Friday, July 26, 2013

Strange Prayers and Strange Answers

Have you ever prayed for something really, really different? I mean something between you and God that was not exactly “normal”? I know I have. I  have prayed for keys to be found, for lawn mowers to start, for a parking space. (I live in Europe. Very few spaces here!) And, God has answered these atypical prayers with yeses.

It was brought to my attention that the Bible’s people also prayed some really strange prayers.

Here are just a few of them:

Abraham prayed that God would not destroy the righteous with the wicked (Sodom and Gomorrah). He prayed if there were 50, 45, 40 (getting bolder now), 30, 20, or even 10 righteous, that God would spare those cities.
God’s answer: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:22-33)

Eliezer, Abraham’s servant, was sent to find a bride for Isaac. He prayed for God’s choice to give him water and also water his camels.
God’s answer: Before he was finished with his prayer, Rebekah came to the well with her pitcher on her shoulder. She gave Eliezer water and offered to water his camels. (Genesis 24:12-15)

Joshua prayed perhaps one of the boldest prayers in history. He asked God to halt the sun and the moon until Israel could finish the battle against the Amorites. (Right. I mean, ask God to alter the rhythms of nature so we can beat the enemy! This one is really crazy.)
God’s answer: The sun and the moon stopped for “about a whole day.” Obviously, God didn’t think it was so crazy. (Joshua 10:12-14)

Elijah held a showdown on Mount Carmel. He had the people prepare an altar unto God and soak it with water three times. Then, Elijah prayed, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. (Verses 36-37)
God’s answer: Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. (Verse 38. Story in 1 Kings 18:20-39)

Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, if it is You, let me walk on the water to You.” (My paraphrase of Matthew 14:28)
God’s answer: Peter did indeed walk on water for a while. Then he got scared, took his eyes off of Jesus, and began to sink. Jesus stretched out His hand and rescued Peter, and you get the impression that they walked together back to the boat. (Matthew 14:28-32)

I am certainly not trying to motivate anyone to pray silly, outrageous prayers, but have you ever prayed for something out-of-the-ordinary? Did God answer?

God says He will answer prayers that are according to His will. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him (1 John 5:14-15).

We usually know His will by the direction we get in His Word, the Bible. Sometimes, His will might be revealed to us through opened doors (or closed doors), those circumstances that show us what is right.

Always, God hears and answers. Sometimes, the answer might be yes. Other times, it is no. And yet other times, we need to wait on the Lord in consistent prayer, asking Him for wisdom and guidance. God’s timing and His will are always, always best.

Dare to pray a “strange prayer.” Dare to ask God for what you really need.

If it is God’s will, you just might see an amazing answer!

And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing,
ye shall receive (Matthew 21:22).

Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name:
ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full (John 16:24).
This was a guest post written by Lou Ann Keiser,
one of the newest members of our missionary group.
Please visit her blog: In The Way.


Charity said...

Love this!

Joyful said...

Great post! I know I've prayed for some strange things ;-)