by Nancy Kay Grace @nancykaygrace
One afternoon while enjoying some peaceful moments reading, I wanted a snack. The thought of crunchy popcorn crossed my mind, so I decided to make some after finishing the current chapter.
Then the doorbell rang, disturbing my reading.
I got up from my comfy spot on the couch to answer my curiosity of an unexpected visitor. When I opened the door, there stood an elementary school-aged boy with a bag in his hand.
“Ma’am, Here’s the popcorn you ordered.”
“Thanks!” I smiled as he gave me the bag of ready-made popcorn.
What perfect timing! I’d forgotten about ordering it a month ago from the Cub Scouts’ fundraiser.
With the treasured popcorn in hand, I returned to the sofa, amazed and thankful that my desired snack appeared on my doorstep. The popcorn tasted delicious as I resumed reading the book.
Wouldn’t prayer be easy if that’s how it worked, to ask and receive? Thinking a bit deeper about the incident, I realized that is how prayer often works.
I had ordered the popcorn at least a month prior to receiving it, knowing I would receive it at a later date. Then I forgot about it. Life went on. When the delivery arrived at just the right time, I was delighted to receive the popcorn.
We are instructed in Scripture to make our requests known to God through prayer, whether it’s for crisis situations or small daily incidences. The words of Colossians 4:2 encourage us to “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (NIV). We pray, wait in faith, and are thankful that God will answer.
Sometimes God answers immediately with “yes” or “no” and other times it’s “not yet.” I can think of my prayers that God has answered in each of those categories. He’s answered “yes” to prayers of safety, guidance, and relationships. He’s answered “no” to my selfish desires that would pull me away from Him. Most times, I live in the “not yet” of prayer, waiting in faith for God’s answer. Sometimes I forget about the prayer until God answers it in His time. The answer may come soon after praying or years later. God’s timing trumps my impatience and timeline. His ways are far better than my shortsighted faith.
While we wait, we still pray, deepening our relationship with God. He is at work behind the scenes. When there is an answer, there is great joy in seeing the hand of God at work!
Like opening the door and finding His answer on your doorstep when you least expect it.
May we be diligent in prayer as we watch and wait with expectation, trusting God’s timing.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6 NIV
About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is a speaker and award-winning author. She has contributed to several Chicken Soup for the Soul books, as well as online and print magazine articles. She loves sharing stories of God’s faithfulness and grace. To learn more about her ministry, please visit her website at http://www.nancykaygrace.com to sign up for her monthly GraceNotes devotional.
In her award-winning devotional book, The Grace Impact, Nancy gives an up-close glimpse of God’s faithful character. In all things, His grace covers every detail of life, not in just the good things, but in the difficult, sad, and complicated.
Join the conversation: When has God answered your prayer? Please share!