Tag Archives: answered prayer

Trained by our Trials

Trials are the food of faith. –George Mueller

I’ve been thinking a lot about how hard it is to wait for answers to my prayers. God’s delays can be frustrating. For an impatient person like me, waiting can be one of life’s more difficult trials. When God seems silent, I can fall into the trap of thinking that if I just pray harder, memorize more Scripture, or pound harder on the gates of heaven, I can move God’s hands.  And I have to admit. I do love those times when God gives an immediate “yes” to my prayer. But more often, I find the answers are painfully slow in coming.

I’m not always a good sport when God says “Go slow,” or “grow,” or even “no” in response to my prayer request.  Sorry to say it, but I can sound a bit like my friend’s three-year-old daughter who, in the middle of a tantrum, howled, “But Mommy, all I want is what I want when I want it!” Isn’t that how we all feel at times? What’s so wrong with wanting what we want when we want it…especially when what we are praying for is a good thing?

I’ve come to learn that even though my prayer may be within God’s will for my life,  I may still have to endure lots of waiting before the answer comes.  I look at our three grown children and remember how fervently I prayed for them. The long years of infertility sometimes left me wondering if we would ever have babies. I persevered in prayer for a total of about 108 months. And though God did heal me and I finally got my “answers,” the journey required much endurance and many tears on my part.

So why didn’t God just give me those babies when I wanted them? I probably won’t know all the reasons for His timing until our first conversation in heaven. But I will tell you this. I don’t think a drop of the waiting was wasted. From a purely practical standpoint, He knew just which children He wanted to give us and the precise moment each of them needed to be born. But beyond that, I truly believe He used those long months to prepare me to be a mother.  That season of my faith journey also drew me much closer to Him.

I believe that “wait training ultimately prepares us for our dream.  God knows exactly how to use the times of waiting for our good and for His glory.  Someone once said, “We grow great by our dreams.” That may be true, but we are trained by our trials.  So stand firm, dear friend.  Let’s draw encouragement from God’s Word as we wait for the answer to our prayer.

Consider it sheer joy, my brothers, when you encounter various kinds of trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance carry out its intended purpose, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4 MOUNCE).





Day Two: Moldy Showers

It’s Day Two of our 21 Day Watch.  Half the battle in “keeping watch” is simply having the desire to spend time alone with God. Do I truly want to know Him?  My friend Sara asked God to give her this “want to” and discovered the answer to her prayer in the most unlikely of places.

GUEST POST: By Sara Miller

As this year began, I had one consistent prayer request. I kept asking God for the desire to spend time with Him. That might sound odd to you. It’s not that I’ve never had a desire or that I don’t want to have the desire.  It’s just a real honest request from a wife and a mom of a toddler and a baby who works part-time and seeks a daily balance with all of her many hats. I started the year with a realization that I was at the end of myself.  I needed to go before God in confession and ask Him to plant this desire deep within me and then help me live it out.

 It’s been said that God works in mysterious ways. Since He answered my request by way of a moldy shower, I’m prone to agree! Curious? Well, read on!

We bought our home just over a year ago.  We soon learned that our master shower tile was poorly installed. Water collected around the drain, but didn’t drain properly, so over time MOLD began to grow. We cleaned–a lot–with every natural and chemical solution known to man. Nothing helped. So we hired a “grout guy” to come and re-grout the shower. He cleaned, scraped, and re-grouted the tile and then left us with one handy hint – squeegee. It seems that the only way to keep mold at bay is to use the squeegee every day. Daily. Every day. You get my point.

 It’s largely annoying to spend three minutes at the end of every shower scraping water off the walls and floor. As a mom, I hardly have time to shower, let alone clean it when I’m done. But, I dread mold. Each time I shower I choose to spend a few minutes with the squeegee at the end because I know the alternative is worse.

 So, how did God use a moldy shower to answer my prayer? One day while I was squeegeeing, it hit me. Just a few minutes of daily commitment to this task clears away the mold, the dirt, and the filth I dread.  In much the same way, won’t a daily time with God, even if brief, also allow a daily cleansing of my heart? Won’t a regular commitment to spending time with Him help me keep some of the “mold” out of my heart and mind, as I allow Him to use that time to fill me with His love and truth?

In the midst of a daily struggle to do it all and be it all I find God cultivating that desire within me to spend time with Him. What a blessing! God does work in mysterious ways, even through moldy showers.

Day Twelve: Nothing is Impossible with God

Some of you may have received Day Twelve a day early by mistake. Here is the “real” Day Twelve of our 21 Day Fast. So sorry for the confusion.  

I’m glad you’ve made it past the half way mark in our 21 Day Fast for Pastor Saeed.  Good for you!  Let’s continue to believe for a breakthrough for Saeed!  I’ve been so encouraged by Naghmeh Abedini’s perseverance throughout her two year ordeal.

When you’re in your own “waiting room” of faith, it helps to draw inspiration from others who have stood firm in hard places.  I think you’ll be inspired by another example of perseverance by my friend, Kris.  She shares her nearly two-decade “fight of faith” for the  life of her son,  diagnosed as an infant with leukemia.

GUEST BLOG: By Kris McBride

Growing up in church I had always heard, “Nothing is impossible with God.”   As I grew in my faith, I began to grasp the magnitude of these words.  Little did I know that after our son Andrew was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia as a nine month old,  I would eventually see the truth and power of this Scripture.

It was a week after our son’s bone marrow transplant, and he developed a strange rash. At this point he had no immune system so everyone was trying to determine what it was so treatment could begin. Within hours he began to run a low-grade fever , which was extremely serious. As I rocked him, I prayed that the Lord would protect and heal him.

Suddenly, it was a though someone turned on a stove in his little body and heat began radiating out of him. His temperature began a steady climb. I called for my husband to get the nurses but all the alarms started going off. In a matter of minutes his temperature went from 101 to over 106. I knew he was dying.

As they worked on him in my arms I remember praying Luke 1:37  “Nothing is impossible with God.” I prayed in the name of Jesus that Andrew would be healed. As I kept repeating the verse over and over again I also felt led to pray, “Lord, I know you can save Andrew, but even if you don’t may you give us grace and mercy to praise You anyway.” As quickly as his temperature began to climb it dropped and leveled out around 100. To everyone’s amazement, Andrew stabilized and was not moved to ICU. The doctors where perplexed and could not understand what happened. We told them, “Nothing is impossible with God.”

We were so grateful for God’s grace.  But that was not the end of the journey. A year and a half later Andrew had a toxicity to a medication and went into shock and suffered brain damage. Once again we prayed for healing.  Then, a few months later, his graft vs. host disease became so severe he could hardly move because his skin was so tight. He began extensive physical therapy and we prayed for healing. After almost of year he regained almost 90% of his mobility and we were thankful.

A year after that episode,  his blood pressure began to increase and every two weeks we were either increasing one of his medications or adding a new one. By the time he stabilized, he was on sixteen medications–six were for blood pressure.  They gave Andrew less than two years to live. We prayed like crazy for healing.  Six months later he was put on a medication that began to heal him. We prayed for complete healing for the next twelve years.

When Andrew was eighteen years old,  he was finally taken off his last medication. Although it took many, many years, the Lord healed Andrew completely. Today he is a twenty one year old junior at Liberty University and in good health.  Andrew’s story is an example of how sometimes God’s healing is not instantaneous but happens over a long period time. We are so thankful there is healing power in the name of Jesus.

Day Ten: A Breakthrough Story

Sometimes prayer feels like hard work.  But if we press in and seek God’s heart, we may see our problem with new eyes.  As we have walked alongside Naghmeh Abedini during the 21 Day Fast for Pastor Saeed, I’ve been inspired by how she keeps turning her eyes back to Jesus.

God sees our situation from all sides and knows things we can’t possibly know.  But persevering is hard.  Especially when we carry the weight of prayer for someone we deeply love.  As one friend  discovered,  the person who is most impacted through perseverance in prayer might just be us.  This friend has given me permission to share the following story with you.  Her hope is that it will encourage you to stand firm in your prayers until you see your breakthrough.


By:  A friend who will remain unnamed

For three years I watched my son become increasingly addicted to drugs and alcohol. My husband and I preached, pleaded, disciplined, and of course prayed, to no avail. When I finally realized he would not listen to us, I asked God’s will to be done.  I simply asked God to lead my son to quit for his own reasons, not mine.  (I asked that God please just protect his health and not involve law enforcement!) I wondered how long I would have to wait but I surrendered him to the Lord.  I still prayed for my “pothead” son, but with increasing peace that God would eventually intervene and change my son. Instead, He changed me first!

God made it very clear to me that I was to pray not for the son I was seeing, his character and behavior being veiled by addiction, but rather for the precious child of God he is.  A loyal people person with a loving heart, the gifts of encouragement and leadership, sweet affection, and a fun sense of humor.

It was only after I began to pray for my son as he was created, as God designed him to be again, that God intervened. Was the journey out of addiction painful for him, and for our family? Oh yes, but it could have been so much worse.

Today I am rejoicing that God has led our son through a time of brokenness and out of that valley into a place of freedom, peace and joy again. I am also thankful that God guided me to a place of breakthrough in my prayer life and taught me a lesson about seeing others through His eyes.


How often I go to God with big prayer requests. For family, for friends, for places and people who need God’s help. I believe God answers prayer. The Bible encourages us to ask God for what we need. We’re to go boldly and often to God with our heartfelt desires (Philippians 4:6,7).

But in John 15, Jesus points us to our relationship with Him as the starting point for prayer. Calling Himself the “true vine,” He reminds us that we’re His branches. Branches can’t bear fruit if disconnected from the vine.

In my busy, noisy world, I’m likely to blow right past the relationship with Jesus in my prayer quest. Jesus stops me dead in my tracks with these words. If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you (John 15:7).

Abide is from the Greek word meno, which means to “remain or dwell.” I’m to make my home in Jesus. I’m to plant myself in Him and His words in me. This sets up the condition for faithful living as well as answered prayer. When I abide in Him, I’m more likely to be praying His will. Powerful words. Powerful reminder.

I’m struck by the fact that Jesus uses the word abide eleven times in the first ten verses of John 15. If I tell my kids something eleven times, you can bet I mean it!

So what does abiding look like for me practically? Here are a few thoughts:

1. I carve out time to spend in God’s Word each morning.  I plant His Word in my heart.  Then, I try keep in step with His leading and be alert to His whispers throughout my day. I try to guard myself against jumping ahead of His leading.

2. I’m fierce with my Sabbath. Humans need to come apart or we “come apart.” Few voices these days encourage us to take time off to rest, reflect, and abide.

3. When I abide in Jesus, I may have to let a few of life’s “outer things” slide a bit.  Care of the soul may not be as obvious as care of my image.

And if we abide in Jesus? “This is to my Father’s glory,” He reminds us, “that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:8).

How about you? What helps you to abide in Christ? He’s worth your best energy. Let’s ponder that today.