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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Giving the Glory for Answered Prayers

Answered prayers very rarely come in the shape and form I expect them to be. Sometime I wonder if they ever turn out as I think they will. There are times when the answered prayer is greater than I could have imagined, other times I find myself thinking, "God, couldn't you have found a better way to make it happen?"

But the important thing is that God does answer our prayers. One of my favorite verses speaks of this: "I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live." Psalms 116:1-2 When God answers my prayers it makes me want to pray even more! It makes me want to give God the glory He deserves, which reminds me of a verse I was reading the other day which said, "Be thou exalted, O God, above the havens: let they glory be above all the earth." Psalms 57:11 That is a lot of glory! If I were to give Him all the glory due to him I wouldn't have time to speak of anything else. "Let thy glory be above all the earth."

Over the past several months I have seen many of my prayers answered. Some were desires that I didn't have the faith to pray for, others were specific request that I asked God to meet. Both were amazing.

A little over a year ago I stated e-mailing a girl named Katie who lives in Pennsylvania. Through the 100+ e-mails we have been encouraged through each others battles and victories and have been able to see each other grow in the Lord as we grew closer together. Ever since last October I have been planning on going to meet her and her family for the first time while they were in North Carolina on vacation. At first I was really excited, but as the time got closer I began to get nervous about driving so far with only my little sister in the car to "protect" me should disaster come. I told Katie about this and she assured me it would be okay if I didn't come, but I really wanted to meet her. I was torn between two decisions.

So I did what I've been taught to do all my life but seldom put to practice. I put it in God's hands. I believe that is the key to prayer: telling God what I need and trusting Him to supply it as He sees fit. If I were to continue to search for an answer myself or try to fix a problem on my own after I have prayed about it, I haven't really given God the chance to answer my prayer. So I didn't do that this time. I left everything up to God.

A few weeks later I heard that our church was going to Bible camp in Pennsylvania. Now honestly, my first thought wasn't "Oh, I can meet Katie while I'm there!" No, I thought the same thing that most girls of my status would. "Hmm, maybe I'll meet a nice young man up there!" Followed by, "Lord please forgive me for my vain thoughts, I know you'll send me a man right when I'm not expecting it." ☺I didn't say that I trust God all the time, now did I?

I felt God impressing on my heart to go to this camp. Without God's "nudging" I probably wouldn't have left my job for a whole week based on my own wants especially when I didn't even know if my younger sibling were going. But since I felt Got telling me it was okay to go, I signed up right away. It wasn't until the next day that I realized Katie and I might be able to meet. In a few short days we had the place and time picked and we were counting down the days!

Here's the great part: Not only did I get to spend 2 wonderful hours with Katie in Pennsylvania, but I also got to go to the most amazing Bible camp with my siblings and church family and experience God's presence in a whole new way and watch Him move in so many people's lives. I prayed for a way to meet Katie without having to travel by myself and I ended up spending a whole week going to church twice a day and falling even deeper in love with my Savior right there with my brothers and sisters who were doing the same thing!Later I found out that Katie and her family are no longer going to take vacation in North Carolina, so if God hadn't worked it out for me to go to camp I might not have met her at all this year. I expected God to give me only what I had prayed for and he more than tripled the blessing! My expectation was so low, yet he proved to me that He does answer my prayers and in a way that I could never have planned myself.

So now we're home from camp and energized more than ever! All the youth in our church are eager to see God move and God is doing just that. So Bethany and I decided to start having a Bible study once a week at home. But even in the midst of all the excitement, having that study time doesn't always look easy. We've had a three day revival last week, my room is in serious need of dusting, we were invited to a game night at a friends house, and I still haven't written in my journal about the week of camp. So this morning as I walked out the door on the way to work I whispered, "LORD, please help me find time to prepare for Bible study." Once I was at my desk answering phones, typing as fast as I could, and helping my co-workers find emergency room charts, I didn't give my hurried prayer any thought. Then mama called. None of my brothers and sisters wanted to go to our friends house for game night so mama and daddy were the only ones going and since the game we all love to play requires an even number of people, I wouldn't be able to join the fun. I was disheartened. I wanted to go, but under the circumstances the only thing I would be able to do is sit there and watch. So I said I would stay home with my brothers and sisters and let the adults have a fun night.

Then God so gently reminded me of my prayer for time. What better time to study than when mama and daddy are away and my brothers and sisters are watching a moving with brownies and ice-cream? Yes, I wanted to play games with our friends but obviously God thought I needed to stay home and study. After all, I did pray for it.

Even though that is not the way I wanted God to give me more time He should still receive the glory for answering another one of my prayers. And if he chooses to answer another (like I know He will) I will give him the glory for that one too no matter what the outcome is. For if He is to be glorified above all the earth I still have a lot of  praising to do, but plenty to praise Him for!


Under Southern Skies said...

That is so amazing how God worked it out for you to see Katie!! He is so good!

A Heart of Praise said...

Praise the Lord, what a wonderful Savior we serve! Just to know He hears us and cares for us is amazing. How great is His love. Thanks for sharing:)