Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Answered prayer

I've spent a great deal of time in 2009 learning more about prayer and becoming an actual pray-er. Before this summer I had spurts of prayer in my life. Some times I had weeks at a time when I was consistently praying... but eventually I would fall away. I honestly think that part of my problem was I misunderstood what prayer was AND I was a very long pray-er. So long winded, in fact, that sometimes I dreaded it or just cut it out altogether because I knew it was going to take forever.

Last spring I began to earnestly seek and desire time in prayer and in the Word every morning. I don't even remember why I began to do it, but the more I did, the more I wanted it. I protected that time and still do. I've been getting up very early in the morning (4:45) so I can workout and get ready and still have my prayer and Bible time before the girls need to get ready for school. I've hosted lectures with the girls regarding the importance of this time in my morning and that when they see me on the couch with my coffee and my Bible with my eyes closed they are NOT to disturb me. They're mostly very good about it, although a reminder is necessary on occasion:)

I have learned to pray boldly and specifically. I have learned to be honest. Completely, brutally honest. And I've learned to lay things and people at HIS feet rather than worry about them. "Do not fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down." I have experienced this. I have 3 situations in my life right now where I could be needlessly worrying or obssessing, but I lay it in God's lap every morning, because realistically the situations are completely out of my control. I have done what I needed to do, the only thing I can do now is remind him of my request and watch as he works. And he is.

One significant thing that has happened as a result of all of this is that I've seen and experienced answers to prayers. I'm certain God has answered my prayers in the past, but since I've never been so consistent I've not been able to recognize it so easily. Here are a few examples of some specific answers to prayer that I would like to honor Him by sharing with anyone who reads this:

* my best friend tried for a long time to get pregnant. She did in February. I prayed and prayed that she would not miscarry. She didn't. I prayed for a healthy baby and delivery. And on November 11th I saw a picture of a very beautiful answer to prayer.

* In June I had it out with God about our finances. I laid it all out and was brutally honest with Him. I yelled. I whined. I cried. I sobbed. I questioned him and told him how unfair everything was. It didn't happen right away, but God has blessed Dave's business in many ways in the last 3 months.

* This fall as Dave's income was gradually increasing, I begged Him to give Dave the trip that he was trying to earn. Dave had been dreaming of the Steamboat, CO trip since March when the trip catalog came out. But throughout the summer it seemed less and less of a possibility. I asked God to give Dave this gift. To reward his hard work and his dedication and integrity. On the VERY LAST DAY of the trip contest, Dave earned the trip.

* This summer Dave's former assistant transferred to a different Jones office. Obviously he needed to hire a new one. The last time he had to hire a new assistant his income decreased dramatically because he had to spend so much time reviewing resumes and interviewing possible candidates, in addition to losing the support of an assistant (which increased his workload). I prayed for a smooth hiring process and that He would lead to the perfect candidate. I prayed for a smooth transition process. All of this happened. And he has the perfect assistant. PERFECT. And his business never skipped a beat during all of it. Someday I'd like to post about that specific situation because it continues to amaze me!

* Last month his commission was pretty low and we didn't think he was going to cover our expenses that month. The morning of the last day of the selling month I asked God to do something - quite literally I said, "Would you do something already?" He had quite a large amount of commissions to make up in order to make it to the number required to cover our expenses. Basically out of the question, but with the right situation it COULD happen, just didn't seem likely. At.all. Dave called around 11:30 and he hadn't made hardly any commissions yet. I was a little disappointed and thought that God had decided No that day. Dave called me at 3:30 and told me that one specific client came in and had changed her mind about a certain situation. The amount of commissions he made from that one transaction brought his monthly total past what he needed to cover our expenses. I laughed at how awesome and amusing God is!

I'm pretty sure that I've missed some. He is amazing. And his timing is so much more perfect than mine. And he leaves me speechless.

Don't get me wrong - I have not gotten an answer to every single prayer than I've uttered. And I continue to storm the gates of heaven to repeat my request. And I will continue to ask boldly and specifically and leave my desires and requests at his feet. Because I am not God. I am not in control. I am not able to do what I'm requesting of him.

* What specific answers to prayer would you like to share?
* How can I pray specifically for you? (all comments are moderated... if you mention on the comment that you don't want it posted, I will not post it, but I will still add it to my list of prayer requests.


April 8:56 AM  

Jana, what a wonderful testimony!!!!!
While you are praying, could you pray for my friend's mom? Her name is Bonnie. She just went through a year of chemo for breast cancer and just was found to have 5 inoperable tumors in her brain and they gave her 4 months to live. We are praying for a miracle :)! Have a great day Jana!

Mommy Brain 8:30 AM  

Awesome, simply awesome. Thank you for the reminder to go boldly to the throne of God, to ask and to wait. Thank you Jana! Thank you.

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