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Do You Expect Answers to Your Prayers?

Are your prayers answered?
Do you just repeat the same old prayers?
Do you get answers?
Does God even hear your requests?

We’ve been talking about how God created us to have a relationship with Him. See Looking for a Relationship?
We were made to please Him.
I’ve shown how using the Bible to “pray God’s Word,” so our requests are His requests. See Is Your Soul Happy?
I’ve talked about writing out the Word, so we can focus and listen for His answers. See Need Focus?

Prayer is not a one-way conversation. 
Christ rebuked the Pharisees of this one-way praying, when he told them,
They do all their deeds to be noticed  by men. 
Matthew 23:1-12.

David often begged God not to be silent, but to answer him.

To You, O Lord, I call; My rock, do not be deaf to me.
For if You are silent to me, I will become like those who go down to the pit. 
Psalm 28:1.

But not just silent in words, but in action.
By awesome deeds You answer us in righteousness, O God of our salvation. Psalms 65:5a.

Jeremiah 33:2-3 says, Thus says the LORD who made the earth, the LORD Who formed it and established it, the LORD is His name.
Call to Me and I will answer and show you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

God talks back.
And if He doesn’t, wait for it.
And if He still doesn’t, maybe sin’s hindering your prayers.

I was writing out the Psalms, when God impressed on me to take lasagna, given to us, to our neighbor.
It was 8:30 pm. Their lights were dim. People were surely going to bed soon.
I told God, “Tomorrow.” And settled to write more verses.
But God kept impressing for me to go NOW.
I did. All the while, praying He would stop me if this was not what I should be doing.
When the surprised neighbor answered my knock, they called their little girl to hear why I was there.
She had been asking for lasagna for weeks.
They were leaving the next day, so would not be home, so I would have missed them if I'd waited.
Their break turned into an extensive hospital trip and a three-day pizza feast. 
When they returned (sick of pizza), their lasagna meal was waiting for them.
The girl was pleased.
Her parents were grateful.
Her mom was helped.
And I was so thankful I’d listened to God NOW.
The friend who had given us the lasagna had blessed, not only us, but our neighbors.
And God was praised!

When God answers, all we can do is praise Him!

My husband had several issues with soldiers and providers. 
Someone announced they were leaving earlier than their orders (which never happens).
All were believing this and making plans to exit.
This doesn’t happen ever.
Joey was the operating commander who must tell these people they could not leave yet, but had no authority to do so.
He also has several soldier issues requiring severe discipline if their problems were true.
Their deception was good.
The evidence against them was also good.
So many issues requiring guidance.
Joey asked God during his devotions for reassurance if he was doing what was right or conviction if he was handling things poorly.
He went to church.
While singing, these issues started to torment him. 
He gave them to God and chose to worship.
As he sang, in his mind’s eye, he saw the words clearly, 
“I am well pleased.”
Don’t you think, he gave God praise that morning?
God’s reassurances are true and His comfort is timely.
And God gets the praise!

Joey had also been trying to find a reserve unit close to home for when he returns.
(When we moved, he was picked up by a unit in Idaho. Pretty far and inconvenient for his monthly reserve duty.)
He had researched the forts in Oklahoma and Texas. No contact person could be found.
Finally in desperation, he told God, “You’re going to have to get me into a unit; I can’t.”
The next day he received an email specifically for him for a position open at the Oklahoma fort.
This was so bizarre, and out of army character, he double checked with another soldier. “Is this a position at this fort for me?”
The soldier laughed, “There’s no doubt about it.”
That could only be from God.

God delights in answering our prayers.
Like a father who desires to give his children good things.
God is more than capable and willing to shower blessings on His own.
But we must ask. 
And listen.

This website is a testimony to God’s faithfulness.
I have been writing weekly for seven years.
When I started, I read other authors who struggled to find what to write.
They gave suggestions for finding content.
Every week God provides a subject. 
By God’s help, I have never missed a week.
Sometimes I have several in que, but other times I am praying for the article for that next week. 
It's never without a struggle.
I must live the article before I can write it.
That’s where it becomes real.
But also very hard.

But God has always been faithful.
And He is to be praised.

I share these, not so you have these answers.
God never follows a pattern (do this, and God will automatically do this)—
He stays true to His Word and His principles.
But even in the Bible, He never solved problems the same.
When Jesus healed a blind man, He spit and put dirt to his eyes.
Did He do that the next time?
Nope.
But He did heal again.

I continue to pray that God stops the plague (COVID).
God is able.
But with that prayer, I’ve adjusted my prayers to include requesting repentance for our nation, world, churches and me.
We have forgotten God. So the world doesn’t even see Him.
We ignore Him—too busy with our own lives to wait for what He wants. 
Nor do we thank Him.
It’s a prayer yet to be answered. 
But I know He will.
And when He does, it will be GREAT!
There will be no doubt in anyone’s mind, that God did this.

Have you ever prayed for something, but then solved it on your own?
You didn’t wait for His answer.
You gave the problem to Him, but you fixed it—and asked God to bless it.
Sorry, my friend, that is not God answering.
You did that all on your own.
Waiting is hard.
Acknowledging our needy-ness is most painful. See Are You Needy?
God doesn’t hide His will from those searching for it.
But we must be in His Word and listening.

Daniel prayed.
God sent the answer by way of an angel immediately.
But the angel was detained 21 days before Daniel knew the answer. Daniel 10.
Know what Daniel did during that time?
Waited.

We know God can do great things.
When Mary sent a messenger to tell Jesus, “Lazarus is sick,” she knew Jesus could heal him.
When Jesus finally came, Lazarus was dead.
Too late. 
Mary told Jesus, “If You would’ve only come in time.”
But it was not God’s time.
God wanted to do greater things than Mary expected.
God answered in a way not expected.
Mary suffered first. And grieved. And died to her own wishes.
Before God showed Himself able to do greater things.


Waiting teaches us—it’s God alone.
But when we wait, miracles come.
Maybe not raising the dead, but reassurances only we can see, or feeding a neighbor who needs to be blessed or an article that helps someone else.

Do you find yourself praying for the impossible?
The answer seems beyond your reach.
Keep telling God.

Now to Him Who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.    Ephesians 3:20-21

 


Share answers God has given to you.
 

I love your practical examples! Thank you for so faithfully writing this, week after week.

Here's an answer to prayer that God gave me recently. It was such an unusual sort of answer that I was blown away...

For years, I have prayed that God would show me how to take care of finances. I've never really earned much, and what little I earned got used or given. But I always wondered, "How do I know if I'm doing it right?" And asking God to please show me how to figure it out. (No training and no money growing up, so I really have felt clueless.)

Well, for years, I've tried this and that. I've attempted to keep track of how I spend money, but then it always gets so confusing, and I don't know how to break it down into sensible categories that are detailed enough but not too detailed. And then how do I go back and see how it was spent, unless I use some kind of software or something, which would cost money right there, so that never seemed sensible.

So the past year, I earned more than I have in the past, and I didn't fully know it, because, well, if you don't really track...

Come the first of this year, I went to the various sources of income and started adding up totals to get ready for filling out my tax forms. I had to look twice! I earned THAT much??? How did I spend it? Lord, I don't even know how much I gave to You or how much I gave to people in need or how much I spent on myself, but I have a feeling I spent too much on me.

And it seemed like the Lord said, "It's time now. You're earning enough that it makes sense to get some basic software and lay out categories. You've been taking care of the books for one of the companies you work for and seeing how categories are done, so now you know how to do that."

So I got some simple software, and I'm tracking everything, and it feels SO good and not confusing at all!

Part of me still wishes God would have helped me figure it out years ago already. After all, I've been asking Him for years. And I feel ashamed I earned so much and probably didn't use it the best.

But the other part of me is just marveling and thanking God for having the timing so perfect, so right! And He answered my prayer that I thought He was never going to answer!

God is good. And very, very kind.

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I write about what matters...to you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what matters...to Him.
               Sonya Contreras

Faith
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Or here:
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under the Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
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under Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
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Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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