Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | June 27, 2013

August 23, 2016 “God’s Unexpected Answers”

“God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of His Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.” (Romans 1: 9-10)

Good Morning Prayer Partners!

One of the prayers I frequently lift up to the Lord is that God provide opportunity for me to  find new ways to connect and witness to those that I love…that opportunities would arise for me to share the gospel in some unexpected fashion. I have learned through personal experience that at times, God honors such prayers in the most unexpected of ways. Paul’s experience with such an unexpected answer is found here. He was longing to travel to Rome to visit the new Christians there,commending them saying, “your faith is being reported all over the world.” These Christians living in the heart and capitol city of the pagan world were demonstrating an extraordinary faith in the midst of tremendous persecution, and Paul prayed that he might have opportunity to go to Rome as well. God, indeed provided such opportunity and answered Paul’s prayer in an unexpected fashion. When Paul finally arrived in Rome after praying to arrive safely, (and he did), he did so after being arrested, slapped in the face, shipwrecked, and bitten by a poisonous snake.

My own experience with such an unexpected answer came in 2005. I had prayed for new ways to witness to those of my congregation in St. Joseph, MO concerning the power of prayer and the love of God in some new fashion. February 20 of that year, the Lord answered that prayer in the form of a heart attack while I was in the hospital preparing to visit some parishioners. Now I do not believe God inflicted me with a heart attack, but that heart attack transformed my ministry, my lifestyle, and my faith. It transformed that congregation into a praying dynamo. It gave me new perspectives on the abiding presence and protective hand of God. The skeptic might ask why didn’t God just heal me on the spot. I see things differently. Through that experience, my faith and witness has grown. God’s way of answering our prayers is often far from what we may expect. When we pray sincerely, God will answer-although it may be in ways we have never imagined. Let’s pray!

God of Wonder and Surprise; As we pray, teach us to expect the unexpected, trusting that your answers to our prayers, though they may not come as we expect, are always for our benefit and in accordance with Your perfect will for our lives. We cast our cares and our prayers before you with anticipation and expectation this day in Jesus’ Holy Name. Amen!

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