As we look back over the year, it’s interesting to review how our prayers have been answered during the last twelve months of our church life.
At the beginning of the year our church prayed for the appointment of a new Children’s Worker, and for the beginning of two new ministries: our Sunday afternoon youth group and the Mobile Community Pantry. These prayers were answered in the way we desired!
In the middle of the year we also prayed that we might be able to raise $50,000 to reduce the debt outstanding on our building loan. Answered positively!
Towards the end of the year we prayed in increasing measure for the provision of a new student minister. God said “let it be so!” And of course we have prayed for many people’s health, not least David Loke’s recovery. God has answered many of these prayers with a Yes.
Many of the items we prayed about have answers we cannot see: prayers for politicians, prayers for various nations in strife, prayers for unknown individuals who are grieving. Of course, given we have seen answers to other requests, we can assume that these prayers have indeed made a difference.
Some prayers have yet to see the response from God that we would like. We’ve been praying for rain to relieve the drought, and we will continue to do so.
And yes, some prayers received an answer we weren’t hoping for. In October we prayed that the upcoming fire season would be mild. It didn’t take long for us to realize the answer to that prayer was No. When the answer is No, we must do our best to remember that God’s wisdom is greater than ours, and that although the path he has set for us might be unwelcome he has promised to be with us as our shepherd —“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4).
However, the list of prayers answered Yes can encourage us to keep at the ministry of prayer. What will he answer in 2020? The more we pray the more opportunities we’ll have to see God at work!