The Wisdom of God

I have recently learned what it means to ask God to give you wisdom when having to make a decision.  Yesterday, I asked God to help me know what to do, to make the right decision.  Recently my back started hurting a whole lot and I wasn’t sure why so I really didn’t know how to treat it.  I had a chiropractor appointment scheduled for that day and I didn’t know if I should go or what I should do.  The pain was so intense, I really had no idea what was going on.  So, I asked God many times to just help me to know what the best thing would be for my back to start feeling better.  I ended up going to the chiropractor and after he adjusted my back and did some stretching exercises with me, it started feeling a ton better. 

I am an avid runner.  I love to run!  My plan had been to run this morning but last night I started wondering if I should run or give my back more time to heal. It was finally feeling better and my husband asked if I should give it some more time now that it was feeling better.  My initial thought was, “no way! I’m feeling better, so let’s go!”  But, as I lay in bed before going to sleep, I started thinking about it some more.  I decided not to run, to give my back more time.  When I woke up this morning, my back felt great!  My immediate thought was, I made the right decision.  And then, not a second later, a voice whispered to me that God gave me that grace to make the right decision.  And I knew that to be true.  I love running so much, that it was not easy for me to hold off.  It was only God’s grace that allowed me to make the right choice and do the hard thing.

And that’s how I learned what it means to ask God to give you the wisdom to make the right choice.  It is His grace that gives you the ability to make decisions, when you ask Him and trust in what He is whispering to you.  The choice I had to make was not a monumental decision on some sort of grand scale–but for me, I was truly in a state of not knowing what to do and the only thing I could do that I could rely on, was ask for God’s guidance.

This morning when I opened my devotional to today’s passage, it was entitled, ‘Wisdom’.  The first paragraph read, “All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in me.  So I am relevant to absolutely everything!  The world is such a fragmented place, with many voices calling out to you–claiming to have answers.  When you are learning or experiencing new things, it is vital to stay in communication with Me.  I can help you understand things from My perspective:  drawing on My magnificent wisdom.”–(Jesus Lives by Sarah Young, 2009)

Big or small, God is always ready to help us with our decisions, because He is in all things.  Ask for His grace and trust in His wisdom.


A Powerful God

Today at Mass we were reminded of how powerful God is.  How he knows all the hairs on our head.  How he hears all of our prayers all of the time.  How he transcends time and space and is with each and every one of us every moment of every day.  He is so very powerful.  It was the perfect message this morning, not just for me, but for my son, my 13 year old, who I have been praying for unceasingly and today I was shown that God was not only hearing my prayers, but He was answering them in a way I never would have expected.

For a reason that no one could figure out, my son has been having a hard time, physically, during our weekly school Masses.  He feels faint, sick, weak.  It has been going on for quite some time and has been a source of embarrassment for him.  It has made him not want to go to Mass.  We’ve taken him to doctors, even specialists and no one can tell us why this happens.  This morning, before we left for school, for the first time ever, my son asked me to pray that he does well in Mass today.  I was hit instantaneously at how amazing that moment was.  My son has never asked me to pray for anything.  In that instant, God showed me that in this weakness that has befallen my son, He has brought him to a place where he is now learning to seek God’s help.  Not only that, but God must also be teaching my son that with prayer, God can do anything.  Because for my son to ask for my prayer, he must be learning that prayer is a powerful tool, a powerful weapon.

For this to happen, was powerful to me.  But, what’s even more amazing, is that this was not the only moment that God showed his grace.  You see, just yesterday, during adoration, I was reading a book and the section I happened to be reading was about surrender.  I underlined this section, because it spoke to me in things that I myself have been dealing with: “When we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, we release the Lord of the Process to do this work.  For it is in our weakness that Christ is strong.  It is in our inadequacy that we find him more than sufficient.  And it is in our willingness to be broken that he brings wholeness–more wholeness and completeness than we ever dreamed possible.”  Joanna Weaver, 2013.

I couldn’t help but recall that section this morning, when my son asked me to pray for him.  God showed me that even if my son continues to not feel well physically in Mass, He is pouring out His grace on him in his weakness, He is fixing his spirit.  And so, before I went to Mass this morning, I asked God to show my son just how powerful prayer is.  Just how powerful He is.  And then, the priest gave his homily. 

And it was all about the power of God.


Everyone should have an outlet, a passion, something they love to do just because they love doing it.  For me, that is running.   It was only 3 years ago that I started running, at the age of 37 and it took hold of me and set me free.  It was a gift that God showered down on me at a time in my life when I needed something to give me confidence and joy again.  I went from never having run, well, anything, to running and winning 5Ks and then running 10Ks and then right into half marathons.  It was a release, an escape, and it even became spiritual for me, as I found myself using the time to talk to God.

In the years that followed, my running ability has steadily declined.  My body took a toll that first year, when I went all out.  Now, I only run a couple of 5Ks a year and no halfs.  Now, I am just grateful if I can get out there and run 3 1/2 miles a few times a week.  And I do because it is still a spiritual escape for me, a time when I can talk to God and praise Him, as I look around at nature and take in its beauty.

On a recent weekday run, my mind drifted, as it often does when I run, and I found myself thinking about how good I was doing with various aspects of my job and how strong I felt running.  And immediately, I found myself asking God to help me stop exalting myself.  I saw right away that I was feeling very in control of my life and it scared me.  I have learned, throughout the years, that as soon as I start feeling that power, that control, that praise in my own talents and abilities–that is when everything tends to start falling apart.  Because that is when I rely on my own strength, my own abilities, and I stop relying on God.  That is not a good place to be.  So, I immediately asked, as hard as it was, that God humble me.  That I come down from my high point where all I can see is myself and be brought back down to a level where God is my focal point again.  It’s not an easy prayer to say, because when I ask to be humbled, it means swallowing my pride–it means defeat in some aspect of my life–and it is a very hard thing to know when you have been defeated and to have to  swallow your pride.  I know this all too well, as I have watched my running ability ever so slowly be lessened and lessened.  That is when you have to rely on God’s goodness and trust that His plan is far better than your own.

I said that prayer a couple of weeks ago and life went on.  God answered that prayer just a few days ago.  Again, a weekday run.  Recently, I had been experiencing some pain in my hip/hamstring area and I was having to take it easy on my running.  A regular occurrence these days.  I’ve been running with my husband, who only started running with me about a year ago and not steadily until recently.  He’s been running to lose weight.  Naturally, he’s been a slower runner than I have, since I’d been running longer and was in better shape.  Until now.  On this run, my husband passed me up.  And then, on the next run, my husband passed me up again.  How could that be?  I’ve run (and won) tons more 5ks, I’ve run half marathons.  For 3 years running has been my life.  He’s only been running steadily for about a year.   How could he be passing me up?  It was a blow to my pride.  I prayed, again a very hard prayer to say when your pride is wounded, that God help me to be happy for him, to help me let go of the anger and jealousy and pride that I was feeling.

When I got to work that morning I was still feeling so wounded.  I put my stuff in my office and then I stood by my desk and suddenly, the poster that I hung up just the day before caught my eye.  It was one of those motivational posters, with lots of words on it.  But, in the midst of all those words, I only saw one.  Humble.  The word jumped out and it was all that I could see.  And I knew, in that instant, that God was showing me that one word.  Suddenly, I remembered that prayer that I said a few weeks ago and God was telling me that He was humbling me.  He was humbling me to make me a better person.  He was humbling me so that I would once again rely on Him.  What a gift He had given me.

Because it’s not about being a number 151Y7UBvfc3L._SY450_  runner.  It’s not about being number 1 at your job.  It’s about what is number 1 in your life.  What is your focal point?  What is the one thing you could never live without?  Once again, God humbled me so that all of those other things in life that we start to place such a high value on could be put back in their proper place.  And I could once again see clearly what is most important.  I could once again be made strong in my weaknesses.  Knowing that God’s strength is stronger, God’s plan is better, God’s love is bigger.

“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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.–2 Corinthians 12:9



What You Take

I just finished reading a great novel by Kristin Hannah, Fly Away.  It is the sequel to Firefly Lane, a story about the friendship between two girls.  Fly Away tells us what happens to one friend after the other has died.   As the book is drawing to a close, the two friends part ways one last time and it brings back memories of my childhood friend, my best friend, my sister.

Katie died when she was 13 and I was 11.  Being two years apart, we grew up very close.  Katie was a tomboy.  She was carefree, unafraid, sporty, talkative, funny.  She was a star.  I was her opposite “twin”.  Timid, shy, extremely girly, not very coordinated, and never one to want to be in the spotlight.  I was tall, she was short.  Thus, we were often about the same height, with similar hair color.  Sometimes we’d switch jackets and put our heads down as we walked to the bus stop, hoping to fool the other kids into thinking I was her and she was me.    Katie and I did everything together.  She was my rock.

The last memory I have of Katie, and probably the strongest memory I have,  was after she died.  We had just said goodbye to her in the hospital.  Seeing her laying in that hospital bed, it didn’t look like my sister at all.  Her face was swollen, she was bandaged and had tubes everywhere.  There was no life…it was not her.  But we held hands around her and we said the Our Father.  And I said goodbye.  When we got home, I told my parents that I should go upstairs and call my friend and tell her why I haven’t been in school.  I will never forget my dad asking me if I needed help.  I did not understand that question.  Why would I need help calling my friend?  I was eleven.

So I started walking up the stairs in what felt like slow motion.  I remember looking over to my left hand slide along the railing.  And when I reached the top of the stairs I felt something on that hand and I shook it.  And then, immediately after I shook it, I knew exactly what it was.  It was my sister’s hand, holding my hand.  I felt her fingers slide into mine.  It felt so real that I knew then and there, at age eleven, that if I had just looked over, I would have seen her standing right beside me.  And suddenly, I knew exactly what my dad was asking when he asked if I needed help calling my friend.  Because as I went to make the call and started speaking, all of a sudden, I couldn’t get the words out.  The realization that my sister was no longer by my side hit me all at once.  And there was my dad, ready to take the phone and finish the conversation.

I hold that memory tight.  It was the last time my sister physically held my hand, letting me know that she was with me.  Her message rang clear in my heart, “I am always with you, holding your hand through life.” And many times, in the 29 years since that moment, I have felt my sister with me.

As I read Fly Away, one particular line hit me like a ton of bricks and instantly brought tears to my eyes, “…my best friend, with her long, tangled blond hair,  and thick eyelashes and her smile that lights up any room.  My other half. The girl who took my hand all those years ago and didn’t let go until she had to.”  And suddenly, I was missing my sister all over again.  But I noticed, as I sat silently crying, that after so many years had passed, so many memories start to fade.  You forget exactly the expressions that she made and how her voice sounded and you try so hard to bring back so many memories that you know you shared.  The tons and tons of conversations you had when your parents thought you were sleeping, but really you (she, mainly) was talking for hours and hours into the night.  What did you talk about?  It all  fades with time.

But here is what I remember.  I remember the love.  I remember feeling safe with her.  I remember feeling like we’d always find something fun to do together.  I remember feeling like she would always protect me.  And I remember her holding my hand.  And that’s what you take with you.  No matter how much time passes, you never forget that love that you shared.   The love stays with you forever and in the end, it’s all that you have.  It’s all that you need.

Until we meet again, and hold hands.

Letting Go

God gives us many opportunities to let go of those things or people that we try to control, to cling to.  He wants us to let go of what we try to hold on to.  Every time we can let something or someone go, we have yet another opportunity to trust that God is in control.  The things or people that God gives us to were never meant to be ours.  They are gifts from Him.  They were always His.  They are always His.

A week ago today I learned that my oldest son would be moving into an apartment with some friends of his.  I knew this time would come.  He is 19.  When I was 19 I was living on my own as well.  But, as a parent, it doesn’t make it any easier when it actually happens.  I have been trying to get use to the idea of him no longer living here for the past week.  I’ve had difficult moments, like when he texted me while I was getting my hair done and I just lost it.  My poor hairdresser had to help me wipe away my tears!  I know that God has been preparing me for this, in baby steps.  My son works full time and because his hours are the complete opposite of when I work, I don’t see him much during the week as it is.  But, every morning, I see his car in the driveway and I know my baby is safe.  I think this will be the hardest part of him no longer living here.  I won’t know that he is safe.  For me, it seems that this is the final step in letting your child go.  Right now, I don’t know what is really going on with my son socially.  I don’t know where he goes before work or after work.  I usually don’t know how his days are going.  But up until now, I’ve always known he was safe.  I’ve always known he was home.  Now, I won’t even know that.

I have heard God whisper to my heart, telling me that I need to completely give my son to Him.  I need to let go and trust that God will take care of Him.  Does a mother ever completely let go of her children?  No, not completely.  My son will always be in my heart and always in my prayers.  But the worry and fear and control I want to cling to for my son–that is what I need to let go of.  That is where I need to trust.  

This is what I have been wrestling with this week.  This morning I got to spend a little bit of time with my son.  We got to talk and catch up and laugh, as we always do.  As he said goodbye and left for work, I opened my daily devotional to read today’s devotion.  And this is what it said:

Entrust your loved ones to me; release them into my protective care.  They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands.  If you let a loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one–as well as yourself….I detest idolatry, even in the form of parental love.  When you release loved ones to Me, you are free to cling to my hand.  As you entrust others into my care,  I am free to shower blessings on them.  My Presence will go with them wherever they go, and I will give them rest.  This same Presence stays with you, as you relax and place your trust in Me.  Watch to see what I will do.”
–“Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young, 2004

The Gift of a Glimpse

Sometimes God speaks to us through little “gifts” that He sends our way.  For my 40th birthday, one I really was not looking forward to, God sent a gift to me that I will always treasure.

I have always thought of turning 40 as a milestone.  For some reason, that is the number that I’ve always dreaded–the one that, for me, felt like I was turning a corner in life.  I was waving goodbye to being “youthful” and saying hello to the next stage of life.  Everyone has that certain age in their head where they feel they are turning that corner–for some it’s 50, for some it’s 70, for some it’s 30–for me, it’s always been 40.  And here I was, turning that corner.  My 40th birthday happened to fall on the first day of school this year.  I work in a school and I knew it was going to be a busy, crazy day.  And it was.  It certainly did not feel like a birthday and as I went through my day I remember thinking how good it was that it was such a busy day–maybe I could just forget it was my 40th birthday and just move on.  Toward the end of the workday, I remember even thinking that maybe I could just order some dinner in and do some work that evening.  I could say goodbye to the day just like any other day.  Well, God had other plans for my “big day”.

When I got home from work I was ready to go eat–our plan was to go out as a family to Applebees for a birthday dinner.  When my husband told me to wait just alittle while, I was annoyed, hungry, tired and ready for the day to be done.  But, I waited…impatiently.  When he finally told me it was time to go and we stepped out the door, I watched a stretch limo pull into our driveway.  I thought that was a pretty neat surprise and had the driver take a picture of me and my family by the limo.  But that was not the surprise.

When the driver opened the limo door, there was in front of me the best surprise I have ever gotten.  There I saw my nieces, my sister, my mom and my grandmother inside the limo, waiting for me, singing to me.  My family had driven 6 hours to come celebrate my birthday with me!  To say I was in a state of shock is an understatement.  I could not believe my eyes–it felt like a dream and I remember thinking to myself, “no, this is really happening!”  I started laughing and crying all at once.  The joy I felt was inexpressible.  I did not know what to say…I only knew to laugh and cry and hug each one of them.  I remember saying their name as I hugged them–I was still wondering if this was just a dream and I had to say their name to make sure it really was happening.  In that moment I remember thinking to myself, “So this is what it must be like when you get to heaven.”  The joy, the unparalleled joy of seeing those you love most in the world, when you least expected to see them was, I know, God’s 40th birthday gift to me.  And in my heart, I knew that the joy and the love I felt in those precious moments was only a glimpse, a small 20 second preview of the unimaginable joy and love that awaits us in Heaven.  It is a joy and a love that cannot be compared to anything we experience here on Earth.  Not even the joy of seeing your child for the very first time.  Because even in that, there is still physical pain and a certain unknowing and apprehension that is there.  I use to think there could be no greater joy than seeing and holding your child for the first time.  But this joy, this feeling of being loved was different.  Because it was a love you knew.  It was a safe, accepting, familiar love.  It was a love that you miss when you’re apart and can’t wait to be together again.  It was the joy of being reunited.  When you see and hold your child for the first time, it is the first time.  It is the beginning of many things to come.  It is the beginning of a love that will grow and deepen.  But this, this was being united again with a love that was already deeply planted.  And this joy was immense because you knew how deep the roots were.  These are the best words, the only words that I have to describe God’s gift of a glimpse of Heaven.

And now, when I look back on that dreaded 40th birthday,  I smile.   It was one of the best days of my life.

This video was taken as I opened that limo door:

What We Are Called To Do

Sometimes God puts prayers in my heart to say in very particular ways.

Before my family and I made a very big move out of state, away from all of our family, I kept praying that God would help us on our journey.  In those words, always using the word journey.  That became a prayer that I prayed for months before, during and even after our move.  Amazingly, when I went to the first retreat at the new school I was working at, we were told that our theme for that year would be The Journey and that we were all on the Journey together.  Of course, I realized immediately that this was no coincidence.  This was God letting me know that indeed, this was the Journey He wanted me to be on.

Something very similar just recently happened.  For about a year now I have been praying that God show me what He wants me to do vocation wise.  I just haven’t felt very passionate or motivated by what I am currently doing in my job and I just felt like there had to be more or something else that I was supposed to be doing.  I just didn’t have any idea of what that was!  Within the past few weeks, as I have been praying about it, I have felt God telling me to stop worrying so much about what’s next.  He showed me that this is something I have been doing for a long time.  Always searching for “what’s next”.  I felt God telling me that I am exactly where I am meant to be.  I am where I am.  He has told me that the important thing is what I am supposed to be doing where I am.  And that is that I need to be Christ to others.  Through my actions, words, thoughts and deeds He wants me to show others who He is.  He wants me to love with a Christ-like love so that others will see Him through me.  That message suddenly became very clear to me, almost like an epiphany.  And I embraced it immediately.  I began praying about this, asking God to help me, through my words, actions, thoughts and deeds, to show others who He is.  And not to be afraid.

Yesterday, at now my fifth retreat at my school, I was reaffirmed of my prayer, once again.  I know this, because the priest’s homily was (and these were his words) how our words and actions show others who God is.  He repeated “our words and actions” quite a few times…the same words I have been using lately in my prayer.  The moment he said it, I knew that what I had been feeling in my heart was truly God’s message to me.

And thinking about it, isn’t that His message to everyone?  We are all so busy searching for “what’s next” that we fail to do the most important thing we are called to do right where we are.  And that is to love.  To love all of those around us, all of the time.  At first, when I heard this message from God, all I could think was how simple that is.  Really?  That’s it?  That’s my purpose?  But right after that retreat, when I felt empowered and gung- ho about starting this mission from God, I learned that to love with a Christlike love was not going to be a simple task.  I had received an unkind email shortly after the retreat that immediately made my blood boil and I couldn’t wait to email something equally as unkind back.  However, God, in His grace, whispered to me, “Love”.  I did calm down after a few hours and did not respond to the email until the next day, when I had a chance to let God help me with this and I could respond in a loving manner.  At that moment, I realized that this would not be an easy task, but it was a mission, a calling, that I knew God had given me and I am determined to carry it out.

I hope that all of us can, at some point, hear that very same calling from God. I believe it is what we are called to do, wherever we are.  Because the important thing is not where we are.  It’s what we are doing while we are there.

A Son’s Love

Today I was given a precious gift.  I took my son and his friend to the public pool this afternoon and while they swam and played, I got lost in a book I was reading.  I was so engrossed with it, I was completely unaware of anything going on around me.  After a good while of reading, I finally closed my book, set it aside, and looked out onto the pool.

And there, God gave me a precious gift.  As soon as I looked up, I saw my 12 year old son swish down a water slide.  When he got up, I watched as an older woman talked to my son and handed him her small grandson, who couldn’t have been more than a year old.  As I watched my son carry this stranger’s grandson, I was in awe.  It was clear that she had asked him to carry the child to the slide and go down the slide with the little one.  My son cheerfully agreed, carefully walked up to the slide, holding this cute little stranger, gingerly sat down with the babe on his lap, and slowly started down the slide, making oohh and ahhh noises as he went.  He carefully set the child down on his feet when they reached the bottom and cheerfully handed him over to the woman.  It was a beautiful thing to watch my son take so much pride and joy and love in doing this and I was so proud of him.  I found myself grinning from ear to ear.  As I watched this take place, I couldn’t help thinking how good my twelve year old is with small children.  He seems to delight in playing with his two year cousin and he was a natural with this child on the slide.  I couldn’t help but wonder if God was giving me some sort of glimpse into His plan for my son–maybe he will work in some way with children when he gets older–maybe not.  But I knew at that moment, I was watching love in action.

After another 20 minutes or so, it was time to leave. My son ran over to me with a huge smile and the first thing he said was, “Did you see what I did?”  He was so proud of himself!

I knew the moment I watched this wonderful scene that it was a gift God was giving to me.  It was a beautiful, precious gift of love and I will always remember it.


When God speaks, it does not have to be a life changing event.  It does not have to be in words. It does not even have to make sense.  But He speaks to us all the time.  He speaks to us in all sorts of ways.  All we need to do is open our eyes!  He wants us to see the wonders of His love as often as He gives it…always.

Lost and Found

Sometimes I feel lost.

From an early age, I had control of my future. I knew early on that I wanted to be a teacher. I became a teacher right after graduating from college and after more than ten years of teaching, I knew I wanted to get my Masters Degree and become a principal. I got my Masters Degree and then, suddenly, I lost control of the direction of my life. Suddenly, my life took a turn I was not planning or expecting. Suddenly, I was far away from family in a new state, in a new school, doing a job that I had not planned on doing. Now, going on five years later, I am still at that school, still at the job I had never envisioned myself doing. There are things about it that I like, but there are things about it I don’t like as well. Often times, I get the feeling that my job has little purpose…or rather, that I have little purpose in the job I am doing. I have prayed and prayed that God show me what He wants me to do and the scariest part is, when I think about what I would want to do, for the first time in my life, I have no idea…I have no direction…I have no plan. Nothing sounds exciting, nothing ignites a fire. I often times just feel lost.

Last night, as I fell asleep, I remember asking St. Anthony to help me find myself. He is the finder of lost things and I felt as though I had lost…myself. Who was I? What was my purpose? What am I supposed to be doing? As I drifted off to sleep, I just kept repeating, “Help me find myself”.

I’m sure everyone, at some point, has these feelings of being lost. But this is scary to me. I think it’s because I have never lived feeling lost. I have always had a purpose, a goal, a plan. I was always in control. I know that God is teaching me to give up my control and give it to Him, to trust in His plan for me–in my heart I know that. But after five years, you’d think He would start showing me what that plan is–or at least give me a glimpse. But no, I am exactly where I was five years ago–still searching, still wondering…still lost.

Today in Adoration, I told him how lost I felt. I prayed that He would show me the way. I prayed for a long time. Then I decided to spend a few minutes reading a book that I’ve been reading during Adoration, but had not read in the last 2 weeks. I picked up where I had left off in the book and here is what I read today:

“I find that when we’re willing to serve like Jesus did–while we’re on the way–divine appointments…start popping up everywhere.  And if we’ll take the time to stop and listen, we may find our destination, even when we thought we were lost.” (Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Joanna Weaver) 

And, “When we surrender ourselves to be used by God, we don’t always get to pick the time, the method, or the place of ministry.  In fact, sometimes, we find ourselves doing nothing at all–except praying and waiting for God’s leading.”  (Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Joanna Weaver).

And finally, “…the key is not in our activity, but in our receptivity to God’s voice–and in our willingness to be used in whatever ways he brings to our attention.  When we bring to him our willingness to serve, he’ll always, eventually, point us toward something we can do for him.  And that task will always have something to do with love.” (Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Joanna Weaver).

It is no coincidence that this was the section of the book I was on today.  God knew that I needed to hear these words–that I needed reassurance that, while I may feel lost, God has not lost sight of me.  

This is the journey I am on and while I may not understand it or have any control over where it will take me, He does.  Maybe, when we have so much control over the direction of our life, God needs us to lose all control so that we can find Him.  I am always looking for the destination, but  maybe God is trying to teach me that it is what we do on the journey that matters. 

Wherever we are on our journey, we have an opportunity to serve God.   And while we may not know where the road will take us, maybe what really matters is just knowing that we are on the road with Him. 

And He knows where He’s going.

Answered Prayer

Have you ever had a new thought or an answer to a problem pop up during prayer?  This happened to me a few weeks ago.  I was at  a meeting and the morning was not going well.  My coworkers knew this and right before we began our opening prayer, a few of them said they were going to pray for me.  Not but a minute into that prayer, the answer to a problem popped into my head.  Sure enough, once I tried what I thought of, the problem was solved.  It was truly amazing and I know without a doubt that God heard my coworkers prayers and He supplied me with the answer.

On another occasion, a few months ago, I was saying my morning prayers and I suddenly felt a need to pray for one of my coworkers.  This was a bit difficult for me because I find it very hard to get along with this individual.  There are very, very few people that I don’t get along with, but this was one of them.  I listened to that voice in my head however and, while it was a difficult thing to do, I did pray for him.  This went on for about a week, each day getting alittle easier.  I wasn’t sure really what to pray for, so I just prayed that God would bless him and give him much happiness and good health.  It had been about a week of praying for him when he told me that his wife had just had a miscarriage.  In that instant, I knew why God had urged me to pray for him and I could honestly tell him that he was in my prayers.  That actually led me to not only pray more for him, but also to include his family in my prayers as well.  After that happened, I urged friends and family to always listen to that voice in your head.  That prompting, I knew, was the Holy Spirit. 

I find that those clear cut answers or promptings in prayer are not frequent.  It seems to me that God speaks to me in more discreet ways, in more quiet ways that sometimes seem forever to make themselves known.  But there are times when God’s voice is very direct, very clear.  Through all of the ways God speaks, I have learned that prayer is incredibly powerful.  I think sometimes He shows me the direct effect of prayer to strengthen my belief in its power.  There are some prayers I have been saying for some people for a very, very long time and yet, nothing changes.  I know God hears those prayers, but I wonder why they don’t seem to make a difference for those people I have been praying for.  Maybe, when God shows me answers to prayers like the two instances I wrote about, He is also showing me that all of my prayers make a difference, even the ones that seem to go unnoticed.  He is showing me that our prayers are always heard, and that when the time is right, and in His perfect way, our prayers are answered.