When you have felt down in life have you ever tried praying? Many people don’t believe there is a God, so they don’t even bother praying. But I have found many times when I have felt completely hopeless, prayer has brought hope and peace of mind when nothing else has. I think I mentioned in a previous entry about how I got fired from a job at a grocery store. When that happened, I felt devastated, completely hopeless. I felt like a failure. I couldn’t imagine that I could ever get another job. “Who would hire a guy who couldn’t even handle bagging groceries?” So, in despair I retreated to my apartment and collapsed on the floor crying out, “God, what am I going to do?” As I poured my heart out to God a miracle occurred, suddenly I felt peace of mind and hope. All the despair was suddenly gone. I remember sitting up and looking around the room a little surprised and curious, “Where did all the despair go?” I asked myself. I couldn’t explain it, except somehow God just lifted the despair, and for no reason I could come up with I felt peace of mind, hope, and confidence. I felt like everything was going to be OK. Nothing in my circumstances had changed yet, I didn’t know where I was going to get a job, I didn’t know that something really good was about to happen in a week, I just knew that somehow things were going to work out.
Most prayers aren’t answered that quickly and dramatically. A number of times I have had to pray about something for weeks, months, and a few things I have even had to consistently pray about for years. God isn’t a like the genie from Aladdin’s lamp. If you watch my video Why life is hard sometimes I illustrate how God is more interested in our personal growth than our pleasure. His answer to our prayer might not be the answer we are looking for. But we can trust that he knows what we need better than we do. There are many accounts of miraculous answers to prayer. But most of the time answers come in quite ways. Instead of sending an angel, God may send a friend to help you in a time of need. Most of the time his answers come with a “still small voice” (Old Testament, 1 Kings 19:11-12). We have to be quiet inside to discern.
Just this morning I woke up feeling very discouraged. I knew that because I was discouraged that I was not seeing the situation in light and truth. (see foundational information in Video 1 ) My wife tried to encourage me, but it was like water off a ducks back. So, I decided to jogging. For me that is often my best prayer time. I like to jog out in the countryside where it is just me on an empty country lane. As I jogged I poured my heart out to God, expressing all my concerns and desires. The cloud of discouragement was so heavy, I began to doubt it would ever go away. I stopped at one point and just continued to pour my heart out for about a half an hour. Finally, the darkness lifted, and in just a few moments I went from despair and discouragement to peace of mind and hope. To me feeling that peace of mind is the greatest answer to a prayer. As when I got fired from the grocery store, there has been no change in my circumstances… yet. I still don’t know all the answers to my questions. I just have hope and confidence that things are going to be OK. It isn’t just wishfully hoping that things will turn out well, but a hopeful confidence. I don’t doubt, I know things are going to turn out OK. I also know that doesn’t mean there won’t be future disappointments and challenges. Of course there will be. But all of the adversity will work out for my good.
I hope this has been helpful for you. I just did a internet search for “answered prayer” and found this article, so I thought I would put a link for this as well.
God bless you – Arden