Midway through February, I wrote a post about “Answered Prayer”, because, in the space of less than 24 hours, I had heard reports back of 3 instances where exactly what I had been praying for and visualising had happened to those 3 individuals.
Naturally this was a great encouragement for me to keep praying in such a visual, specific and intentional way, for whatever I was asked to, or felt called to, pray for.
I recalled Jesus cleansing the ten lepers and only one came back to find and thank Jesus. Jesus asked where the others were and declared that this man’s faith had made him “whole”.
I thought of the importance of thanksgiving and of how my focus is often on the prayer requests and needs, but not so much on even noticing when prayers are answered, and somehow taking it for granted when all is well again.
I knew my praying and thanksgiving needed to be equally focused and intentional.
I decided to start keeping a special book in which I only record answered prayer – a “Miracles” journal.
I wrote down those prayers I recognised as being answered during February, and gave thanks for all those answered prayers that I cannot see myself, because they are ongoing, or being worked on in a different realm.
I have done the same for March.
As an ‘aide-memoire’ of names and needs whilst praying, I write down separately all the things I am praying for specifically, but also to prompt me to ask, later in the week, how that person or situation is progressing – then my prayer either continues, changes specific focus, or is written into the “miracles” book and becomes praise for a testimony of the divine intervention of an all-powerful God.
I want to now thank and praise God publicly for all of the prayers answered during March, but first I want to say that when God “answers” prayers, He does not always answer ‘my prayers’ in the way that I think they need to be answered.
Sometimes God says “NO” to my specific request, because God sees the bigger picture and He knows that what I am asking for is not the best way for that person or situation.
Sometimes God says “WAIT”.
During March I want to thank God specifically for:
CJ’s lung X-rays showing they are clear of cancer
R’s 16 days sober and financial progress
C’s washing machine
J, C and E’s negative covid-test results
My 6 years sober and those blessed by reading the story
J’s work commendations and acceptance to do PHD
S’s decisions made and courage to act
J’s recognition of need for healing
R and W both pouring out their hearts full of painful memories and burdens
Canon Tom winning the legal battle declaring ban on church ‘unlawful’
G’s physical progress and healing
Inspiration and great help with personal book writing and favour with endorsements
I also thank God for 3 answers that were not what I asked for:
For the 2 sweet spirits He took home to be with himself in glory
For the other challenge now to be faced – but knowing it is not to be fought with human strength.
And I thank God that He continues to hear us when we cry out to him and He hears all our prayers, petitions and requests.
He is pleased when we entrust our burdens to Him, believing that He loves and cares for us.
And He loves it when we return to give Him thanks and remember His goodness and favour.
The thing I most want to thank God for this month then, is the knowledge that when I place the needs of individuals, peoples and situations into the hands of Him who created the earth and everything in it, I entrust it all into His powerful, safe, capable and gentle hands.
And God, in His mind-blowing love, not only takes these cares, concerns, fears and burdens upon Himself, but He exchanges them for His perfect PEACE!
What an unequal exchange!
I give Him my burdens and He exchanges it for His peace!
All I can give God in return is my THANK YOUs and to loudly declare my love for Him.
My favourite verse these past few months has been:
“Do not be anxious about anything,
but in EVERY situation, by prayer and petition,
present your requests to God.
And the PEACE of GOD, which transcends all understanding,
will GUARD your HEARTand MIND in Christ Jesus.”
Always remember to give thanks to God, because He is ALWAYS GOOD.