By Rhoda Barnhart
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
It almost seemed like an adventure—and I prayed for safe travels as I headed for Mt. Vernon. From there I’d ride with my brother and his wife to Delhi where I grew up. It was mid-March of 2017— I’d been limiting my driving to daytime and local destinations for quite some time but the weather was good, and there had been no problems with my car. I really wanted to go to the funeral of a friend who grew up across the road from our farm. All went well— so later that week I again prayed for safe travels as I drove to Anamosa to help celebrate the 90th birthday of a long-time friend from my Iowa State University Extension days.
A few days later I prayed for safe travel while driving to Iowa City for a 7:45 A.M. eye appointment. My daughter Diane had taken me every time since my December 2015 cornea transplant, but she had to work that morning. After a brief exam—“come back in three months” (I was a slow healer). So I got groceries and headed home.
After the groceries were put away I got back in the car to take some papers to son, Bruce. The car wouldn’t start! — made funny noise. I called Bruce and let him hear the noise—he said “sounds like the battery. I’ll come and jump it.” It took him no time to get it started. He called the garage — explained that he was jumping it —would follow me— we’d be there soon. Sure enough they tested it and the battery was done for. Soon I had a new battery and was good to go.
To have my battery fail while in my own garage—and have Bruce only a few blocks away———Some people would say I was lucky. I’m inclined to believe it was the blessing of answered prayer.
It’s true that not every prayer is answered in the way or time that we had hoped for. I find that study notes in my Bible help guide my thoughts after reading scriptures. A couple examples follow:
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:22
Study notes from Matthew 21:22 “This verse is not a guarantee that we can get anything we want simply by asking Jesus and believing. God does not grant requests that would hurt us or others or that would violate his own nature or will. Jesus’ statement is not a blank check. To be fulfilled, our requests must be in harmony with the principles of God’s kingdom. The stronger our belief, the more likely our prayers will be in line with God’s will, and then God will be happy to grant them.”
Jesus in Mark 9:23: “Everything is possible for him who believes.”
Study notes from Mark 9: 23 – “Jesus’ words do not mean that we can automatically obtain anything we want if we just think positively. Jesus meant that anything is possible if we believe, because nothing is too difficult for God. We cannot have everything we pray for as if by magic; but with faith, we can have everything we need to serve him.”
Study notes from Philippians 4:6,7 … Paul’s advice is to turn our worries into prayers. “Do you want to worry less? Then pray more! Whenever you start to worry, stop and pray.”
Prayer: Heavenly Father help us learn to turn our worries into prayers and trust You; may your will be done. In Jesus’ name, AMEN
*Scriptures are from the Life Application Bible—New International Version.