Three Prayer Truths: He Answered
If you were going to pray a big prayer, what would you ask for? I know my next big prayer, and I know it is already answered.
Yes, I know, this sounds lofty.
But for the better part of seven months, my big prayer was for wisdom.
I chased it like a madwoman. And while it sounds even loftier than the last statement, my prayer was answered.
Here is what I won’t do. I will not tell you in what area I craved wisdom. And I will not divulge what was revealed to me. Recently I heard a comedian say that blogging is just some housewife saying stuff no one wanted to listen to.
And while numbers have dictated the last 5 years of my writing journey, I have gotten pretty good at ignoring them. You who have read my posts can’t possibly accurately guess what I am thinking or what I am going to say next because I hardly do. By the same intelligence, I can’t guess how many of you will actually read this.
I don’t know what you are up to.
Furthermore, if I have learned anything, it is that life has its highs and lows. I have paid for SEO help and read 4 million articles on increase, only to find that I am most successful when I just write and let go.
Here is where I process. It is personal and often nonsensical. I feel certain I am the leading authority on nothing. But that is even more reason not to tell you what I prayed for wisdom about. While I would like to share and I hope it will lend insight, I am not a bible scholar or great leader.
You can find plenty of information, and I mean plenty, on whatever haunts or taunts you. This is simply one girl, up in the middle of the night with a kidney infection and a spastic bladder, who caught up to a truth and wants it on record.
Also, I am a housewife and no one seemed to be listening today.
That is not self-deprecating or a plea for shares, it was just a rainy day of painting and the realization, my big prayer was answered.
I am ready for my next big prayer.
What I will tell you is this, I have come to believe that every single prayer I have prayed up to now has been answered. And my last few posts have given nod to belief and the reasons I thought that the God who said He would answer, didn’t.
I propose this was a heart issue, not a God issue.
God has no issues. There is no list of things He must do that He hasn’t gotten to or forgot about.
And there is the jest, “God doesn’t have a watch…”
But I think that is an unfair accusation.
Lately, when it comes to prayer and asking God to answer I see a lot of justifying Jesus… “oh He must not be done refining me.” Or blaming Jesus, “oh, He told me to do it.”
No matter that He would never lead us astray, we must have misunderstood the clear voice of a perfect God.
I will be the first to confess when I meet with folly, if I stop for two seconds and think about it, it is folly I choose to wade into.
What I am entirely convinced of boils down to 3 prayer truths:
- God is the author of only goodness. He doesn’t give and take away. He only gives and restores. Just because Job said He gives and takes away, doesn’t mean that is the character of God. We say a lot of things in our grief. Were you to go back and read Job, God allowed Job to walk through the fire, but He only restored.
- Prayer is the deep belief or cry of that heart, not just the fancy words of the tongue.
- The deep beliefs of the heart get exactly what they cry the most loudly about. What is embedded in us as belief.
This revelation came to me in a flash. Someone emailed me about losing her long term foster placement. She had read a couple of my posts and my second book, Sacred Ground Sticky Floors. Her words struck me so deeply, I literally gasped.
“I know your prayer to adopt Joy Baby wasn’t answered, and that must still haunt you…”
It was at that moment I realized, adopting Joy Baby wasn’t my prayer. Well, it was the prayer of my tongue, but it was not the cry of my heart.
The cry of my heart was answered.
The very first time I met Joy Baby, I somehow knew, she would not stay.
But the very first time I met Joy Baby’s birth mother, I wanted more for her than anyone else I had ever encountered. I was broken by her brokenness and I was enchanted with her adorableness.
Every encounter after that first, I was drawn to pray and dream big dreams for her. Joy Baby was a delight. With chubby cheeks and brilliant blues eyes, she was hilarious and quirky. But her mother reminded me of what it meant to truly champion women.
When I started my undergraduate degree, my dream was to help women live better lives and raise better humans. I continued to pursue that dream through graduate school. But, then I kept getting pregnant myself. And it made no sense to help other women raise better humans and not raise my own amazing humans.
However, the cry of my heart, my big prayer, was to someday help women.
So yes, I prayed we would get to adopt Joy Baby, but the real prayer, the big prayer, the desire of my heart, negated the noise that rattled from my tired throat.
And He answered.
I am not haunted by the fact that we didn’t get to adopt a baby girl that I mothered for nearly two years. Instead, I am enlightened by the fact that the real prayer, the deep need to help women in need was fully answered. Joy Baby’s birth mother fought to be restored and bring her baby home. I stood by her and I loved and nurtured her baby girl while she healed.
The flesh may have been drug-addicted, but the heart was addicted to mothering the fruit of her womb. My flesh loved the weight of that baby girl in my arms, her sweet soft skin, and darling laugh. But my heart wanted restoration.
And He answered.
For me, the recurring theme of the past few months has been the scripture: Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24)
So when I have been praying I have been stopping to check on what I believe. To believe something, to know it is the whole truth is more than saying it. It is a feeling. I can tell you that I am holding an apple. But if you are looking at me and see I am holding a peach, most certainly, you won’t believe me.
Belief is knowing something. It is a feeling.
So if out of our mouths we are praying for healing but in our heart, we are bound to cancer or disease, what are we believing?
Which leads me back to the recurring theme and Mark 11:23: “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.”
And does not doubt their heart…
It is not God who doesn’t answer, it is I who doesn’t believe.
Certainly, when Jesus invited Peter to walk out onto the water he was able. But then Peter remembered, “wait a minute! I am a human being! I can’t walk on water!” And he was right, he couldn’t, so what happened?
Jesus said Peter could, and he did until he took stock of his heart, and then he couldn’t.
Saying a prayer is entirely different than believing a prayer has already been answered.
No eye has seen, no ear has heard… and in my humanness, I have counted this among instruction. But that wasn’t the instruction, that was just a factoid. Kind of like, you have not because you ask not.
And all the choir hums, but “but we are asking!”
To which the Savior inquires, but do you believe?
The instruction was to ask and believe. Not ask over and over and over and then analyze the lack. The big prayers are the cries of our hearts. And those cries are heard… what we are left with is a changing of our minds to believe and receive.
This has swamped me.
In another prayer, I have rambled on and on. I have begged for a certain success. That prayer had seemed to go unanswered and then I realized what I believed about myself and what my heart cry really is.
I want this success. There I said it.
But the truth is, I am afraid of that success. It would mean doing things outside of my comfort zone. I would be vulnerable and exposed. And the success might also offer us more money and I realized… I had bought into the belief that wealth equated to the love of money, which we know is the root of evil. Furthermore, I have heard this said a dozen times in my life when something bad happens to someone who is wealthy, “See, you can have all the material things in the world and still have to face tragedy.”
In my heart, I believed I wasn’t prepared for success or financial gain.
And so, this God whose ways are perfect answered the cry of my heart. The success didn’t come because that is not what I truly wanted because I was afraid of the mouthed prayer of success.
I can blame Jesus for not answering the words of my mouth, but truth be told He already answered the cry of my heart.
That is what He said He would do.
Belief is the key. Whatever we ask for, walking on water or moving mountains, is not outside of His promise. The only barrier is what I believe.
Granted, some of this has me wondering about other losses, that the prayers weren’t enough or I was lacking, Perhaps I was. Or perhaps my fears were so great that belief was buried beneath terror. Still, He loves, still, He protects and restores. I will trust Him with this until more is revealed.
And I believe Him, which is much different than just believing He exists. While I have prayed things for others, what I couldn’t do is make them believe. Results may not be typical, but neither is this God.
Y’all, this is just getting good.
What will you ask Him to help you with?
Or better yet, what do you believe He has already done?
Buckle up buttercup…
Jesus be all over you. Love, J
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