You know the story.
Last weekend, we dropped our oldest daughter off at college.
I’ve been praying for months that she would have just the right roommates and that the transition to college would be an easy one for her.
Just last week, I started praying about move-in day on Saturday. There were some facts I knew.
- It would be hot. It’s Florida in August after all.
- There would be a lot of stuff to move from our vehicle to her dorm room.
- Since this was our first ever college drop off, none of us knew exactly how this process of check-in/move-in/registration was supposed to go. (And three of the four of us in this family are very BIG on knowing exactly how things will go.)
- Our daughter, my husband, and I would likely have different opinions on things as the day wore on. Just based on past experiences…
I had low expectations.
Yet God answered prayer.
I couldn’t have asked for the whole process to go more smoothly. Our daughter met two of her roommates right away. We also got to meet them, as well as the parents of one of them. Seriously, they were all just very nice people.
Our daughter got her room set up, my husband helped her pre-register for her classes online, and we made a final trip to Walmart. (Still trying to figure out how we spent so much when we’d already unloaded a truckful in her dorm room.)
By the end of the day, I was so relieved and so very grateful. God answered my prayers. And it wasn’t just my prayers. I knew other family and friends had been praying for us over the weekend.
Now please don’t think I’m promoting my praying abilities over here. It’s not about me. It is about a God who cares about every detail of our lives. And He listens when we pray.
“Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul. I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me. ~Psalm 66:16-20
I sometimes hear about how we should respond when God doesn’t answer our prayers. But what are we to do when God does answer prayer? Here are four ideas.
Praise Him directly.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:” ~Psalm 103:1-2
Go to God in private and praise and thank Him for what He’s done.
Give Him the glory.
All glory goes to Him. Don’t rationalize it as “Well, this would have happened anyway, even if I hadn’t prayed.” Both privately and publicly, give all credit to God.
Share your story to encourage others.
It’s not bragging if you’re giving Him the glory. God doesn’t answer our prayers because we pray the longest or the hardest or read enough Bible verses. He answers prayer because of His love and His grace.
I do know that, according to the first Scripture passage above, He won’t hear my prayer if I harbor sin in my life. Nor will He answer my prayer if I’m asking with the wrong motives, just to consume it on my lusts. [James 4:3] But if I seek to pray in His will, He will hear and answer. [1 John 5:14-15]
Be motivated to pray more.
“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.”~Psalm 116:1-2
You’d better believe I’m continuing to pray for my daughter at college…for her to find good friends, for her classes to go well. I’m also praying for my other daughter, the list of people for whom I pray daily for their salvation, and many other requests.
Are all my prayers answered in the way these particular college-related ones were? No.
I’m not sovereign, so I don’t know and can’t explain why God answers some prayers in the way we’ve asked, while in other situations He lets us ask Him over and over again for our request…and sometimes says no.
But I do know that I can trust Him to always do what’s best for me. His ways are not mine…they are much better. [Isaiah 55:8-9]
What prayer do you need to be answered today? Keep praying, my friends. Remember Ephesians 3:20 tells us that He “…is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…”
And what does the following verse say? “Unto him be glory…”