Prayer is a mystery to me. I probably shouldn’t say that lest some of you think I doubt its effectiveness. I don’t! It’s more of an amazement. The Creator of all things hears our prayers and in ways that are beyond my comprehension is using my prayers to shape me asHe Himself is responding to those prayers. I’ve learned not to box God in on answering my prayers. Sometimes He is very creative in how He has answered them. Sometimes it is “yes” while others have been a firm “no!” There have been other times where it has been a “not yet” or “yes, but not in the way you think.” However He answers them, I trust that God does answers our prayers, even when we struggle to see how. Sorry Garth Brooks!
With that said, one of our prayers at Eastpoint for some time has been that we might see someone come to faith in Christ and be baptized. Specifically, we have focused intently the past couple of weeks on this prayer. Sunday we will see the culmination of God answering that prayer. Last Tuesday night I came downstairs after giving Ben a bath. My daughter, Sophie, came over and I could tell she had something to tell me. She said, “Dad, tonight I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins, and asked Him into my heart, and said that I wanted to follow Him.”
I was shocked in the best way possible. I guess I should tell you about another prayer. From the moment we knew Angie was pregnant, we began to pray that one day that child, Sophie, would know the love and grace of Jesus. We have prayed that throughout her life, and close to ten years after we first uttered those prayers, we have seen God answer. Yet another prayer that I prayed as a father who is a pastor was that whatever decisions my children made about their faith in Christ, that it would be on their terms. Frankly I never wanted my kids to feel pressured into anything.
So when Sophie came downstairs and told us of her decision, of her faith, yet another prayer graciously answered with a “yes!” It was her decision made on her terms. We frankly weren’t involved in the conversation at all. I tell you all of this to say that prayer remains a mystery Some prayers are answered in a manner of days. Others, years. In all things prayer drives me more to the Father, both in gratitude and in need. I’m learning more to trust Him and to trust His timing. One prayer that was close to a decade old and one focused on intently for the past few weeks and months, both answered with a “yes” at the same time. Some might call it coincidence. Not me. It’s just one more reminder that God is over all and is at work in ways we cannot possibly fathom.