Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath. –Psalm 116:2
Josh and I laugh that it all started because we’re both studying prayer right now. I’m in a weekly Bible study and he has been preparing for an intensive on prayer where he’ll study it all weekend with a group. Isn’t that just like the evil one! To try and take something that God intended for blessing and fill it up with doubt and lies.
The past week, we have been inundated with circumstances and obstacles that leave us feeling utterly helpless. Things we were praying about, getting worse. New things came up. Details which are completely out of our control were set to overwhelm. Which is a lie itself, since we have never been in control, in the first place. Not if we really believe what we say we do.
Josh brought me a picture. He had printed it on computer paper and I only had to see it once. The faces were familiar but the circumstances seemed like a different lifetime. We were sitting in the living room of a different house in a different city. We had prayed and cried out (literally) to God for an entire year. We needed to sell this house. Earlier in the year, Josh had stepped down from a pastoral position and was working for my parents, 2 hours away, while he interviewed for a new job. So many miles. So many interviews. So many times God said to wait. Now, it seemed He had answered. Josh was hired, at our current church, and our family would be moving. It was so exciting to see how God was providing, but the obstacle of our unsold house seemed even bigger now. Did God remember? Did He see the mortgage numbers? Did He care about all the newer houses coming on the market?
With no offers on the table and many unsuccessful open houses under our belt, we invited people to come pray with us. Obviously, God knew all the details. He misses nothing. He is Jehovah-Shammah, and He was and is always right “there” with us, wherever we are. And while God hears our private prayers, He also tells us to pray with other believers. To claim territories (in our case, a house) in His name and for His glory.
God is unfolding His perfect plan; prayer is for us. He communicates with us and we are changed. Prayer conforms our will to the heart of God.
I missed a call from our realtor during our prayer time. When I called her back, she told me there was an appointment the very next day. Three days later, we received an offer for the exact amount that we needed. After an entire year on the market, we signed 1 day before moving. God had not only sold our house, He had invited us to pray about it. We were front and center to watch His miracle unfold. We were His guests.
As I cleaned my kitchen today, almost 5 years since that day, I picked up the picture. I looked at the people, knowing that there have been many trials and days of uncertainty since then, that “they” had not known were coming. There have been moves, sickness, births, and even deaths.
But one constant remains: God is on His throne in Heaven and we are His delight. He longs for us to talk to Him. He delights in leading us to His heart. He is so pleased when our faith grows. He wants to open our eyes to see the work He is doing every moment.
I am a different woman than I was that day. When God provided, it wasn’t a magic wand that suddenly made life easy. He delivered us and it became a tangible reminder in my life showing God’s faithfulness. It is what I recall to mind as I face today.
We’re told to talk about these things amongst each other for the purpose of encouragement. To help those around us to remember their own stories of God’s hand. To remain in truth.
“You don’t experience God; you get to know Him. You submit to Him. You enjoy Him. He is, after all, a person. –Paul E. Miller