Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” John 4:53
I recently did the Kendrick Brothers’ Bible study, The Battle Plan for Prayer. In it, they talk about being very strategic and specific about our prayer requests. They recommend using a Prayer Journal to list and date each prayer, being as detailed as possible in our petitions. Their point is: Our God is a Mighty God who wants us to go big with our requests. At the same time, He also cares deeply about the minutia in our lives.
As important as praying and listing our requests is, reviewing them is just as important. It takes doings so to actually recognize God’s hand at work.
In John 4:46-53, a royal officer asks Jesus to heal his son who is on the verge of death. Jesus tells him, “Go, your son will live” (John 4:50). The officer takes Jesus at His word, and begins the long journey home.
When one of the officer’s servants meets him on the road to tell him his son has been cured, the officer asks what time his fever broke. Lo and behold, the fever broke at exactly the time Jesus told him his son would live. We have to assume the officer thought Jesus was responsible for the healing. Asking about the time was his way of confirming it. Doing so revealed it was no coincidence. His son didn’t magically get better; He miraculously did.
Often, we throw up prayer requests in the midst of our busy days without keeping track. When things suddenly take a turn for the better, we’re prone to credit circumstances, timing, or even our own hard work.
It’s in logging our prayers, and reviewing/praying them often, that we see the true reality: God is answering our prayers all the time. We’re just too busy, distracted, or overwhelmed to see the connection.
I’ve only been consistently keeping a Prayer Journal for a few weeks. But I can already see God’s mighty hand at work. It is an incredibly powerful and humbling experience to see the concrete evidence that God hears my every prayer, and responds in His perfect timing.
By no means am I viewing this like a Christmas list, with Santa granting all my wishes. But by keeping a pulse on how God’s moving in my life, I’m reminded that He’s the Source of all the good I have, and The One I should be thanking and praising for it.
Questions for Reflection:
- Do I trust God enough to boldly ask Him for what I need?
- When things work out, do I make the connection: recognizing it’s Him working on my behalf?
God is answering our prayers all the time. We’re just too busy, distracted, or overwhelmed to see the connection.Tweet
Since the pandemic began, my prayer journal has seen very little attention 😞 Our prayer bowl is active but I miss that act of jotting down prayer requests in my journal and reviewing them. Thanks for the reminder to return to this practice. It will be my one small goal of the month!
Know you typically keep a prayer journal, Jess, was another inspiration for me to start mine (I want to be like you when I grow up. 🙂 ) Glad that I could inspire you in return!
Such a great idea to connect when prayers are answered to when you actually started praying for it. Love this!
Thanks, Pam! Here’s hoping you discover lots of answered prayers as you make the connections!
It’s hard for me to see, Claire, how anyone who prays regularly would ever forget to thank and recognize our Loving Father’s fidelity when a specific prayer had been answered. Gratitude, as we all know so well, is so important to God and to Jesus. Remember the ten lepers Jesus healed. Only one came back , and Jesus asked where the other nine were! How human Jesus is to be disappointed that those who had received a favor from Him didn’t care enough to say thank you!!! And in our faith we must trust and say thank you, even when we don’t get exactly what we asked for!! Our trust has to tell us that God has something better in store for us!!!
Ooh, such amazing points, Jackie! I especially love the one about not getting exactly what we’ve asked for. How true that it’s because God has something better in store for us. I can’t tell you how many times He’s done that for me, and am I ever grateful that He knew better than to give me what I asked for. His blessings are ALWAYS far better than I imagine.