The Joy of Answered Prayers

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Contributed by Tim White, Next Gen Pastor of Image Church

In the Book of Colossians, Paul writes to the followers of Jesus at Colossae, who heard the Gospel from Epaphras, a fellow servant in Christ. Paul writes to the church to encourage them in their faith and lets them know that his heart and prayers go out to them as they grow in their faith and knowledge of God. His prayer for those he had never met was expressed in Colossians 1:9-10:

9And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

Just this past week, I ran into someone from my past that had been praying a similar prayer for me and my family for the last 23 years. At the age of 9, many of us from the neighborhood I lived in were bussed to the church for AWANA’s. An older lady by the name of Mrs. Bennett was my AWANA leader. I have very few memories from the one year I went to AWANA, mainly the games and snack. What I didn’t know was that Mrs. Bennett never forgot about me and never stopped praying as well. For the last couple of years, my Uncle David and his family have been going to the same church that I went to AWANA’s and the same church that Mrs. Bennett is still a member of. My Aunt and Uncle help out Mrs. Bennett with the food pantry there at the church. Somehow, the connection was made, and she shared with them how she remembers my family.

So this past week, I went with my Uncle to pick up a meal that Mrs. Bennett had prepared for another family in the church. At her home, my Uncle introduced me, and this now 80 some year old lady remembered who I was instantly. She began to share stories and asked how the rest of my family was doing. She told me that she had been praying for me and every one else who came to AWANA’s off the bus that year. I was amazed and blown away by those she remembered, and the fact that she was still praying for every one of them. She then asked what I was doing, and I shared with her how I was part of a church plant called Image Church and served on staff as the Next Generation Pastor. Mrs. Bennett was instantly full of joy to know that her prayers for the last 23 years had been answered. It was a day that I will never forget, and one that I hope to experience some day in my life.

As Christians, we should be praying for others, just as Paul prayed for those he only heard about, and Mrs. Bennett who prayed for those she spent two hours a week for 8 months. We should be praying for those who know and believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savoir as well as those who don’t. We should be praying that all will come to a full understanding of the knowledge and wisdom of God, and that all will walk in a manner pleasing to Him, bearing fruits in every good work.

I have changed the way that I pray for others and know that If I am persistent in my prayers for others to come to know Jesus, I too may one day be full of Joy when those prayers are answered.

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