Answered Prayers

Do you know someone who God just seems to answer their every prayer? I have known two friends and especially my grandfather and my aunt Lydia who when they prayed it seemed like the Lord was in the same room. Both my aunt and grandfather have passed away but I will always remember their relationship with God through prayer.

Naturally I would like to have the same power in prayer that they have. My problem is that my prayers turn into meditation. Each day as I pray it is difficult to focus. My mind drifts to Scripture or spiritual things. For 40 years I have taught Bible classes. It takes a few hours each week to do research and write an outline for my class. During my prayer and meditation time the Holy Spirit gives me guidance to how I should develop my message. But I am far from being a prayer warrior.

Let me give some illustrations to encourage each of us to pray more and develop a closer relationship with God. My grandfather on my mother’s side was a part-time preacher and a farmer. This wasn’t unusual for in most every generation there were farmer/preachers. The family tree goes back to 1709 when the family came to Pennsylvania to a Quaker settlement. They moved to North Carolina and part of their farm is now a small portion of Duke University. Pickett Road in Durham was named after them.

In the early part of World War II my grandfather prayed especially for my nine cousins who had enlisted in the armed forces. He assured the family that God had promised him that all would return after the war. He was so certain that he told everyone not to worry.

One of my cousins was a Navy pilot and had flown 112 missions in the south pacific. On one of his return flights his engine quit and he crashed on the shore of a small island. He was knocked unconscious and the plane was on fire. A member of his squadron saw what had happened and landed his plane on the beach. He ran over and pulled him out saving his life. A short time later a PBY seaplane landed. He was brought to the aircraft on a rubber raft. He became a minister until his retirement.

My cousin Jim had two liberty ships sunk and had to swim until help arrived. My cousin Lee was a corpsman. He was involved in the invasion of Iwo Jima. The doctor and crew Jim was with returned to the ship. Jim had to take another boat back to the ship. His crew’s boat was blown up and all were killed. Normally he would have been in the same boat.

My cousin Floyd belonged to General Patton’s tank division. He was a point man directing the tanks against the enemy. They would drive a jeep to the enemy lines. They then would go on foot, scout out the enemy and advise the tanks which direction to go. The life expectancy for these men was very slim. Some lasted only a few days. He went with Patton through Africa, Italy and into Germany.

Each cousin told how they believe they were alive only because of answers to prayer. There were times when members of the family felt led to pray for a particular cousin only to later find that was the exact time a cousin was in jeopardy.

I know many of you know of similar answers to prayer. Then why don’t we spend time praying continually as the Bible suggests? It is like starving and unwilling to go to the bank and draw on one’s savings. God tells us He will answer our prayers. Do we have enough trust to believe He means it? So how do we get prayers answered?

We pray!

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