(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 3)
Many times, God will answer your prayer affirmatively, when you least expect it, in a way that you could have never anticipated and often much bigger and grander than you could have ever dreamed he would.
As Ephesians 3:20 rightly states, he “…is able to do EXCEEDING ABUNDANTLY ABOVE all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…”
For, as he stated in Malachi 1:14, “…I am a Great King…” and when he answers in a way and timing as he alone can do, he tends to leave us flabbergasted! For, while we may expect him to come through for us in some way or other, we never knew it would be in such a manner, through such a method and in such a big way.
This was evident even in the Bible days because of course, the Lord changes never (Malachi 3:6) and although his ways are past finding out (Romans 11:33), he loves to answer in ways that surprisingly overwhelm his children and render them speechless.
For example, in Acts 12:5-17, it reads:
- “Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.
- Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.
- And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.
- AND HE WENT OUT, AND FOLLOWED HIM; AND WIST NOT THAT IT WAS TRUE WHICH WAS DONE BY THE ANGEL; BUT THOUGHT HE SAW A VISION.
- When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.
- AND WHEN PETER WAS COME TO HIMSELF, HE SAID, NOW I KNOW OF A SURETY, THAT THE LORD HATH SENT HIS ANGEL, AND HATH DELIVERED ME OUT OF THE HAND OF HEROD, AND FROM ALL THE EXPECTATION OF THE PEOPLE OF THE JEWS.
- And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.
- And when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. AND THEY SAID UNTO HER, THOU ART MAD. BUT SHE CONSTANTLY AFFIRMED THAT IT WAS EVEN SO. THEN SAID THEY, IT IS HIS ANGEL. BUT PETER CONTINUED KNOCKING: AND WHEN THEY HAD OPENED THE DOOR, AND SAW HIM, THEY WERE ASTONISHED.
- But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison…”
This reminds me of a similar reaction that the Israelites (referred to as Zion) had, when God answered their prayers in a way and perhaps timing, that was unexpected. They had a similar response to Peter and the Church that had been praying for his deliverance.
It is a favorite scripture of mine and it reads in Psalm 126:
- “WHEN THE LORD TURNED AGAIN THE CAPTIVITY OF ZION, WE WERE LIKE THEM THAT DREAM. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them. The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
I say all this to say, that sometimes when we ask a petition of God, he says no, sometimes he says yes immediately and brings it to pass instantly but then again, there are times when he plans on granting your request and has therefore said yes but intends for you to wait a while. In the last instance, he does not usually say why or for how long or how he will bring about the miracle you seek but usually when he does, he blows your mind!
Be encouraged therefore with whatever you are praying to God about. If he decides not to grant it, then you can trust that he knows best. If he decides to grant it though and has told you so but wants you to wait a while, trust that he knows the reason for the delay. Trust as well, that when he is good and ready to grant your request, it will most likely be BIGGER and GRANDER than you could have ever dreamed or imagined, provided you waited with a good attitude.
When God has answered affirmatively and you see what you have prayed for before you, like Peter, you may think that it is a VISION, like the Church, you may be ASTONISHED and like Zion, you may think that you are DREAMING.
(Written on 6th September, 2018)
Dear Reader, if you found the above Article useful, informative, edifying or interesting, you may also be interested in reading the following:
- Note 26 – ‘Please…Allow Him To Blow Your Mind’
- Note 165 – ‘Peter’s Imprisonment – Points I Gleaned From My Study Of Acts 12:1-19‘