He Never Answers Prayers the Way I Expect

by Ramona Furst

Restless for something to read, I picked up a book that my friend had on her desk.  My chosen book to read while away from home had been a bust.

The title is catchy but is it possible? I flipped through the pages of the book and noticed that the author highlighted the habitual need and practice of prayer in one’s personal walk of faith. In fact the author noted that a key to the ongoing work of greatness in God’s eyes as a Christian was the intentional activity of praying great prayers.

I was hooked.  Believing and praying for others that they could live out lives of significance and greatness was easy. “I do that, Lord, all the time,” I said out loud to the Pomeranian lying on the floor near where I stood.  “And yes, I want to be what Chip Ingram explores in his book called Good to Great in God’s Eyes. I prayed my way into sleep and woke up early the next day to fly out of the U.S. and back into Canada. I prayed that the uneventful day on the airplane would be an event-filled day, and smiled to myself as I wondered if anything great could come out of it through me and for His glory.

I made my way down the narrow aisle of the airplane and located my assigned seat. The gentleman seated in the middle acknowledged my presence with a smile and returned his attention to a book.

Not too many minutes later, as the plane levelled out at 37,000 feet I noticed the title of the book my neighbour was reading, Abraham Lincoln on Leadership. I casually said to him that title had caught my attention and I had always wanted to read more about him and about his success as a leader.

The next three hours flew by.  The conversation that ensued touched on areas of the book that I had picked up hours before. My fellow passenger who had been blessed by business and financial success acknowledged that greatness as in leadership had to be in part because of something in the spiritual realm.

“May I give you a hug?” asked my travelling companion after the airplane had finally reached its destination.

Shaking my head in wonder I must admit that the much anticipated uneventful trip had been pretty eventful. And maybe prayer begins with God’s address to us personally in the maybe not so coincidental happenings of our days. Maybe it’s more about training oneself to develop an awareness of what God’s doing, and what He is saying.  Seeing the God moments for what they really are, a great God being able to use anything, anyone and anybody for His glory and to further His kingdom.

Prayer for me then is the innerness of our living.  It’s maybe more a living from the inside, an intentional relationship with Christ.