Central Baptist Church of Westerly
16 Elm Street, Westerly, RI   02891
Phone: (401) 596-4929   

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The mystery of answered prayer (2)

                                                                 
                                                                              April 17, 2019

Dear Friends,

You just never know how God is going to answer your
prayers. We usually think it will be pretty straight
forward. We ask God to do something for us. We pray
for healing. We ask God to intervene in our circumstances.
We lift up a prayer for a new car, a job opportunity, or
to fulfill some other desire of our heart. Either it happens
or it doesn't.

If our prayers aren't answered right away we take the
lack of action on God's part as a "No!" We figure either
he doesn't want us to have what we are asking for, or even
worse, that God doesn't care. That's because we want an
answer now. Maybe we have bought into the idea that
prayer works like Aladdin's magic lamp. Rub it a certain
way and your wishes are granted.

In reality, answered prayer often comes in unexpected
ways. You just happen to be in the right place at the
right time. Events line up. People show up. Coincidences
happen and you suddenly experience the power of
answered prayer. It is only when you look back that
you begin to see that the hand of God was in it all.

That's my story. At the end of last summer I was fretting
because the paint on my deck was starting to peel. I didn't
know what I was going to do. I knew it needed power
washing. Yet, either I was going to have to pay someone
to do it or find a friend who would do it. I remember
praying and asking God to help me figure out how to
get it done.

Winter comes and I forget all about it. Meanwhile plans
begin to fall in place for our short term mission trip to
Puerto Rico. It is only after we arrive that I learn that
I won't be playing the "donut man" this time. Instead
of providing refreshments for the team, I was told that
they needed me to work with a team doing roof
repairs.

Don't worry. They didn't ask me to wield a hammer
but in order to repair the roofs and weatherproof them,
they needed us to  power wash them first. So all week
long I was on the roof working with a power washer.
I wasn't happy then. I laugh about it now because on
the third day it hit me that this was God's doing. He
was answering my prayers about the deck.

That's how God works. He answers prayer in his own
way. Our Jewish friends are remembering the way God
answered prayer as they come together to celebrate the
Passover. Their celebration reminds them that God
heard their cries and sent a deliverer to release them
from the bondage of slavery. His name was Moses. He
came to set his people free.

Speaking about freedom, Christians around the world
celebrate Holy Week, and remember that God heard
our prayers too. In a fallen world, where sin separates
us and leaves us isolated and defeated, God sent a
deliverer. Our sins were nailed to his cross and in three
days God raised him from the dead as a sign that a new
day has dawned. His name was Jesus.

So don't be discouraged if God hasn't answered your
prayer yet. I'm sure he has got something special
planned for you. Let the Holy days remind you that
God is listening. Trust him. For in his time, God will
always make a way.

God bless! See you in church.
Cal
Pastor Cal Lord's Weekly Epistle
Pastor Cal's Weekly
Epistle

Every week Pastor Cal
writes a weekly column for
the Spirit Page of the
Norwich Bulletin.

He also sends it out to
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E-mail him at
calstigers@gmail.com if
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