What does it mean for God to “answer prayer”?
Guest Writer: Jessie Bongiorno
Jessie was a piano student of mine years ago. I love to watch the children under my direction blossom into beautiful Christian adults. Jessie wrote this on Facebook not too long ago and I felt it deserved more coverage. She has a good lesson here for us all.
We limit God when we define His “answers” as only the ones we want.
– The promotion at work
– the relationship status
– healing from illness.
We forget that God allows ALL things to be worked together for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28)
What does it mean for God to bless a person?
So much of today is defined in a moment
We don’t know something… Google it-
We want to watch a show but it isn’t on tv at the moment… Netflix, Hulu, Amazon.
We can buy anything at the touch of a finger ….. instant gratification … but with God… There isn’t an “app for that”.
photo credit: Timothy Uza: modified by Mandy
So much of our lives are gratification- quick, simple…
Just a touch away to find almost any answer to any question
But God doesn’t work that way.
Maybe it is because of what I have been going through
– lots of doubt, struggle, failure… And the silence from God.
I have often wondered, “Where is the blessing in my life?”
Where are the answers to these prayers I have prayed
– WHERE are You, God?!
And what did I do – where was the first wrong turn?
And every time I have these thoughts He reminds me…
He reminds me what I asked for years ago…
Every pastor will tell you, “Be ready when you pray for that!!
And in this silence, I hear that still, small voice tell me…
I have learned so much in this place
– yet struggled the most…
They are the ones we need
– to teach us to depend on Him
– to teach us that on our own we can’t make it
– we were never meant to
They are the ones we need…
…to teach us
…WHO really matters and WHAT really matters.
And to teach me…..
….. what an answer to prayer – what a blessing – is.
It isn’t what we want…
…. it is what He knows we need…
Because He can work ALL things
- all failures, all mistakes, all character flaws,
- all of the broken places in our hearts that limit us from experiencing life and life to the FULL
- all let downs,
- all regrets…
He can work ALL things together for the good…
For those who love Him…
For those who are called according to His purpose.
Jessie Bongiorno, 29. I grew up in a Christian home, as they say; my dad became a Christian when I was really young and he shared the gospel with me and when I was seven- I accepted that I was a sinner who desperately needed the blood of Christ and ever since then I lived my relationship with Christ.
God- being the faithful God He is– stuck by me throughout all kinds of doubts- a slight time of “rebellion” when I was a teenager and by the time I was college bound- Christ spoke to me- yes He did. One day- I was driving down the main road in front of my community college- trying to figure out my future- my career choice- my friendship choices- relationship choices- pretty much just trying to figure out who I was and as drove down that road in a car all by myself a thought popped into my mind.
“It sucks trying to figure out life alone. You don’t have to do it alone.”
Those were the words I heard back after the words I only merely thought. I remember thinking there is only One Person who could say those words and really mean it. All of my life, my entire childhood spent studying the words of life and these words suddenly… came to life. I knew in my heart Who Jesus was… Who He is- He is the way the Truth and the Life- I thought to myself. Then the next thought popped into my mind.
I have a choice- I can choose to believe these words- that they are true- put my…. Faith into these words…. Or I can continue driving down this road… alone. I chose my faith- and I asked Christ again to join me on my journey in life- and for the first time in my life- Christ- the Bible all of it really became not just words on a page- or rules to follow- but for the first time… this was personal- and to me, I began to see that the Christian walk- is a relationship with Christ.
I’d like to say everything was all nice and happy ever since then- but things actually got really hard…. My faith was tested throughout my years as a college student on a secular campus- but my faith grew all the more because of it! And while so many my age are chasing happiness- I am chasing wholeness and I like to share some of my pursuits along the way to encourage others. Because if there ever were a time to share good news- if there ever were a time we need to be bold in proclamation- now is that time.
With love, Jessie