Posted by: Jo | August 5, 2022

God Answers Differently

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”

(Romans 8: 26)

Just recently I was chatting with a friend who still lives in her big house, by herself, with a beautiful garden. Her mobility is not good and is now forced to use a walker to always get around. She loves her garden, but it is now the middle of summer and very hot. Her dilemma she was sharing with me was that she needed to turn on the sprinkler and set it up and nobody was there to help her. When she told me she was going to do it I was quite frightened for her and said I will pray for you to keep safe. So, I immediately began to pray for her while she was still on the phone. I asked God to hold on to her and not let her fall and to keep her safe. Later that day she phoned to tell me what had happened. When she got to the sprinkler it was turned the wrong way and she could not move it, feeling very depressed she sat in her walker to rest, just at that moment a male friend, an avid fisherman walked through the garden unexpectedly bringing her some salmon. Problem solved of course he could easily turn the sprinkler. I was so grateful to God and then began to think through my prayer. I had asked God for help, but the whole prayer was telling God how to do it. He had a better idea. Of course God wants us to come to him in times of trouble, but we learn God’s way to solve the problem is so much better than ours. 

Paul emphasizes this truth in his letter to the Ephesians 

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” (Ephesians 3: 20)

There are many stories in the Bible where the Lord acts to answer his people’s prayers in startling and unexpected ways. One of my favorites is the Gideon story (I loved to tell it when I was teaching Sunday school). It is found in the book of Judges, the exciting ending in Judges 7.

God’s people had called out to him to save them from the Midianites. God does hear them, but he chooses a very different way than they would have imagined. First, he chooses the weakest member of the weakest tribe to lead the army. Next, he tells Gideon to take a small number of men then in another surprising turn no weapons only trumpets and jars to break to make a lot of noise when darkness fell. 

“They blew their trumpets and broke the jars they had in their hands. Grasping the torches they had in their left hand and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow they shouted, “A sword for the Lord and a sword for Gideon.” While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran crying out as they fled.” (Judges 7: 20 – 21)

Let us come before the Father boldly asking him to help and being amazed at his response.


Responses

  1. Wise comment

    Like

  2. You make me realise Jo that in praying we do tend to tell God HOW to solve our problems. Thank you for encouraging us to leave the answers to Him.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So true, Mary

    Like

  4. Thank you again Jo. Sometimes it’s hard to realise that our prayers have been answered.

    Liked by 1 person


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