Lenten Reminders: God Answer's Prayer...!
You would think that as a Pastor I would know that God is in the prayer answering business. Well, I do know it, but sometimes I pray and then do not recognize when God answers my prayer.
As I was praying the other day, Gwen came into the room and asked if she could join me. As we prayed, she began to thank God for the many answered prayers we had been given. As she was thanking God, I was thinking "Wow, so many answered prayers!" In this moment, my heart began to awaken with faith and gratitude.
From this experience, I relearned a few things I had forgotten. First and the most obvious is God answers our prayers including those we have forgotten we prayed. I wonder how many thousands of prayer requests made, are forgotten and then go unnoticed even when God answers?
The whole event with Gwen reminds me of the story of the ten lepers whom Jesus healed and then only one returned to give thanks. Tragically, nine did not recognize and give thanks to God for the One who had healed them. In the same way God, one way or another, answers our prayers, even the many prayers whispered quickly under our breath, when the answer comes we often do not recognize it as coming from God. Rather, we just see it as a random result of everyday life and do not come back to God and express our gratitude.
Secondly, it reminds me of the importance of praying with others. If you have a spouse, this is especially true. Praying with others can be a great encouragement as we hear them express their faith in God and their gratitude for His careful working in their lives. When we hear others pray and give thanks for His faithfulness, we are often reminded of God's faithfulness in our lives as well.
Finally, I am reminded how we can get in a rut when we pray. We go through the motions and do not pay much attention to our prayers. We do not really look for the answers to our prayers during the day.
As I do business with my heart during this Lenten season, I realize I really need to make a point of reflecting on the day by taking an inventory of God's faithful working and take note of how I ignored God's working throughout the day.
I need to repent of my forgetful heart and train myself to remember God's gracious activity in daily life. I want to be the one who returns each day to give thanks and praise to God. How about you?
"Lord, help me remember faith grows in the soil of a heart with the fertilizer of gratitude."