Today is one of my favorite days of the year. January 18th – the day Lonnie and I celebrate our anniversary. Not our wedding anniversary, but our becoming a couple anniversary. 28 years ago, on this day in 1991, with my big poofy bangs and him with the stripes shaved in the side of his head, we became the Lonnie and Pamela Duo. He asked me out, I said yes, and then followed the biggest kiss of my life. Yes, I was 15 and I’m pretty sure I fell in love right then and there.
I share this with you this morning to tell you how God hears our prayers, delights in our prayers and moves in mighty ways.
It all began the summer before. The summer of 1990 when I suppose I had officially exhausted the short list of boys in our tiny town and had either dated them all or was related to them and so what’s a desperate girl to do but turn to God. I prayed a very specific prayer. GOD PLEASE BRING NEW BOYS TO OUR SCHOOL.
Now I didn’t know it, but about this time, a family was uprooting from Dallas, TX and setting out in a UHaul to find a fresh start. They just “happened” to come across a small farm for sale in tiny little ol’ Ava, Missouri and buy it. Ava just happened to be the school where a young girl with big poofy bands was praying for a new boy to come to town.
Now, what’s important to know here and applicable to you whether you’re 15 and looking for a boyfriend, 30 and hoping for a husband, or 50 and tired of yours … PRAY ABOUT IT. Not just about a man, but about everything. Pray about it. Why would we ever choose to worry about it instead? Why would we turn to our best friend and complain about it instead of turning to the one who can actually do something about it? Have you prayed about it?
Psalm 5:3: “In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”
Meaning I wake up and the first thing I do is I talk to God about it. He is my first resort, not my last resort. And I wait in expectation. I trust him with the details. I trust him with his timing. Some things take a little time. In my case an entire family had to move from TX to MO and let’s face it, I had to wait until I was dating age. God could have moved that new boy to our school years before, but my parents said I wasn’t ready. There’s a purpose in the waiting. Just because you’re still waiting doesn’t mean God isn’t working on your behalf.
Daniel 9:18: “We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.”
When I prayed that prayer asking for God to bring a new boy to my school, I hadn’t even accepted Jesus yet. I didn’t attend Church. I had never really read my bible. I was totally unrighteous. But God doesn’t answer our prayers because we are righteous – he answers because of his great mercy. You can stop trying to clean yourself up before you talk to God. He’s waiting on you as is. This isn’t about you deserving God’s blessings, you’ll always fall short on that scale. This is about a loving heavenly father who cares about every detail of your life. About a creator who takes delight in YOU.
When I prayed that prayer, I didn’t really expect a family to be packing up in a UHaul and heading my way. I believed God, but my unbelief was bigger than my belief. Can God answer the prayers of a little faith or does it require big mountain moving faith?
In Mark chapter 9 we read the honest confession of a man whose son was demon possessed. He said to Jesus “I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief.” This man wasn’t fully convinced Jesus had the power to save his son, he wasn’t sure he was asking right, he wasn’t even sure Jesus cared enough to do anything, but he asked anyway. You may not fully know if God wants to answer your prayer or how he would answer your prayer, but I encourage you to pray anyway. All you need is a tiny bit of faith. Remember faith the size of a mustard seed is what moves mountains.
So pray with your tiny bit of faith and a whole load of questions. Pray scared. Pray uncertain. Pray before you clean yourself up. Pray and trust him with the details and the timing. Pray not because you are righteous, I promise you’re not – but because of he is merciful, and I promise he is.