Thursday, January 28, 2010

Answered Prayers

In the past week, among many prayers that God has answered, there are three in particular I would like to share. The first two are on going helps from the Lord, which I would be lost without. These in particular relate to the Bible study I teach to women on Tuesday morning. Consistently, when I am studying I come across Scripture I don't fully understand; I struggle with how and what I am going to teach from the Scripture; or I struggle with learning something new. It used to be that I would keep at it a short time, and if I still had no success I would rely on the words of another teacher or I would just teach what I knew and forget the rest, which really isn't wrong; yet, I wasn't persistant in pursiing understanding...I gave up too easily. However, recently that has changed as a result of reading the life of George Muller. In his life he was persistent in his studies, and he would bring them before the Lord in prayer until the Lord brought him understanding. I have been trying to practice this in my own life, and God has consistently blessed. Last week was one instance in particular. I was studying for our lesson covering Jesus' call of Matthew the tax gatherer, and I had hit a brick wall. I knew there was something more there than the basic facts of the story, but it wasn't coming together for me. For three days I looked at it and studied it, and I prayed to the Lord for help. On the third day, after praying about it, I started studying, and in an instant the Lord brought some relevant Scripture to mind and brought understanding to me on how I was going to teach the Lesson. It was truly a blessing, and it confirmed the need to be persistent in prayer..

The second answered prayer, and also one which occurs every week, occurs on the day I teach the lesson. Every Tuesday morning, right before class, I am lost as to what I am going to teach. It does not matter how much I have studied for the lesson or how good my notes and outline are. The morning of the lesson, it is as if my mind has drawn a blank and I haven't a clue what I am going to do. In fear and anxiety, I go before the Lord in prayer, asking Him to help me teach the class, acknowledging my helplessness before Him. When the class begins, I still feel lost, but then as I speak the Lord brings it all back to me an enables me to teach what I have studied. I really believe that He allows me to go through this each week to keep me humble and dependent on Him for the class and the teaching.

Lastly, over Christmas, my son's dentist told us that one of his wisdom teeth was coming in and pushing into his lower molar. It was going to have to be removed; otherwise, it would come in and ruin 2-years worth of braces. I was not thrilled, because we do not have dental insurance, and it cost $3,600 to have my daughter's 4 wisdom teeth removed. So, I began praying for a miracle. My husband had all four wisdom teeth removed, and so did my daughter. I however, only had one wisdom tooth, and my sister did not have any. So, I hoped and prayed that John would take after me. Well, Monday, right before we went to the oral surgeon, I prayed for God to intervene, acknowledging that He had the power to remove existing teeth (which I was skeptical that He would do), or He could have John take after me. Well, guess what.....they took John's x-rays and found that he only has one wisdom tooth! I was so excited! Instead of paying $3600, which I did not have, for 4 teeth, we only have to pay $890 for 1. Let me tell you, I was praising God...He answered my prayers.

I share all of that with you, to encourage you to pursue God in prayer. First, when you pray for the things that you know are God's will, such as understanding of His Word, greater spiritual growth, etc, you can be confident He will answer them. It may not be in the time that you want, but He will answer them. You just need to be persistent. Second, God wants us to bring all of our needs to Him in prayer. He listens. He may not always answer them the way that we would like. When He doesn't, we need to rest in the assurance that He always does what is best for us, and when He does, we should thank and praise Him.