According to a 2014 Pew Research Center survey, over half of Americans (55%) say they pray daily. Women respond as more likely to pray daily than men do (64% versus 46%). With the majority of us women praying, we can logically conclude that there are many different types of answers we receive to our prayers. A Pearl of Great Value will be exploring a few of these in a seven-part series on prayer entitled, “When God Says ….”
Part 7 of 7
Gathered in the kitchen with our daughter, her husband, and our granddaughter, I was prepping food for dinner. Knowing the troops were hungry, I decided to put out some cheese and crackers to nibble on before our meal. As I set the plate, with a generous portion of brie cheese, down in front of our granddaughter, her eyes became large as saucers and she exclaimed, “Holy moly!” Having a rather advanced palate for her young age, she thought it was all for her! We all chuckled over her exuberance, and I wondered,
What is our response when life gives us so much more than we ever imagined?
Think about the times you’ve been earnestly praying for someone or a situation, and feel you’ve been on your knees forever. And then one day you receive that positive answer from God. Outcomes such as:
- I have a friend for you, someone to come alongside you in your loneliness
- It’s time to take a trip you’ve been dreaming of
- I have a job change for you
- I’ve answered your prayer for healing
- Your loved one has accepted Me as Lord and Savior
What is our response? What should our response be?
Be thankful. Luke 17:11-19 shares the story of the healing of ten leprous men by the Lord. It was an outstanding miracle, yet one done quietly, as the cleansing occurred while they were going on their way to show themselves to the priests just as Jesus had instructed them. When the lepers saw they were healed, only one of the men came back to thank Jesus and give praise to God.
Contrast the responses of the nine lepers with King David’s in Psalm 30:2 and 11-12 (NIV): “O Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me. You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.” Following David’s example, I believe we are not to be silent or neglectful in our thanks when God answers prayer.
Encourage other believers with the positive outcome. “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11, NIV). Positive prayer results edify not only your faith, but also the faith of other believers. Share those victories. We all need to hear about and see those beautiful gifts of answered prayer.
Rejoice in that “Yes” answer! And finally, let us, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4, NIV). A rejoicing heart is a happy heart. And, I believe our rejoicing in answered prayer gives our Heavenly Father great pleasure.
Our Father loves to listen to and answer our heartfelt prayers, as He desires to bestow good gifts on us, His daughters. “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11, NIV). Our response to God’s gracious answers should be an offering of thankfulness, encouragement for others, and rejoicing.
Father God, I thank You for hearing my prayers and petitions. I also give you glory and thanks for Your answers. May I share those positive outcomes with others and rejoice in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Psalm 28:6-7 (NIV): “Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.”
Psalm 66:19-20 (NIV): “But God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!”
Psalm 118:21 (NIV): “I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation.”
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