Almost every morning in 2016, I would scribble down prayer requests for the day in a notebook I kept on my nightstand. I would pray that the Lord would answer my requests according to His will, and at the end of the day, I would open up my notebook and mark off answered prayers.
There were hundreds of specific prayers written down over the course of the year. There were times that the prayers were hopeful. Other times I wrote prayers down that I didn’t expect the Lord to answer.
I knew the Lord would answer in His all-knowing wisdom and I hoped that God would move on my behalf.
I desired that the Lord would help me to step out in faith and I knew that losing my plans in favor of trusting Him would be difficult, but worth it.
I sensed that the Lord was leading me into ministry a few years ago. I tried my best to ignore this leading as I had a plan for my life and wanted very much to stick to that plan. After a couple of years of ignoring the tugs on my heart, an opportunity was presented to me to move away from the home I had always known and be involved serving the Lord in a new place.
See, I was never very adventurous. I wanted to know what the Lord had in mind for me before I took steps of faith. I wanted to know that I was making the right decision before I left my family and friends and a job with amazing benefits at a fortune 500 company before I moved across the state for a new job with a non-profit.
Was the Lord aware of all that
I would be giving up in this transition?
I prayed and asked the Lord to make it abundantly clear to me. He did. Time and time again.
I laugh thinking about it now, because that really is the line of thought I clung to when I was making this crazy decision.
As if God needed me to remind Him of reality. As if He somehow didn’t know.
So here I am, months later, working at a place I love and serving with a group of people who are a joy to serve with. I’ve learned that God is always working to bring His will to pass in my life.
A couple of weeks before the new year, coffee in hand, I settled in for a day with the Lord and opened up my prayer notebook. Instead of looking at just the previous days answered prayers, I flipped all the way to the first page.
As I started to read, I couldn’t believe it. The audacity of my first few pages of 2016 prayer requests. Prayers written out in a time of facing the unknown. Asking God to move. Asking for blessings. Asking for what seemed like the impossible. And as I read it, I truly gasped.
Unexpected blessings. Not at all in the way I thought they would come. Right down to the last detail…He heard me.
The power of prayer is undeniable to those who pray regularly. Prayer can change our circumstances or change our perspective. A funny thing about answered prayer is that once it’s been answered, it’s easy to forget that you labored in prayer over that answer in the first place.
Don’t tell me there’s no such thing as God. Don’t tell me He doesn’t hear our prayers. Don’t believe for a second that when you speak to your Heavenly Father that those words fall on deaf ears, floating off into the galaxy somewhere.
Because if you do, I’ll hold up my notebook of hundreds of requests – some written in times of believing and some in despair, and I’ll say,
“He heard me. He did abundantly more than I could ask or even imagine. He loves me.”
And you know what?
He’ll do it for you too.
He promised. And the God I know always keeps his promises.
I took my troubles to the Lord. I cried out to Him and He answered my prayer. | Psalm 120:1