I can give you many examples of answered prayers, but I’ll tell you just two from my own experience. I’m going to try to make these short and minus a lot of details, (but with some loss of the WOW effect, unfortunately).
- Years ago, I had a job in which I did a lot of traveling. And my teenage daughter was going through a series of unrelated, but life threatening (literally) medical problems. I was not very religious then, but eventually I noticed that when I prayed, things got better. Then I stopped praying, and my daughter would get the next malady. A long time after the fact, I realized that God was encouraging me to pray. But that’s not actually the neat part of the story.
I also prayed to God that I get find a different job (at my same company) where I would not be traveling so much, and could be nearby to help my daughter. 2 weeks later I got a pink slip (layoff notice). My initial thoughts towards God were not kind. But then I remembered a letter I got a few years earlier from a colleague in California offering me a job if I ever needed one. I ended up taking that job and my family moved to California, and I would not need to travel.
Just a coincidence, right?
Well, it turns out that for the last few years my wife had been privately (without my knowledge) praying that we move to California so we could be near her siblings and father who had all recently moved there as well.
So…there you go. 2 prayers answered at the same time with the same event. Thank you God.
- My dad has alzheimers, and is very difficult to be around because he repeats an endless-loop story of his world war 2 exploits. He was never actually in world war 2, which makes it even more difficult to listen to. And he doesn’t remember anything that happened 5 minutes ago, so, you get the idea.
But he loves to golf. He lives 3000 miles from me so I can’t take him, but there is a loving soul 40 years his junior who does take him out once a week. On my last visit, I got to meet this wonderful man, call him Mr. X, and I made a quickie informal “prayer” to God that there be some way for me to repay him.
The evening before returning to California, our family, my dad included were at a “concert in the park” which is what folks in small towns do when they get old. The seats were all filled except one next to my wife and I. But we look over and there winding her way through the park looking for a seat was a bag lady / cat lady (a-la Simpsons) / crazy lady, whatever you want to call her. I prayed that she not sit next to us, but luckily God ignored that particular prayer.
She sat with us (there was no choice, all the other seats were taken), and as we thought, she was not well in the head. She talked nonsense for 40 minutes, and we did our best to see a child of God in her face, we listened as best we could and were polite, and tried to treat her with as much dignity as we could.
Finally she got up to leave, but turned around and said something coherent. “Do you know anybody from Townville?” I said that no, we didn’t. She said “Are you sure?” Yup, we were sure. She persisted, “Do you know anybody named X?” And it occurred to me that I had just bet one Mr. X week earlier, and I told her that. Her response - “Oh, he’s my nephew.” Then she walked away.
It took me a while to figure out what happened, but then it struck me that God had sent “the cat lady” to me as an opportunity to pay back Mr. X , just as I had prayed for. He was kind to my dad and I was kind to his aunt who had virtually the same form of mental problems.
Thank you God for giving me the opportunity, and thank you God for not letting me botch it completely.
Prayers do work. When you pray for something that is good for your salvation. Perhaps regrowing a limb, or even having one or not, is not something related to our salvation.
God’s job is not to make our lives easy. His job is to help us get to heaven. The two are rarely the same.