Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Faith Blog

I love the humor in the picture above and it got me thinking..........How much has PRAYER helped you? Do you remember a particular time you got an answer fast?  We don't have to know what it was, but if you could tell us if you feel you've been answered, we'd love to know that.   If you want to tell how, we'd be grateful.

"Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and He will say:  Here am I..."  Isaiah 58:9

There are a lot of verses about prayer that say, basically, "ask me for anything and you will have it."   That's a tough one for everyone to understand so I didn't pick those to post here.  What we have to remember, I think, is that answers come in many ways.....we might not notice some, we might not like some, we may feel totally unheard.     But "here am I.." will always be true.  To answer as you hoped or not;  but He will always to be there by our side.

Pray's like chicken soup "it cain't hoyt!" :-)
Have a glorious, prayerful Sunday.



FreeThinke said...

I pray every day always to remember that ALL things work together for good to those who live according to the dictates of Love, respect for what is true, kind, intelligent and decent, guided by the wisdom of the fundamental principles laid out in the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount.

When things get hectic -- confusing, upsetting, alarming, disappointing -- or when stricken by grief -- the words, "Be still, and know that I am God" from Psalm 46 invariably calm me, and help me to regain a sense of perspective. I realize I am NOT the center of the universe, my problems are NOT of earth-shaking importance, and most important of all that there are countless millions of others whose situation is far worse than mine and that it would do me good if I focused concern on them instead of myself, and tried to DO something to lift someone ELSE'S spirits.

Since I came of age at the beginning of the Sick-sties I might very easily have been sucked down into the whirlpool with other lost, aimless souls, but for God's Grace, so I can honestly say YES! God DOES answer my prayers -- never in an audible VOICE or a visible PRESENCE, but in the feeling of CALM that comes over me when I focus on God instead of Self.

In that sense of calm, I am usually guided to make decisions that help to RESOLVE problems or gain valuable INSIGHT that dissolves doubt and fear as it neutralizes cynicism. It has never EXACERBATED them.

A great aunt, who lived happily to age 100, despite never having married and being forced to live alone in genteel poverty, gave me this little verse when I was a boy. She said there was a kind if magic in it, and saying it frequently had been a great help to her whenever things seemed overwhelming:

God is my help in every need
He does my every hunger feed
He walks beside me, guides my way
Through every moment of the day.

It sounds naive -- even childish -- in this grimly cynical age, doesn't it? But -- honestly -- I have used it as a virtual mantra over several decades, and it DOES have a sort of magic to it in that it has never failed to help me regain my composure and set my sites in a more productive direction EVERY time a crisis arises.

I hope this helps strengthen your faith as it has mine.

~ FreeThinke

Brooke said...

Like you said, it certainly can't hurt! Prayer is sooo different for each person, but I think it is an integral part of what we are.

Ed Bonderenka said...

As I shared a couple weeks ago, I had intense abdominal pains (similar to the appendicitis of a few years prior) and I called out to God to heal me and He did, instantly.
I was at a job interview a couple weeks ago and the interviewer apologized for wasting my time as the position required 80% travel and nobody had told me.
I apologized to him for wasting HIS time as I could always use the experience in interviewing, enjoyed listening to him about his company and that God had often put me on one path that seemed to hit a wall, forcing me to unexpectedly turn and find an unexpected blessing.
He then said that they had a sister company that was looking for someone like me and said he'd forward my resume to them with a recommendation! And THEY offered me a position.
After I was unabashedly up front about my trust in God.
And that's not the first time I did something like that and got the job.
I wish I was always this upbeat :)
Off to church.

Silverfiddle said...

I pray every day, but I can't say God has ever spoken to me.

I think the answers are in the Bible, and reading and praying orient you towards what's right.

Sounds overly-scientific, but I am a left-brained rationalist.

I do believe God had given me good things in my life, and there were times when I just know that, to quote Obama, I didn't build that!

God did. And I thank Him for it every day.

Sam Huntington said...

God has spoken to me; it was my most wonderful experience ever.

Z said...

Free Thinke, thanks...the "be still" can be a huge part of prayer because we get so busy and our minds travel, don't they. he says BE STILL so many ways in Scripture.

The kind of reaction your great aunt had to that verse is exactly one way I think God speaks to us. How can simple words work if something like the Holy Spirit isn't there answering that prayer, fulfilling that sureness?

Brooke, you're very wise; it is very different for each of us.

Ed, another great story, and one I'm so glad to hear about you. Congratulations on the new job!! And for sharing your faith like that.
(I know what you mean about wanting always to be that upbeat; brother, DO I)

SF....I never mean like one HEARS GOD in their ear by his "speaking to us"...but there seem to be occasions when I open the Bible and it says exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. Or something I'd read before never meant as much as it did this time when I opened it... I believe that's God speaking to us, too....directly.
I had QUITE an experience about the Bible and reading something and maybe I'll write it here after church today.

SAM...i'm begging here and, at the same time, respecting the fact that if you'd wanted to be specific with us, publicly, you would have.
Can you write about it without telling WHAT specifically the thing was that you heard? :-)

sue hanes said...

Z - This is a good post. I have definitely known - at times - when my prayers have been answered. And it has been positive - and sometimes the immediate answer has been no. But when it was no - I always seemed to get some sort of 'explanation' later.

Some prayers I never have known how they helped - but I believe that they HAVE helped.

That's just how it is with prayer.
Faith tells you that it is always good to pray about something - and assume that it is heard.

Hope your Sunday is good - Z.

Anonymous said...

My prayer has yet to be answered.

Hopefully it will be on November 6th or 7th.

Z said...

Sue, thanks....and thanks for the good words. You're so right...MANY times (MOST TIMES?) the prayers aren't answered as we'd like but, if we're open to it, we'll find out why, usually way later.

Imp...We've got to pray HARD in early November!!

Jan said...

As a child, I believe I received my very first answer to prayer.

I was about seven years old. My parents were divorced when I was a baby, and I lived with my grandmother, and step-grandfather while Mama worked in a town in an adjoining state.

It was Christmas, and I had been very excited that she would be home, Christmas Eve...however, because of the shift that she worked, which was third, at a textile mill, her supervisor was unwilling to give her the time off that she needed.

She had no transportation, so she would have to ride a bus, and then take a taxi the rest of the way home, and she couldn't get off in time to catch the bus.

When my grandmother read the letter to me, I was heartbroken, and kept asking her every day if Mama would get to come home, and the answer was always that she wouldn't.

Christmas Eve, I went to bed, so very sad, and began to talk to my Heavenly Father about missing my mother, and wanting to be with her, and asking Him to please 'let her come home.'

I fell asleep, but sometime, during the night, I suddenly woke up, wide awake, and I could hear the sound of a car coming up the long, dirt driveway, and stopping.

Then, I could hear my grandmother getting up, and turning on the light, going to the door....and then I heard her exclaim, "Sarah!"

I flew out of my bed, and into Mama's arms!

She said that she had gone into work, and had been there for only a short time, when the supervisor came to her, and said that he had been thinking about it, and had decided that she should spend Christmas with her little girl, to just go on home.

An answer to prayer? Well, I certainly think so. I thought it then, and I still feel the same way, now.

I know there are those who will say that it was just a coincidence, but nothing will ever convince me that it was anything other than an answer to a lonely little girl's prayer.

Thanks, Z, for allowing me to share my faith here, with others.

Z said...

Jan, that's exactly the kind of feedback I'd hoped for with this post, thank you for sharing that.
It's such a beautiful story and sure does sound like God was answering your prayer!!!