God is so good at answering prayers in unexpected ways. Often times, it may not seem like the most conventional way, but it’s always the best way. It may not seem like the most logical way, but it’s always the most effective and beneficial. Here are a couple ways I’ve seen God answer prayer in and around me…
Meeting needs before we even knew to ask…
As I mentioned in my previous blog, we had a need that surprised us yesterday just hours before our park outreach. We hadn’t gone through many burgers from the week before, so as far as we knew, we didn’t need to restock on anything for last night’s event. We were wrong. Some time in the couple days before, the power outlet that the freezer and fridge were plugged into had blown out. That meant that when I went to check on the food, we had 100 melted slices of cheese, 80 spoiled burgers and a large box of spoiled hot dogs – our whole supply of meat for the night. Well, as we have been praying all along that God would provide for our needs, He met a need that we didn’t even know to pray about. Last Wednesday, after I taught in Albuquerque, a guy that I’d never seen before came up to me after service and handed me 2 $50 bills and said, “These are for your park outreaches.” At that point, I thought we were set, but knew we could use the money somehow. God met our need for burgers before we even knew we had the need…and Satan’s lame plan to foil our outreach was ruined.
Not dishing out the expected result, instead, leading us to it
One of my prayers (especially recently) has been, “God, strengthen our faith.” I realize this week that God is in the process of answering that prayer…but not how I may have expected. God doesn’t dish out faith like second-helpings at a buffet line – He makes you work for it. When I ask Him to strengthen my faith, instead of just giving me stronger faith, He takes us through circumstances that strengthen our faith – situations where, without faith in Him, we’d fail. Case in point: opening the doors of Awaken Church. The countdown is currently at 27 days till the first Awaken Church service and right now, all we have is the shell of an old tanning salon to meet in. The building was exactly what we were hoping for – better price than anywhere else, great location, perfect lease length, etc. The thing we didn’t calculate was the price of just getting the doors open. That’s expensive! When you add up the cost of chairs, paint, signs, decor, utility deposits, fees, rent, and more, it can sometimes become a bit overwhelming…which God uses to strengthen our faith! We KNOW that we’re supposed to be here in Clarksville doing exactly what we’re doing, we KNOW that we should be in this building, and we KNOW that God will provide. HOW He will provide is a different issue. That’s part of His way of answering our prayer.
The irony of prayer
I realized the other day that my prayers are often ironic in and of themselves. I prayed recently for God to remind us of our need for Him…then I realized that that’s exactly the point of prayer. If nothing else reminds you that you need God, it’s prayer itself. Think about it – if you didn’t need God, why would you be asking Him to provide for your needs? God answers that prayer by providing prayer for us!
Prayer is powerful and effective (James 5:16) and we ask that you join us in prayer as we continue to seek the Lord and His will in doing what He sees best for Awaken Church Clarksville. If you’re praying for us, we love to know – knowing others are praying with us and for us is comforting and humbling. Thanks to all of you who are taking our needs before the Lord. He hears and He answers…in unexpected ways.