Seven Things I Learned About Prayer in 2017 (Part 6) | Pearls of Promise

Seven Things I Learned About Prayer in 2017 (Part 6)

 #6 Prayers are Rarely Answered Like We Imagine

Sue and Jim

Our family is praising God today for my brother-in-law’s successful lung transplant. After struggling with a disease called “Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis,” which is a hardening of the lung tissue, Jim needed a new lung to extend his life. He received the call Christmas Eve, an answered prayer and the best Christmas present ever.


I had been specifically praying for Jim to receive a new lung quickly, but what moved him up on the transplant list was not what I would have chosen for him. A medical emergency related to his illness placed him in a Florida hospital. Because of this roadblock, he missed an appointment for a transplant evaluation in Raleigh, North Carolina. He only had one option left and it was in Indianapolis, Indiana. But could he get there?

Airplane Landing

At first, because of the severity of his situation, it appeared that Jim would have to be air transported to Indianapolis, but he did so well at the hospital, that he was released. He, my sister-in-law and my husband then made the long driving trek from Florida to Indiana, where Jim was evaluated for the transplant. He passed all his tests and fluctuated between #1 and #4 in line for a new lung. Either way, the situation was dire and he was getting a lung, as I prayed, quickly.

When I lifted this scenario up to the Lord, this was not the way I imagined it would go, but it is how God answered my prayer. Isaiah 55:8–9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”


When we pray, it’s good to pray specifically, but probably best not to give God a step-by-step detail of how we think the situation should be handled. That’s just wasted energy. Instead, pray and trust God with how he will answer the prayer. What I’ve found is that he is far more creative and will answer prayers in ways we never dreamed. Sometimes, the answer to our prayer is “no” but if things look bleak like they did with my brother-in-law, hold on, God may be up to something. He may be using the detour to get to the end result you prayed for. The key is to trust that your heavenly Father hears you. He has a plan formulated and he desires to help.

“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:11–13)

As a footnote to this blog, would you pray for my brother-in-law, Jim? For his body to accept the new lung, for complete recovery and increased quality of life. Thank you for your prayers. They are powerful! LBW



Categories: Devotion of the Week

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