1307) Answers to Prayer

By Joshua Rogers, November 6, 2016 blog at:  http://www.joshuarogers.com

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     When I was little, our family hit hard times and we didn’t even have money for groceries.  I was just five years old, so I wasn’t sure what was going on — all I knew was that the cabinets were empty.

     On the day we ran out of food, a couple from Main Street Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, drove up to the house in a big car.  We didn’t know them, and we didn’t go to Main Street Baptist (in fact, we weren’t even Baptists).

     They popped the trunk and began unloading bag after bag of groceries.  I’m pretty sure it was summertime, but it felt like Christmas, especially when I realized they had gotten us Fruit Loops.  I sat down on the couch and began looking over the box like it was a toy.  Then after they finished delivering all of the groceries, they left, and we ate.

     I don’t know how they found out we were in need, and it doesn’t really matter to me.  We needed some food, and I’m just thankful someone listened when the Lord nudged them to come through for us.

     When you think about it, we all have the opportunity to be the answer to someone else’s prayer today.  Maybe they don’t need groceries, but they need some encouragement, a friend, an invitation, someone to listen.  Maybe they don’t even know what they need — they’re just hurting and need someone like you or me to be present in their lives.  Maybe we will be the evidence that Jesus sees them in their hurt and that He deeply cares for them.

     So many of us pray that God will use us in a big way.  What if He wants to use us in a small way that will be big in someone’s life?  Is that enough?  If it is, then today is full of opportunities to love Jesus with an unexpected knock on the door, an open trunk, a box of Fruit Loops.

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“The only time you should look in your neighbor’s bowl is to make sure that they have enough.  You don’t look in your neighbor’s bowl to see if you have as much as them.”

–Louie C. K.

Image result for louis c. k. quotes neighbor's bowl

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The Israelites prayed to God:

Exodus 2:23b-25  —  The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God.  God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.  So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.

God heard their prayer, and called on Moses to be the answer to their prayers:

Exodus 3:7-8b…10  —  The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt.  I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.  So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey…  So now, go.  I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

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PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.  Amen.

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