Hope you’ve all had a meaningful Easter.
I’m currently hiding behind a new laptop and am not home, so this post will be short and to the point… for once…
Last year I did a weeks work experience at the Christian Schools Worker Project (CSWP). I shadowed a lovely young woman who was passionate about God and I really enjoyed my time there.
Something that I spotted in her office was her prayer wall. I thought that the idea behind it was really cool. I don’t know about you, but my prayer life is a bit all over the place. I find it hard to remember what I’m meant to be praying for and I never really recognise when prayer has been answered (unless it’s something big and smacks me in the face).
So, when I headed home after that week I made my own one.
I have this wall on my room. I call it a wall, it’s more the side of my wardrobe, but I refer to it as my prayer wall (it sounds way better than my prayer side of wardrobe). The wall is section separated in half. The top is for answers to prayer, and the bottom are things I am currently praying for. It’s a simple thing to use, if there’s something I want to be regularly and specifically praying about, I put it on a sticky note and put in on the wall. Every time I see it I pray for one or two things that are there.
I’ve been using it for over a whole year now and I really thinks it helps.
I put everything on sticky notes and at the end of the month, I put them all in a book so I can keep track of what people’s prayer requests have been, and if God answers them in the months to come.
In that book there is a significant number of answers to prayer. All of which I most likely wouldn’t have noticed if I wasn’t consciously making an effort to track what I’m praying about. It raises the question of how many times has God been so gracious to answer my prayers and I haven’t even noticed? How many times has God gone without thanks?
There’s someone who I’ve been praying for. Their name has been on my wall every month since I’ve started. They once knew God but had drifted away and was angry at God for various reasons.
In all these months, I’ve seen close to no progress and it’s been quite disheartening.
But this weekend, a curve ball was thrown my way.
For the first time in over a year, they sat down and had a conversation about God with me. Then I spotted a Bible in their study, I hadn’t seen one of them in their house for over 3 years.
Then, on the morning, we sat down and had over an hour-long conversation about God, no arguments, no critersisum. Just an open, happy conversation about who God really is
Here’s the thing though, I had been praying that they’d come back to God. That in a sudden flash the Holy Spirit would touch their heart and just like that, they’d be back.
The problem with this though is that I’d been praying for God to do things my way. I’ve misses the long conversations about God and the Bible we’d have on a morning when I saw them. I miss how passionately they were about God and I wanted that back.
I wanted them to know God again, but I wanted it to happen in a flash.
But after being with them this weekend, and seeing that they still belive in God, I’ve had some real hard thinking to do.
The way I wanted the prayer to be answered required no healing. I thought I knew this person best. All they needed was God to touch them and boom, they’d be the God driven character I once knew.
But I was wrong.
They need time to heal, something I’d never even though about.
It’s all very well me asking God to work in their life, but I was asking for it in away that suited me best. But in reality, God knows them far better than I do. God knows what’s happening with them and he knows their heart. He can see things I can’t see and knows where they are in their walk with him.
I’ve had a fantastic weekend with them doing nothing. But in the mist of doing nothing, I’ve leaned so much.
I’ve come away with more of an understanding that God knows each and every one of us. It doesn’t matter if we’re close to God or want nothing to do with him, he still knows us. He knows where we are and where we’re going.
Understandably my faith grew over the weekend too. Some challenging questions were still presented to me and after mulling them over till the early hours in the morning, I can say that my faith grew. Not to mention it was just amazing to see the being of this person being in a relationship with God again. After a year of no visible progress, it was lovely to see something happening finally.
God does answer prayer, but he might do it in a way you didn’t expect.