Whose Answer to Prayer Are You?


answer to prayerMy friend and his wife live on an acreage with numerous animals, a barn and a little cottage they rent out to tenants.

Needless to say, the property is a fair bit of work.

They had a tenant in their cottage that helped out with caring for the animals and other duties associated with the upkeep of the property. But sadly, that great tenant had to move on, so they were now looking for someone else to rent the cottage.

They prayed for the right person to rent their cottage.

When interviewing prospective renters, my friend was keeping in the back of his mind how the successful applicant could be a value to them on the farm by providing a service of some kind. One of the applicants just happened to be a retired contractor and a very ‘handy man’. As he was interviewing this man my friend couldn’t help but think, “This is the guy.” He appeared responsible, likeable and he had some fabulous skills and abilities that would be of great benefit around the farm.

However, as he prayed through this decision he had a niggle about this guy. He just didn’t have a peace about offering him the cottage.

He then met with a young couple who were interested in the cottage. As soon as he met them he had a clear sense that these were the ones to whom he should rent the cottage. But, he couldn’t see how he was going to benefit from them as much as he would have from the retired contractor.

He wrestled with the decision a little. The contractor could obviously provide far more benefit to him around the farm, but he knew the cottage was meant for this couple. So, being a Godly man, he rented it out to the young couple – who were utterly delighted with the fact they got the cottage.

He later found out that the couple had been praying about the home God had for them to rent. They had been trusting God to provide for them the right place, in the right neighbourhood, with the right people. And this cottage was exactly what they were looking for.

My friend began to realize he had become the answer to their prayer.

As he shared this scenario with me and we talked more about it, we recognized how easy it is for us to settle into a self-centered mindset that looks at how we can benefit from situations – how we can be blessed – instead of how we can be a blessing to others. My friend had become an answer to someone’s prayer, who in-turn became an unexpected answer to his prayer.

So, whose answer to prayer are you?

Do you look at your situations of need through the lens of how God can meet your needs, or do you also seek to see how you can meet the needs of others; how you can be a blessing to them? I confess, I find it very easy to see my situations of need simply though the lens of how my needs can be met, instead of asking the Lord how I can be a blessing to others as well.

The Lord challenged me many years ago about my need to always get a deal when buying things – to always try to dicker for a lower price. He challenged me to consider how my purchase could be a blessing to the seller. Perhaps me paying full price was a means to bless the person selling whatever it was I needed to purchase?

Our attitude needs to be rooted in a firm belief that God provides for all of our needs, and He has an overabundance of whatever it is we may need.

It’s an issue of trust.

Let’s consider how we can be a blessing to others in the midst of attempting to meet our own needs. We have no idea who is praying for what, and how we may be a messenger of the Lord’s provision.

It’s great when God answers our prayers, but it’s even better when we become the answers to someone else’s prayers.

Whose answer to prayer will you be?

Matthew 7:12

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

I Corinthians 10:24

“No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”

Ephesians 6:18

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

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An Invitation to Live in God-breathed Wholeheartedness.