The sermon at church today was one I won’t ever forget. Our pastor preached on a topic very near and dear to my heart, as it should be to anyone who desires a relationship with God. He talked about prayer.
There were three key instructions he gave us today related to prayer. The first one was “Be specific.“ When our prayers are vague, our answered prayers will be equally vague. Be specific. Pray for specific things, so God can show you the power of prayer, and there won’t be any doubt as to whether or not He truly answered it!
I’m going to share a little story my pastor shared with us. He told us how he prayed for his wife a very specific prayer everyday. He prayed for his wife to feel two things: the first one was that she would be joyful; the second, he prayed that she would feel cherished.
One day, his wife came up to him and gave him a hug. He asked her what she was feeling at that moment, and she said the best way to describe it was that she felt joyful. Then, she added that she felt cherished—the very specific, exact words he used in his prayers. That gave me chills.
The second instruction was “Be consistent.”
Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)
It’s through consistency, God knows we truly desire something. My pastor illustrated this idea by telling us about how his heart softens the more his children ask for something, because he knows they truly want it. One thing I would like to add to that is that we must remember God, just like the father of any child, will not give into something He knows is not in the best interest of His children. The father knows things the child does not; he has more life experience; he can see the bigger picture. God the Father is no different. If you’re praying for something, and He knows it would ultimately bring you pain and sorrow, or if it’s something you’re asking for out of selfish ambition, He won’t oblige.
The third and final instruction was “Be expectant.” This is where our faith comes in.
Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24)
Although we are called to have faith that our prayers will be answered, we must realize that answered prayers can take time, sometimes even years. We must in faith, though, yield to the Lord and trust that He knows what is best for us when it is best for us.
As my pastor taught today, I felt a quickening in my heart to write about the gift of prayer, but I silently told the Lord as well as myself that I didn’t feel inspired, and I couldn’t teach on it as well as my pastor, anyway.
As I walked out to my car after church, a lady bug landed right on my cheek. I laughed as I held my finger up to my face and guided her on to it.
Ladybugs are symbolic of luck, and when one lands on you, you’re supposed to make a wish. Then, when the ladybug flies off, she is supposed to carry the wish to God. In a moment of insanity, I made my wish as the ladybug flew off.
I realized, in that moment, how silly it is to wish on a ladybug. You see, God isn’t some mystical being, and we don’t need a ladybug to communicate our desires to Him! We don’t need anything or anyone to intervene or act as a medium. He is with us, always. In that moment, I was truly grateful for my God.
Some might say it was my bright red-orange and black outfit that attracted the lady bug; some might say it was coincidence. I, however, say that the ladybug was sent to inspire me to write this blog post. One thing I have prayed consistently for is the ability to truly help people through my blog. Maybe someone needed to read this post today. Maybe, just maybe, the lady bug was an answer to my prayer.