Tag Archives: faith

Why Are We Surprised When God Answers Our Prayers?

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The following post is not written in my words.  I copied this VERBATIM from an email sent to me from Pocket Testament League.  

 

Pocket Devotions

Day 151: Why Are We Surprised When God Answers Our Prayers?

Acts 12:16

But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.

 

Thoughts for Today:

Previously the church was earnestly praying for Peter’s release from prison. Now here he was standing at the door, yet when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. I see a lot of myself in this story. The church was busy praying, the servant girl comes and tells them that Peter is at the door (verse 15). Those praying tell her she is crazy and return to praying; she tells them again (verse 16) and they say it must be his angel and go back to praying. Peter keeps knocking (verse 17) and they finally open the door to find Peter standing there — the answer to their prayers — yet they were astonished. Why? Why were they so shocked? Peter’s presence at the door was God’s direct answer to their prayers. Isn’t that what they had been praying for?

I think the answer lies in what we think our role is in a miracle. Did the church think it was the length of their prayer that was important? Maybe they weren’t finished as not everyone had a chance to pray. Did they have a different expectation for the outcome? Perhaps they expected a more public demonstration of God’s power (how about a lightning bolt?). The warning to us in this passage is to not miss God’s answer to our prayer just because it comes quickly or isn’t exactly what we expect.

 

Questions to Ponder:

There is a very fine line here: knowing when to continue to pray (being steadfast), yet knowing when to look up and acknowledge that a prayer has been answered. It can be very confusing because God doesn’t always choose to answer prayer in the way we expect. Take a moment and go down your prayer list. Has God already spoken or answered your prayer? Why do you continue to pray? Maybe it’s because the outcome isn’t what you expected or wanted? Do you really think God is wrong? How strong is your faith?

Do you keep a prayer list? Let me encourage you to record what you are praying for and when you begin praying for it. Include personal requests, requests from family and friends, and requests from church and missionaries. When God answers a prayer from your list, record what His answer was and when it came. Often we cannot see answers to our prayers until we ask specifically and then expect results.

You Only Get One

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My cousin Patrick died in a car accident this week. He was only 35 years old.  Today, June 16, 2012 he was buried. I’ll never again get to see him in this life.  It hurts me tremendously even though I know he’s in a better place.  I get on Facebook, and pictures and statuses about Pat are trending.  It seemed like everyone in my hometown of Bassfield, MS was at the church today for his homegoing celebration.  But I wonder if these same people, including me, let him know just how much he was loved?  I wonder if he remembered all the times we spent together, the kind of impact he had on my life, on everybody’s life that he touched?  See, Pat was a big old ball of happiness, goofiness, and smiles. ALL THE TIME!  When you saw him, out and about, the first thing you’d see is his pearly white 32’s.  Then he’d embarrass you by screaming out some kind of elementary school pet name for you, all the while grabbing you in a smothering bear hug.  Every. Single. Time. He didn’t just treat me this way either.  He made everyone he came in contact with feel like the only person in the world that mattered. He didn’t see color. Black, white, green, purple, he just saw the person, and he liked who you were.  Pat was never a rich man, monetarily, he worked every day of his life, from High School, up until the day he died. But, Pat left a legacy.  He touched everyone with his way, his selflessness, his love.

Time is so precious. We forget that we don’t have forever.  Big cousin’s death was a wake up call for me. I’ve spent far too much time and energy being angry and holding grudges, and life is much to short for that.  If I die and don’t get the chance to say I’m sorry to someone I’ve wronged, or accept the apology of someone who wronged me, then all that I do, all that I have done to be this “Better Sonya” would have been all in vain.  Each and every person is important enough to love “in spite of.”  Someone out there loves me “in spite of” simply because their love for God and His commandments, are more important than a grudge.  We have this one life to live. Let’s not waste it creating grief.  Tomorrow isn’t promised, I realize that.  I want my legacy to be one of love, and joy, and I’ll live my life, one moment at a time, being grateful that God has blessed me to be a part of yours.

To you, you, and you: I apologize to you. I love you. I’m grateful for you. I’m blessed to know you.  You are a gift to me. I am better because of you.

R.I.P. Big Baby ❤

I’m In Love

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Reposted from my old blog BoredNappy

I’ve been having an affair for too many years to count. No matter how much fun we had, I would always feel empty afterwards. It always felt like there should be something else. I never really felt complete. I catered to him, but it was never enough. He always wanted more. I gave my time, my energy, and opened my heart over and over again for it to just be snatched out and stepped on.

But, there was always someone waiting for me. He was always patient, always kind. He encouraged me and picked me up when I’d fall. He was always there with an encouraging word or a listening ear. When I was upset, he would just hold me and remind me that he’s here. He wanted to be my everything. I never understood why? I ignored him until I needed him. I rarely visited. He just wanted a chance and I wouldn’t give it to him. Just when I would feel myself beginning to give in to his pleading, I’d run away. He would ask me to trust him, I’d say no because I’m afraid. He wanted to help me. I told him I was independent. He knew everything about me, but he still wanted me. He accepted me regardless of all the bad I’d done. That still amazes me.

I’m too tired. I can’t run anymore. Well, all his pleading kinda got to me. I’m in love! It’s amazing that he waited until I was ready to love him back. The first time I paid attention to his touch, I felt brand spanking new. He made all my senses come alive. I finally “found” the man of my dreams, and he’s been here all along. It’s like a fairy tale and finally I get to be the Cinderella. And yes, my glass slipper fits perfectly!

My only regret is that I didn’t allow Christ into my life sooner…

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Check Your Priorities

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We are all a tiny part of a social circle in some form or fashion.  We spend the mandatory 8 hours with our coworkers, chill out with family, and the majority of us are online using Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Tumbler, Instagram, etc… You get the point. At the end of the day, after spending time with the rest of the world, we just want a bubble bath and a good night’s rest so we can do it all over again tomorrow. In the midst of all this, when does God get his personal time? Is He even on our lists of priorities, or just an afterthought? Do you give Him a quick, “Thank you Lord for this day” in the morning and a rushed, “Lord you’re worthy,” in the evening?  I’m just as guilty as everybody else. I’m not perfect at all. But I feel convicted because I know I haven’t devoted myself to quiet time with Him, and I know that I should.

God should be our first, last, and everything in between. We give excuses so often to justify reasons why we don’t have the time to have a true conversation with Daddy.  One of the most overused excuses I’ve heard is, “God knows my heart.”  We’ve got to do better.

FYI Break:  When I’m writing to you, you, and you, I’m ministering to myself FIRST. These posts are my thoughts, my feelings, my heart’s story. This is my online journal, and basically, I just felt the need to share it with you.  If you feel like you’re being pointed out, reevaluate yourself. It may be the beginning of your personal revelation. 

It’s true. God does know our hearts. He knew us, and created an assignment for our lives even before our creation.  But a real relationship takes time and requires sacrifice on both parts.  Spirituality requires effort. We are a “microwave generation.” We expect everything to come quick and easy. Well, I’m a living witness, that we do NOT serve a “microwave” God.  Ten years to us is merely a blink of an eye to God. We have to make a truly conscious decision to keep our relationship healthy.

Maybe we’ll have to sacrifice a bit of sleep sometimes just to sit down and listen to Him.  Basking in His presence will put a completely different spin on every part of your day. Fasting also plays a crucial part in becoming more in tune with your Spiritual life. The most important person to Him is You. That makes YOU your greatest offering.

Need more proof?  Click here >  Matthew 6:33, Romans 12:1, Psalm 45:11 <

Wanna Hear a Secret?

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I’ve been single for what seems like forever and three days.  I’ve got all the cliche’ lines and even some funny stories about the dreaded “dating scene.” I was constantly praying for God to send me that good man. Well, he never showed up. Then i prayed, Lord, let your will be done.  Well, even after that prayer “good man” still left me alone. So later, I began to pray for my husband. I mean pray that his walk with God be upright and that his heart be mended from whatever he’s dealt with in life. I’ve prayed for his job, our child(ren) together, his leadership abilities within the family, as well as his heart. And I’m still not married. I continue to be in prayer and expectation both for and about my man of God although we haven’t crossed paths (that I know of), simply because I do know that at SOME time, in God’s time, I will have my “One.” That’s called Faith y’all. I’m excited about my life.  

I’ve figured out the secret though.  

Are YOU single too? Wanna know my secret? Shhhh. Now lean in close…Nah, I’m just joshing you, and it’s really NOT a secret if you take the time to do a little studying. Let me explain it to you.

First of all, we can pray for everything and everybody, that’s fine and dandy, but God is NOT a genie in a bottle. He doesn’t grant wishes. Scripture says in Matthew 6:33 – But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Ohhhkay, so basically, I’m told to first, search for, thirst after, thrive to be apart of God’s kingdom and under his powerful hand, and I’ll receive an abundance of blessings.

But then, digging a little further, I found Jeremiah 29:11 saying For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. So let me get this straight.  Only God can love me unconditionally the way He does.  He wants me to be at peace in my situation because He’s the author of my life.  Well, I couldn’t really just stop reading there. I still had questions that needed to be answered and I’m ready NOW LORD!  Aaannnddd I was then led to Philippians 4:6 which tells me to Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your request be made known unto God. Nooo, He didn’t stop there, but Philippians 4:11 states Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 

So basically, it all comes down to submission. Word of the day, right smack dab in the middle of most of the married people fights. I’m there, but not 100%. Maybe about 85% in submission to God. He’s teaching me to first willingly submit to His love, His chastisement, and to His will.  God is the One that wants to give me everlasting joy and a peace that surpasses the understanding of Man. Find contentment in THIS state and give Him my all. Right now, there’s no husband distractions keeping me from worship with my Father. He is my covering, my protector, my Lord and Savior, and He will continue to supply my needs as well as the desires of my heart. So, I now understand that my future was predestined, and since His will is the only one I have an interest in following, I’ll just be patient. I’m still being molded.