Today, I prayed specifically about a long-standing item on my "to-do" list.
"Lord," I whispered, "could you help me to find someone who is kind and compassionate to teach me how to run our sprinkler system?"
A landscaper tried to teach me a while ago. But, he was in a hurry, and seemed annoyed with his student. So, this afternoon, after asking the neighbor's gardener if he could come by one day to teach me how to set up our sprinkler system, I was surprised when he stopped what he was doing and walked over to help. He patiently explained how to set up our watering system. And, this time it made sense. I understood. After living in our house for a year and a half, finally, I learned how to operate that frustrating contraption.
Confidently, I ran all five sections of the sprinkler system. Then, as I gladly checked-off the project from my to-do list, it hit me. The Lord answered my prayer! The very day I prayed, God sent a kind and compassionate teacher to help me.
This answered prayer reminded me of other answers to specific prayer.
One of my favorite memories was God's miraculous answer to prayer after I locked myself and my four young children out of our Suburban. There, the five of us stood in an unfamiliar neighborhood, at a loss to know what to do. We were relatively new to San Diego, house-hunting, with no cell-phone. So, I gathered my little ones into a circle near our car and we prayed for the Lord to send us help. As soon as we said amen, a van drove up behind us.
I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw the bold letters carefully printed across the side of the vehicle. They read, Lock Smith. The driver, who was lost, stopped to ask us for directions. He had no idea that he was God's answer to our specific prayer. I could have done a dance and shouted alleluia. He kindly unlocked my car, without accepting any payment. Then we thanked him, and told him he was the answer to our prayer.
A few years ago, another small answer, to a very specific prayer, helped sustain my faith during a hard season. After a bout with the 24 hour flu bug, my appetite did not return. Over the next few weeks, my weight plummeted, as I struggled to eat even the tiniest amount of food. I was frightened. Finally, one day, I remember laying in bed and I prayed, "Lord, could you please let something taste good. Even soup." (Basically, the only thing I had been able to eat).
Later that day, I slowly made my way downstairs to get the mail. When I opened the front door, I saw a small, brown paper bag. I picked it up. Inside I discovered a container of soup. I remembered my prayer. Eager and hopeful, I went to the kitchen to warm up this surprise gift. May I just tell you, it was the best soup I have ever tasted. Plus, I believe God knew I would need that answer to prayer to build up my faith, to sustain me when I was hit with the flu a second time and had to be hospitalized for several days.
I am continually in awe that God not only invites us to come to Him in prayer, but He delights in answering our prayers. Believe me, many of my prayers have not been answered…yet! Or, the answers have been much different than what I specifically requested. However, the many times God has answered my specific prayers are the building blocks that make my faith strong, especially for the times when the answers to my prayers take longer than I would like, or when the answer comes in a much different package than I specified.
How about you, dear reader? What specific prayers has God answered in your life? Can you see how recognizing and remembering these answers can help build up your faith? I would love to hear from you!