Randy Smith sat at his desk in his office with his head buried in his hands. The night before he had held a lengthy prayer meeting and although people were somewhat hopeful that God would answer their prayers and send some help, he just couldn't imagine how God could do it. Randy's doubt didn't stop him though from praying some more or going to see who was calling his name.
“You won't believe how weird things turned out last night.” Bill said when Randy tacked him down. “Were you the one calling my name?” Randy asked, “And why do you think prayer meetings prayer are weird?” “No, no, no.” Bill responded, “Prayer meetings aren't weird but what happened after the prayer meeting could be the weirdest thing that's happened yet.”
“Haven’t I heard you say something like that before?” Randy said wondering what now? “Well,” Bill said, “With all the weird things that happened around here you probably have.” “I think it all started with you didn't it?” Randy said, “If I remember it was when Harold’s room mysteriously messed itself up.”
“Yeah,” Bill said, “That was weird, and I find it a bit weird you brought that up.” “Why?” Randy asked. “Well,” Bill went on, “It’s the weirdest thing, but Harold came home last night.”
“What!” Randy exclaimed, “Harold came home from the monastery?” “Yeah!” Bill said, “And that's not all. There's more to the story.”
“What!” Randy exclaimed, “There’s more to the story.” “You won't believe this,” Bill said, “But Harold claims that God sent him home.” “Now that IS weird.” Randy said. “That's what I said.” Bill responded, “After all, how could Harold be an answer to our prayers.” “Well,” Randy said with a smile, “maybe God knows something we don’t know.”
“But, Harold?” Bill protested, “He was the biggest trouble maker around. How could he help? All I see him doing is causing more trouble.” “We need to remember.” Randy interrupted, “God does answer prayer in strange ways sometimes.” “But Harold?” Bill continued, “I just don’t know.”
“Just imagine” Randy said looking up towards the ceiling, “Harold a hero.” “Now that's not just weird,” Bil said shaking his head, “That’s out right scary. Well, I better get going. Harold’s starving and we don’t have any oatmeal in the house. Bye”
Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint; preserve my life from dread of the enemy. - Psalm 64:1 (ESV)
Has God ever answered one or more of your prayer requests? Does God even hear your requests? Does God always answer in the way we expect? Sometimes God answers prayers in unusual ways. Think about these stories.
Then Moses made Israel set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, "What shall we drink?" And he cried to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the LORD made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them, - Exodus 15:22-25 (ESV)
Then Gideon said to God, "If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said, behold, I am laying a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said." And it was so. When he rose early next morning and squeezed the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl with water. Then Gideon said to God, "Let not your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more. Please let me test just once more with the fleece. Please let it be dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground let there be dew." And God did so that night; and it was dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground there was dew. - Judges 6:36-40 (ESV)
And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, "O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back." Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. - 1 Kings 18:36-38 (ESV)
So to keep me from being too elated by the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. - 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 (ESV)
When we have troubles, we can take them to God and look for His answers in normal and unusual ways.
- Luke 11:9 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (ESV)
- Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. (ESV)
- Isaiah 58:9 Then you will call out, and the LORD will answer. You will cry out, and He will say, ’Here I am.’ “If you stop making trouble for others, if you stop using cruel words and pointing your finger at others, (NCV)
- John 14:14 If you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it. (NCV)
- 1 John 3:22 And God gives us what we ask for because we obey God’s commands and do what pleases Him. (NCV)
Here's Something To Ponder
- In what weird ways has God answered prayers for you?
- In what ways has God used you to answer prayer?