This morning’s readings were strikingly similar. One was from Hope for Today, and the other was from Around the Year with Emmet Fox. They both were about prayer. One set the expectation that God doesn’t always answer prayers in one fell swoop. Sometimes the answer comes in steps. The other one asked me to let God decide which are my biggest needs. I should pray for help but let her work out the details. I may not have enough insight to understand what’s stopping me today from being a channel for good.
It made me think of my past experience with prayer. Time and time again in my prayer life the answers I sought were not the ones I got. In the end, they always provided what I needed. I’ve learned to be open-minded about the solution. Instead of God giving gifts, he often provides paths into a deeper understanding.
I prayed for companionship and unconditional love, and I found my sweet dog.
I prayed for peace in my marriage, and I got a divorce.
I prayed for a better job, and I got laid off. I got another job still not suited for me, and I got laid off again. Five years and many steps later, I’m in a job that seems to suit me. More importantly, I learned that a layoff can be a signal that something better is in the wings. Wait for it.
I prayed for love, and I was given a mirror to learn to love myself.
I prayed for relief of my anxiety, and I found meditation.
I prayed for better sleep, and I was taught about the impacts of sugar.
I prayed for riches, and I was given sunsets beyond my wildest dreams, winter landscapes that inspire fantasy and deep, wild forests to explore.
I prayed to heal my depression, and I found a running group that provided a meaningful social experience, motivation and a love of running.
I prayed for wisdom, and I became a writer.
What prayers have you had answered in a surprising way? What things have you prayed for that, in hindsight, have been answered over time?