Tag Archives: answered prayer

What is the Date for Answered Prayer?

Please welcome a new contributor to Under the Cover of Prayer – Susan Harris. Please read her bio below this post. And she would love to hear your thoughts. Her first post is taken from her book Golden Apples in Silver Settings. The chapter is called “Fresh Resolve to Pray”. Stay tuned for the next instalment in this series.

What is the Date for Answered Prayer?

by Susan Harris

picture of a wrapped present

picture of a wrapped present (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When my daughter was approaching her third birthday, one of her friends sent a parcel by mail four weeks ahead of the big day. Radiance saw the gift before I could hide it so I laid it in full view high up on the book shelf. Each day she would look wistfully at the yellow-wrapped box, beckoning enticingly beyond her reach. I felt sorry for her and moved the box out of sight, but she kept asking to see it so I placed it on the shelf again. The little girl was very excited at the promise of the parcel which she knew contained something good because it was from someone who loved her.

Waiting was hard, and two-year olds have no concept of time. She measured time in terms of ‘how long it took to watch a Dora show on TV.’ We also measured time by the number of sleeps, but she could not conceptualize twenty eight sleeps until her birthday.

I am reminded that God measures time in eternity,
and we humans cannot fathom what that really is. (tweet this) 

Then the Holy Spirit whispered a nugget of truth regarding the delay of answered prayer:

“Each prayer you’ve prayed is like a gift waiting to be opened,
and it has a date on it.”
(tweet this)

It was a light bulb moment for me. And Friend, I believe that God has a response date on the packages of your prayers. And it could be today! Ten days from now, one year from now, or in another time frame.

Hold on to the Word of the Lord that each prayer you’ve uttered has been heard, and like a child waiting to open a gift anticipating the promise of its goodness, the answer to your prayer is waiting to unfold on its due date.

Through seasons of seemingly unanswered prayer – and I say ‘seemingly’ because Wait is an answer, just as No is a response – I want to encourage you to expect your answers. To vow that for better or for worse that you will never stop praying and believing. For your prayers will be answered. The fullness of time for you will come. This has been settled in heaven a long time ago and sealed with the caption:

“Not one jot or tittle of His word shall return unanswered.” (Matthew 5:18 paraphrased.)

Susan Harris

Susan Harris

Susan is a speaker, wife, mother, and former teacher. Prayer is her passion, and except for salvation, it is the subject on which she has spoken most frequently over 20 years of Christian ministry. She is also the author of three books – Little Copper Pennies for Kids, Little Copper Pennies: Celebrating the Life of the Canadian one cent piece (for adults) and Golden Apples in Silver Settings. She loves kittens, pennies, and making new friends. Find her at www.susanharris.ca, on Facebook at SusanHarrisCanadianAuthor, and on Twitter @SusanHarris20.

HOW CAN ANSWERED PRAYER HELP US?

How Can Answered Prayer Help Us?

by Janis Cox

His-presence

I belong to a few prayer teams. We ask for specific requests and we pray. Sometimes it seems like NOTHING is happening. But we continue, day after day; week after week; and sometimes year after year.

Then we hear of an answered prayer and doesn’t the world just sing? Tweet this.

Our hearts are stirred and we know that prayer works.

Many prayer warriors get weary and discouraged. It only takes one answered prayer to give them that extra boost to soldier on.

Personally this year 2013 has seen many answered prayers. The most recent one happened last week to a friend. It seemed impossible that her husband could drink the 44 ounces of water required for an ultrasound. Just thinking about it upset my friend.

So we prayed. And I continued to pray that morning.

The joy on her face when she told me that truly her husband had had no problem ingesting that amount of liquid and holding it; and that she remained calm throughout the whole procedure – that made my heart sing.

That’s God at work.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7, NIV).

What are you experiencing in answered prayer? Can you share with us in the comments? And let us be encouraged to carry on in the battle. If you have written a post on answered prayer please write the URL in the comment section so we can come and read it.

Blessings to you, prayer warriors,

Janis

Janis Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. Jan has completed a children’s book called Tadeo Turtle. She is the watercolour illustrator. Word Alive has published Tadeo Turtle. See more information at Jan’s Website.

WHAT IS GREAT FAITHFULNESS?

What is Great Faithfulness?

by Kimberley Payne

Why, Lord, Why?

At church on Sunday, they sang a song from the hymnbook called, “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” The lyrics were by Thomas Obediah Chisholm and music by William Marion Runyan. Although I had difficulty singing along, I paid close attention to the words. My favourite line was, “All I needed Thy hand hath provided.”

This verse resonated with my soul that day. It didn’t say, “All that I wanted” but rather, “All that I needed.” I took a moment to reflect on the last five years of my life and I was taken to my knees in awe and appreciation.

I wish that I had kept a journal of answered prayer. I think this is a brilliant idea. I have kept notes here and there and I have various journals that I write in every day, but I’ve never dedicated one book to just answered prayer.

There are so many little things that I pray for every day. My husband was working on my income tax on the computer when all of a sudden the program kicked him out. Two hours of work – lost. But it was restored within ten minutes without so much as one number out of place – an answer to prayer.

One of my cats was coughing and sneezing. She looked as if she had trouble breathing and took to hiding under a desk. Would she survive the night? Is it just a cold or something much worse like cat leukemia? The vet announced it only a virus – an answer to prayer.

On a four-hour hike with my mother, two aunts and my brother’s mother-in-law, the average age was 65. The terrain was full of obstacles with four fallen trees, raspberry bush thorns, and slippery logs. We made the entire trip without incidence – an answer to prayer.

My daughter had fallen from the monkey bars and landed with an audible crack from her left arm. She cried and complained that she could not move her elbow. Hours (and a full set of x-rays) later showed that it was only a minor fracture – an answer to prayer.

If I were to start a journal, it would fill up rather quickly. I find God’s faithfulness inexhaustible. He is a caring, compassionate and concerned Father. How great is His faithfulness.

“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV).

 Great is thy Faithfulness by Chris Rice

Kimberley Payne

Kimberley is a motivational speaker and author. Her writings relate raising a family, pursuing a healthy lifestyle, and everyday experiences to building a relationship with God. Through her work, Kimberley hopes to inspire people to live lives that glorify God. You can visit her website at www.kimberleypayne.com

HAVE YOU HAD A CHILD-LIKE CONVERSATION WITH GOD?

Have You Had a Child-Like Conversation with God?

Questions for God

by Jan Cox

This week I had a long talk with God over several matters. I had written H.E.L.P. in my journal many times. So I lifted my concerns to him in this conversation which went something like this:

Me: “God, I am confused. I need to clarify what to do next.”

God’s Answer: “Just start and I will help.”

Me: “God, there is too much to do. I don’t know where to start.”

God’s answer: “Just start at any point and I will guide you and I will stop you if you go astray.”

Me: “But, God, I really feel inadequate. I can’t do this.”

God’s answer: “No – you are right – you can’t do this. But, I can. So just remember that and take another step.”

Me: “God, why are there so many problems? With so many things? And they seem to come at once?”

God’s answer: “I need you to trust me – for you to know that I have a handle on it. I have everything under control. And you know, problems give you growth.”

Have you had similar conversations with God? If not – try it.

And then to add to my answers a post from Michael Hyatt came into my Inbox – “Why You should Welcome problems”.

I like this quote from Max Lucado.

“For there are plenty of big jobs waiting for people who are not afraid of troubles.”

Counting my Blessings to 2000 – Gifts from God while all the family were at a cottage last week:

      • getting the boat to the cottage – and it was raining 
      • son was soaked but grandson kept under the tarp – a father protecting his son
      • watching the care of an old dog by my son-in-law and daughter
      • watching grandkids play together
      • walk through the forest and around the bay
      • finding pinecones
      • I am able to go up and down a billion stairs and down to waterfront and up a big big hill
      • back into town to shop – early in the morning – quiet!
      • playing SkipBo
      • playing Bean and Bananas
      • playing badminton
      • great meals – 3 big family meals a day (organized and planned by each member of family)
      • big big table for the 12 of us
      • watching the newest member (5 months) in paddleboat, on beach, with his cousins, sitting up and playing
      • stillness of the bay in early morning and early evening
      • playing Skipbo with a 5-year old
      • Spiderman – the 3-year old
      • celebrating 3 anniversaries
      • hopefully an end to a personal trial
      • awesome weather
      • lovely spot for a family week
      • great memories that will last a life-time

Jan Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis Cox

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has completed a children’s book called Tadeo Turtle. She is the watercolour illustrator. Word Alive will be publishing this story and it will be available later this summer. See more about Tadeo at Jan’s Website.

WHY SHOULD GOD ANSWER MY PRAYER?

Why Should God Answer My Prayer?

by Mark D. Roberts (reprinted with permission)

Why Should God Answer My Prayer?

Psalm 143:1-12

“Hear my prayer, O LORD;
listen to my plea!
Answer me because you are faithful and righteous.”

In Psalm 143, David cries out to the Lord for help. He is being harassed by his enemies and is growing more and more discouraged. God alone will be able to deliver him and to direct his steps in the right direction. But why should the Lord respond to David’s pleas? What case can David make for God to listen to him and to help?

In situations like that of David, we are sometimes tempted to barter with God. “Bail me out this time, Lord,” we pray, “and I promise that I’ll serve you in the future.”

We might even try pointing to our good intentions or behavior: “You should help me, Father, because I have been faithful to you and have been living rightly.”

But in Psalm 143, David acknowledges that he has nothing in himself to persuade God to answer his prayers. The Lord alone provides the secure basis for answered prayer.

Thus David prays, “Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my plea! Answer me because you are faithful and righteous.” Not “Answer me because I am faithful and righteous,” but “Because you are faithful and righteous.”

To be sure, our faith matters to God. Jesus himself connects faith with answered prayer (for example, Mark 11:24). But beneath our faith, undergirding it and strengthening it, is the rock-solid faithfulness of God.

Thus, even when our confidence in the Lord falters, even when our behavior is anything but faithful, we still cry out to God. Our prayers depend, not upon ourselves, but upon our God who is faithful and righteous, gracious and merciful.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION:

When you pray, how do you envision the God who hears your prayers? What in God’s character helps you to pray?

PRAYER:

Gracious God, thank you for the privilege of praying to you. I can so easily take this for granted. Yet, when I step back and think, I’m amazed that you allow me to speak with you, that you care about my thoughts and feelings, even that you invite my prayers.Yet I also thank you that I come before you in prayer, not because of my worthiness, but because of your unique worth. You, Lord, are indeed faithful and righteous. You are trustworthy and true. When I fail you, you never fail me.All praise be to you, O God, because you do indeed hear my plea! Amen.

Mark D. Roberts

Rev.Dr. Mark D. Roberts is Senior Advisor and Theologian-in-Residence of Foundations for Laity Renewal, a multifaceted ministry in the Hill Country of Texas and the parent organization of Laity Lodge. He has written several books, including his most recent: Can We Trust the Gospels? (Crossway, 2007)He blogs at  http://www.patheos.com/community/markdroberts, and writes a daily devotional for http://www.thehighcalling.org.

 

Why Should God Answer My Prayer?

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HOW DOES GOD SPEAK? PART 2

How Does God Speak? Part 2

God Speaks Through Prayer

by Jan Cox

 “I know you by name …” (Exodus 33:12 NIV)

Last week I talked about how I hear God speak through the Scriptures and words of others.

This week I want to talk about how I hear God through prayer.

While attending a writers’ conference, one of my prayers had been that our attendees would be woken early each morning so they could attend the worship time at 8am. I had noticed other years that worship time, while wonderful, was not attended as fully as could be possible.

As I headed toward the prayer room around 6:55 am I prayed a special prayer for my friend, Kimberley, that she would be awakened to attend the worship service. For nine years she had slept in.

I took two steps more towards the door of the sanctuary and the door opened wide.

Out popped my friend, Kimberley, with a wide grin on her face as she said, “Hey, Jan!”.

I am sure she will recall the expression on my face for years to come. Startled, excited and totally mesmerized with her appearance, I stumbled the rest of the way to the building.

I choked out my words to her, “You won’t believe this. I just finished a small prayer of hope that you would attend worship this morning. And God brings you to prayer time too!”

God had already known the desire of my heart and heard my prayer before I had spoken it.

I know He works behind the scenes and I know He figures out lots of things before I have a chance to do anything. But this was wildly wonderful.

Kim wrote about the experience from her point of view at her blog, Return Home and Tell.

And to top off the morning, besides a spirit-filled prayer time and worship time, God filled the sanctuary with worshippers.

Write!Canada Early Morning Worship

Write! Canada – we worship You O Lord.

Terry Pitts and I were behind the sound and video booth. But we worshipped with our hearts as well.

Jan and Terry at Write! Canada worshipping

“He knows my name;
He knows my every thought;
He sees each tear that falls
and He hears me when I call.”

Prayer:

Father, we thank You for the privilege of speaking to You – through our words, our thoughts and our whole beings. Continue to teach us to listen to you as well. Let this be a two-way conversation. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

I love those words and that song. Here is He Knows My Name sung by Paul Baloche  

Have you experienced a time when God knew the desire of your heart? How have you heard God?

I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

Here is my Gratitude List for this week. I am counting to 2000

        • mother deer and 2 fawn outside church windows while at Bible study
        • great last lesson on Moving From Fear to Freedom – Ghosts of our pasts
        • little chipmunk who is curious and comes to our patio door
        • Isaiah 8:13 “Do not fear anything except the LORD almighty. He also is the Holy One. If you fear Him, you need fear nothing else.”
        • words at night from God – “Go for it. Take a risk. Go with Word Alive and publish Tadeo Turtle.”
        • sitting on the deck reading a book
        • son and grandkids here for the weekend
        • listening to grandson (6), who is in Kindergarten, reading my book, Tadeo Turtle
        • going shopping with granddaughter to get a wading pool
        • boating with all of them
        • watching my son wakeboard and seeing his smile
        • watching grandchildren laugh and play together
        • a deer crossing the road in town after church – clip, clop
        • a nap after they all went home
        • getting Twitter up for Under the Cover of Prayer – @UTCOP
        • preparing for VIBE – Vacation Bible school – over 20 registered
        • credit card number nabbed – but TD caught it
        • interesting workshop on adoption – Jewels for Jesus
        • soaking in a hot tub during a sprinkling rain and a rainbow came out
        • listening for God – STOPPING long enough
        • what is the difference between Belief and Faith? Is it belief is seen and faith is unseen?
        • Made a new website – www.janiscox.com
        • early morning stillness
        • the blue sheen on a crow’s head
        • the way crows bob their heads when they walk like the doves in Arizona
        • grandbaby’s smile and chuckles (3 months old)
        • daughter’s hugs
        • son’s help
        • husband’s support
        • deer on the front lawn
        • praying for others

Jan Cox

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has completed a children’s book called Tadeo Turtle. She is the watercolour illustrator.

GOD – ARE YOU THERE?

God – Are You There?

by Jan Cox

Do you find sometimes that you pray and pray and pray about something and nothing seems to happen?

I have found that usually that happens because God has another plan. He has either a totally different plan or my timing is wrong and I must wait.

Going ahead of God, I have found is NOT a good idea.

I remember Abraham’s story. I see him trying to make God’s promise of a great nation come true. He got tired of waiting – he thought he was getting too old. So he birthed Ishmael through Hagar, Sarah’s servant, because he listened to his wife who said:

“Go, sleep with my maidservant, perhaps I can build a family through her” (Genesis 16:2 NIV).

Sometimes I think and act before I pray – another NOT so good idea.

“We can ever remain powerless, as were the disciples, by trying to do God’s work not in concentration on His power, but by ideas drawn from our own temperament. We slander God by our very eagerness to work for Him without knowing Him.”1

Jesus tells His disciples, after they could not drive out an evil spirit:

“This kind can come out only by prayer” (Mark 9:29 NIV).

If I am faced with a wall – where nothing seems to be working – I need to stop fretting and pray. And pray some more.

“This is your line of service – to see that there is nothing between Jesus and yourself. Is there? If there is, you must get through it, not by ignoring it in irritation, or by mounting up, but by facing it and getting through it into the presence of Jesus Christ.”2

That certainly shows me the power of prayer.

From the beginning of time our wills fight for supremacy instead of God.

Let us pray.

Prayer:

Father we know and acknowledge that You alone have the power to change lives. We need to be here – in Your Presence to get right with You.

Help us to clear a path to You – to get rid of any bramble or brush in our spirits that block that path.

Help us be face to face with You, Jesus. We know You are the Way, the Truth and the Life.

We lay down before You – offer ourselves and open our hearts and minds to listen to Your words. In Your name, Jesus, we pray.

1, and 2 Oswald Chambers October 3

My Gratitude List for this week:

  • A caring Naturopath
  • A three-handed game of Cribbage
  • Watching grandchildren play Monopoly
  • Laughter when things go wrong
  • Ladder hitting the fan – blade ripped off – no one hurt
  • Aching muscles that tell me I have worked
  • Ann’s words: “Anything less than gratitude and trust is practical atheism.”
  • Haliburton’s colours – fall’s beauty
  • Giving thanks is a verb – do thanks by serving (Ann Voskamp)
  • Amazing conference – thanks Kelita and all the women who put this together
  • A great sister connection – thanks Kathy

Jan Cox

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has written a children’s book in which she is also the watercolour illustrator. She hopes to publish it this year.


PRAYER AND THE PLAN

Prayer and the Plan

by Pat Harley (reprinted from The Amazing Collection on Facebook with permission)

Prayer is an interesting thing. We pray with our own great plan in mind. I had prayed for years that our daughters would be used mightily by God. When they married, that prayer expanded to include the new son – in – laws. I asked that our children would be warriors for Christ. In my mind I knew exactly how that would be played out AND of course; they would all live next door! The prayer and the plan were good ones for sure.

So when Cameron, daughter number two, called with the news that they were leaving the youth pastorate and moving to L’Viv, Ukraine to minister there, it was not in my plan.

It is a tearing away of the flesh in many ways to send those you love off to foreign fields, knowing that you cannot just drive an hour and be in their presence. And Ukraine sounded like a strange culture only because it is different from ours. I was on this side of the ocean….and they were on the other many countries away. Though I hate to admit it, often fear would take over; fear for my children’s safety and fear for our grandchildren’s development.

************************************************

There is a great kindness in God that often catches us off guard. It is so very personal, so completely designed for us that we are shocked and reminded that yes, He does really KNOW us and as a good Father, shapes gifts that are full of the surprise of tender love.

One of those gifts arrived in the spring of 2007. I received a call from Eleanor Lewis. Marsha Crowe, the Women’s Ministry Director at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church had asked Eleanor and me to teach a Women’s Conference in Ludzk, Ukraine. We would fly into L’Viv, spend a day there and then drive the three hours to the conference.

Marsha had no idea my daughter lived in L’Viv but God did and He handed me the gift of an all-expense-paid visit complete with ministry opportunities and a shared experience with some great and wonderful women who accompanied us.

And so we landed in L’Viv and my family was waiting at the airport to meet us! We dined at their apartment and shared stories. Then Cameron became not only our hostess but also one of our drivers escorting us for the next several days to the conference and back again and her Ukrainian team mate served as my translator.

But God was not done giving. While at the conference I received another gift, one that was probably the most important one. I began to see clearly WHY God had sent them to Ukraine. They were doing a good work…warriors for Jesus Christ. They were seeing God open doors that seemed shut. They brought the hope of the gospel to those who were hopeless. They saw the Spirit of God move and change lives. They had become totally dependent on His leading. They had witnessed His provision and they were well aware of His great protection.

And I began to see that God was in the process of answering my prayer, not my plan.

So for one week, every moment with my daughter and her family was a treasure. And the opportunity to minister to the gracious women who attended the conference was wonderful. But by far the greatest gift was knowing God had heard, God had answered, God was working and God understood the mother’s heart.

Answered prayer and God’s plan: the winning combination.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

MISDIRECTED PRAYERS

Misdirected Prayers

by T. L Wiens

Our pastor announced that a missionary had lost his wallet. He asked us to pray for the immediate return of this lost, most likely stolen article. Nothing within me felt at peace as the pastor bowed his head and asked for just that.

What if the wallet was gone for a greater purpose? Something within me said that was the case.

A few years ago, our house burned down. I can’t tell you how many people were more shattered than we were by this event. I knew losing this house was an answer to prayer. I was attached to the stuff and it stifled my Christian walk. God took it away. Everything in my life refocused as I realized how dependent I’d become on things.

But those around us saw the fire as loss, not only of stuff but of God’s blessing upon us. It saddened us to hear person after person repeat the same thing. We were rejoicing but few voices joined in with us.

How many times do we pray for the easy way out? How many times does God grant our pleas and deny us the greater blessing we could have had if we’d instead prayed for faith through the trial?

——————— 

Tammy Wiens

Tammy lives in Saskatchewan with her husband. They have four children. She enjoys gardening, walks along the beach and being on the farm. She has a passion for her faith, studying the Bible and prayer.

She has published two books; Where a Little Rain Comes Down and Making the Bitter Sweet. A short story, “May’s First Christmas” appeared in Christmas Chaos, a collection of stories about Christmas experiences that don’t make the fronts of Christmas cards. “Careful What You Whisper” is another short story about Tammy’s experiences after breaking her back. It can be found in A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider. Visit her website for more information about Tammy’s books and workshops.