(Image courtesy of http://issacharinitiative.org.)

It seems like when prayers are answered, I am usually surprised, but I know I shouldn't be.  Answered prayer is no different than someone responding in a conversation.  Just as in conversation, an answer is expected.

Perhaps I am not so surprised by answered prayer as I am excited.  Last week, one of my prayers was answered in a miraculous way.

I had been praying for a house with a lesser rent for a few months.  I had not been able to save any money because my paychecks went straight to bills and rent.  I was never in need of serious financial help, but things were "pretty tight" as they say, so I  began praying for a house with less rent.

I looked and looked for a house, but it was difficult to find a house in good shape with less rent.  Finally, someone from church approached me and told me about a small house behind his business that was open for rent.  The house was relatively new - only about six years old - and it was in a nice location in the country.  I was thrilled and very thankful for the opportunity, but the only downside was that he told me I would need to furnish my own stove and refrigerator.  These were costs I couldn't afford, so I asked him if he could get a fridge and stove for me.  He said he didn't think he could, so I went home that night and knelt by my couch.  I asked God, "If you give me a refrigerator and a stove, I'll take that as a sign that you want me to move."  Then I went to bed, trusting that God would provide and guide me in the direction He wanted me to go.

When I woke up the next morning, I got ready for school/work as I did any other day.  As I was teaching that morning, I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket, telling me I had received a text message.  I checked it in between classes and saw that the guy who told me about the house had sent me a message.  He said that he had found a fridge and a stove!  I took that as a sign and immediately my spirit rejoiced!  I was very happy to say the least.

There is a great hymn by Irish poet Joseph M. Scriven that richly states the following:
"What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to old in care."
 When we take things to our loving Father in the form of honest prayer, we need to trust the Truth that He does indeed hear our prayers and will undoubtedly answer.  His answer may be no, but God is never silent.  He always answers His creation.

Psalm 116:1 says, "I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy."  David's Psalms are full of answered prayers.  Furthermore, I Peter 5:7 reads, "Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you."  The Lord God wants us to take our worries, our wants, and our questions to Him in prayer.  Let us be encouraged in the Truth that the Lord hears our prayers always!  And then let us accept His answer in obedience, even if it does not make sense to us.

Prayer works.