
The next matter of noteworthy prayer happened a few years into my Christian walk, and it was quite a serious one. I had discovered a lump in my neck that turned out to be a very large thyroid nodule. I needed a biopsy. Unfortunately, the doctor was not able to get enough tissue from the nodule to do an adequate biopsy. However, the removal of fluid shrunk it down quite a bit. The doctor remained hopeful. Within two weeks, the nodule came back and this time it was even bigger! Another biopsy was necessary.
In the week before my biopsy, my prayer request was that the specimen gathered would be sufficient enough to test AND most especially, that it would not be thyroid cancer. My entire church was praying for me, and I was on several churches prayer chains. I had the biopsy, and the doctor was convinced that again he didn’t obtain enough of a specimen to do an adequate biopsy. Because the nodule was so big, he prepared me that if the biopsy was not sufficient, the next course of action would be a thyroidectomy.
And the church continued to pray…
The answer came one week later.
Not only did the doctor have an adequate specimen to biopsy, it was not cancer! I did not need to have surgery! Even the doctor said he was quite amazed that the biopsy was successful. I was able to testify to my non-Christian doctor about the great and wonderful answer to prayer.
Is anyone among you sick, let him call the elders of the church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick…” (James 5:14-15)
Again, I say to you, if two of you agree about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (Matthew 18: 19-20)
The third prayer was actually a result of reading a biography about George Muller, who is best known for providing Christian education to children who were under his care. He established 117 schools which educated over 120,000 children, many of whom were orphans. George Muller’s biography details how he raised the money for these schools solely through prayer.
What struck me the most, was that George Mueller did not share his need to anyone. The matter for prayer was just between him and God. Over the years, George Muller’s private prayers yielded large amounts of money to build the orphanages. He also received unsolicited provisions for food and other necessities, always at just the right time. George Muller’s faith was greatly strengthened through seeking the Lord in prayer and expectantly waiting for answers.
I wanted to experience God in my prayer life the way that George Muller did…
At the time, my daughter had recently started taking piano lessons. We discovered that she was quite gifted at playing the piano. In order for her to be able to diligently practice, it would have been advantageous to have a piano. We didn’t have the money for such a luxury, and we really didn’t have much space in our home for a piano.
Even though a piano was just a desire and certainly not a dire necessity, I set out to pray the way George Muller did, only sharing my request with the Lord, not with anyone else. I was quite specific in my prayer for the piano, even down to the size, style and color I preferred.
And then I expectantly waited…
The answer came two weeks later…
A friend of mine called to ask if I knew anyone who needed a piano. As the words sunk in, I felt all the air go out of my lungs as I breathlessly said, “We do!” But wait, there is still more to this story! As my friends were unloading the piano from their vehicle into our living room, I looked in awe to see that it was the EXACT size, style and color that I had specifically prayed for!!
Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)
But when you pray, go away by yourself and shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father who sees everything will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6)
The Lord strengthened my faith through each of these very different prayers – a prayer spoken boldly, a prayer lifted up corporately, and a prayer uttered in secret. Our Heavenly father hears our pleadings, listens when two or three are gathered in His name, and delights in private communion with us.
I hope this post brings to your remembrance the great and mighty things the Lord has done in your own life. I’d love to hear how the Lord has ministered to you through answered prayer.
Remember the wondrous works He has done, His miracles…” (Psalm 105:5)