Don't you love an answered prayer? Sometimes, does it make you wanna shout Hallelujah? OK, I have to admit that I'm not really a Hallelujah shoutin' kinda girl, but I've been known to do a happy dance now and then (remember my calendar celebration from last week's post?). It's so exciting to see God at work not only in our own lives, but also in the lives of others.
Today, a lady from my church shared a story about answered prayer with me. It was one of those instances where God did immeasurably more. She was told her request was impossible, and as the lady left the room, she uttered a prayer... and sure enough, her prayer was answered. She was blown away by God's blessing. And little did she know, but she was also an answer to one of my prayers. She offered to donate office supplies to Women's Ministry at our church. There was one item in particular that I needed for an upcoming retreat... Sharpies. So, I asked her if she had any Sharpies, and she replied, "I do... I have a whole box of them. You can have them all. I also have paper and glue sticks if you need them." Yep, I needed those items too. I had just started praying in general over the retreat, and God was already providing for specific needs... things He knew I would need even before I had my supply list made. It was too much... sometimes I can't even begin to take in all of God's goodness. He truly does immeasurably more (Ephesians 3:20-21).
Did you know that "pray continually" is the verse right before "give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus"? (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18). When we utter our thankfulness to God throughout the day, it's like we're praying continually. Nothing super formal or anything, just random acts of thanksgiving to our God, who is so worthy of our praise. And while God may not answer our prayers immediately, or in the way we desire, we can be confident that He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans for hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). That alone is a reason to be thankful!
So keep your eyes out for answered prayers. And make sure to thank God for them... right on the spot or when you do your double take as you write your list out each evening. God is so good! May we recognize each blessing and give Him the thanks He deserves.
Tonight, I am thankful for...
1. Watching the gray clouds float over the peach tinted sky this morning
2. Answered prayers
3. Sharpies, paper and glue sticks on the way
4. Map app on my iPhone and the blinking blue dot that got this directionally challenged gal to her destination
5. Heartfelt prayers accompanied by tears
6. Celebrating swim time improvements
7. Twisted Peppermint soap
8. Starbucks Gift Card
9. Fresh fruit
10. New people joining the experiment
Here's to 10,000 reasons... Only 6,606 to go...