Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Answered Prayers

So, for anybody reading this for a 'Becca update,' you'll have to check in another night.
Tonight I want to talk about my experience with prayer.

I've always said my prayers - from the time I was little and recited the:
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
You know the one.

But as I've gotten older, and more importantly as my relationship with God has grown, my prayers have changed.
These days I find myself praying for more specific things, and I also find myself praying more often.

Before I understood how prayer worked, I always wondered why God didn't answer every ones prayers. I mean there have been plenty of times I've prayed for things that I didn't get while others around me got everything they wanted - and then some. I think we've all done that.
But it wasn't until a few years ago when I heard a sermon about how prayers are answered that I truly understood prayer.
God ALWAYS answers our prayers - it's just not always the answer we want.
We are never alone.
We are never without HIM.
And we must always remember that HE is in control of our lives.

With all of this being said, I had a bit of an 'Aha' moment tonight.
The past 24 hours have been very trying for me.
Nothing major - it's just more of the 'how many more things can go wrong?' type thing.
For instance I seem to be surrounded by every person in the Irmo/Columbia who CANNOT drive.
Or I find out that people I have considered friends are really anything but that.
I also deal with 22 ten and eleven year olds on a daily basis. That in itself, while rewarding, is extremely challenging some days:)

Anyways, back to my 'moment.'
Due to all of these situations, I've prayed for patience A LOT in the past week or so.
(It seems that I run out of them faster and faster each day - sometimes not even making it past 8:00 AM.)
Well, while driving home tonight from an event that isn't actually until tomorrow night, I found myself having a bit of a pity party. I mean, why me?
I'm good.
I go to church 3 times a week.
I say my prayers.
I tithe.
I participate in extra curricular activities at church.
I teach a children's bible study.
Pretty good resume, right?
So why isn't God rewarding me for all of this? (or at least making things a little easier)

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks!
I've been praying for patience, so how does God help me learn patience?
Well, he puts me in situations where I need patience.
It's so simple, so why did it take me so long to see this?
He IS answering my prayers.
He's giving me exactly what HE sees that I need.

Then after coming to that realization, I had another realization that just because I'm doing all of these 'great' things at church, that doesn't make me any better than anyone else walking the face of this earth. God loves me just as much as He loves everyone else. We are all His children, and He doesn't show favoritism.

Wow! Sometimes it's all so simple, but we have a tendency to make it so hard.
Everything we need to know is written down for us, in the Bible.
Romans 12:9-12 is on behaving like a Christian.
It says:
'Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer.

So tomorrow when one of my fellow Columbians (is that a word?) cuts me off at malfunction junction, I am going to take that opportunity to thank God for answering my prayers.


JoDee Holliman said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this! Thank you!!!

Kathy Hardison said...

Love reading this post. Amazing how God works! He gives us just what we need. Hope your family is doing well.

S.Pyle said...

God has great plans for you and Jeremy! Your hearts amaze me.