I had a rough night of sleep last night and cannot seem to kick a cold I have been carrying around. I coughed allllll night long and woke up today tired and exhausted.
Since it was going to be a jammie day, I decided to dig out some of the books I haven’t had a chance to read for awhile. While I was digging around in my “book basket” I came across some old journals from years ago. I ended up pulling them out – one by one – and relived memories of long ago and read through the many heartfelt prayers I had raised up to God. After I had read for over an hour I found myself thinking…”I wish I had prayed more.”
I should never be surprised by God, but today I found myself almost shocked at the miraculous ways that hundreds of my prayers had been answered over the past decades of my life. I could not help but wonder what other things might have been different… if I had prayed more.
God moves in response to our prayers.
I prayed that my full-of-it son would get caught if he was doing things that might harm him. And he did. ( get caught) If he had not been caught – maybe he would not be the amazing, Christian young man that he is today.
I prayed for the future spouses of my three kids – specific prayers that God would prepare them up and guide their paths, that they would have a healthy self image and develop a heart for God. God answered my prayers with three individuals who were even better than I would have ever dreamed or imagined.
I prayed for a woman who was miserable and bitter…and today she is an amazing, generous, kind, faith-filled person. I didn’t remember ever praying that prayer…but God did.
God remembers every single prayer that is prayed.
There were also prayers that were not answered the way that I had prayed. I prayed for opportunities for my kids that if God had said ‘yes’, they wouldn’t be in the places where they are today. God answered some of my prayers with a gentle and loving, ‘no’.
The prayers of God’s people are kept in golden bowls full of incense. In the end of times, when the bowls are filled to the brim, God’s angel will take the golden bowls and fling our prayers back to the earth and God’s power will be released.
I am not going to pretend that I know exactly what that scripture means – because I don’t. But what I see here is that none of our prayers are ever wasted. God saves each and every cry of our heart and mixes them with incense, and saves them in golden bowls.
Some of my prayers from dozens of years ago were not answered and and there are many things that I am still praying about. But each of those prayers is sitting in a glorious golden bowl, being mixed with God’s pleasing aroma of incense, and will be used for a great purpose and provision one day.
God is not some kind of a cosmic magic genie. Prayer is not about asking for our three most important wishes. If we are not grounded in God’s word, we will not necessarily be praying for the things of God.
In my old journals. I saw many prayers that were silly little wishes. But because I love Jesus…I still believe those silly little heartfelt prayers are safely held in God’s golden bowl of prayers. They may not have been answered in this life, but they will still be used for His purposes.
If we could know the the powerful ways that God moves through prayer, I believe we would pray a great deal more.