When God responds to a prayer it is a gift that we need to honor. Here are three distinct ways that I try to respond to answered prayer.
1) Give thanks. Give credit where credit is due. When you see that God has done something acknowledge it. Say to God that you realize He is at work in your life and you are grateful.
2) Tell the story. When God answers prayer share the story. The psalms speak repeatedly about praising or thanking God publicly. When we share stories about what God has done, we strengthen our faith and the faith of others. When someone asks you how you are, if God has been evidently at work in your life, you can respond, “I am blessed”, and tell them how.
3) Be obedient. Often times answered prayer may include a call. God may expect something of you. If so, then be obedient to what you sense God is asking of you. Some times the calling is not obvious. I had a friend who told me about a God-incident where she thought of a women who had not entered her mind in years. She couldn’t shake wondering about her and then the next day a letter came in the mail from this person. On the envelope she had written, “The Lord told me to write you.” The situation was all way too improbable to just be coincidence, so she decided God was at work some how. Nevertheless, she was a bit at a lost when I told her that she need to do something about it. I explained that God doesn’t do those things so that we can’t just marvel at the overwhelming improbability of it. God obviously wanted them to reconnect. She reinvested in the friendship. I don’t know where it led to, but the need to reconnect was a good way to honor the gift.
I have found honoring God’s gifts in these ways strengthens my bond with God. I have also found that God unfolds the gift even more when I honor it. I am not sure if my own intentionality around spotting and responding to God’s grace allows me to recognize God’s activity more. Or, if God sends more my way because I am faithful with what I am given. I suspect that my increased recognition of God’s activity is a little of both. I am seeing more, but God is also entrusting more.
When you finish reading this, consider how you have seen God at work. Once you think of something that God seems to have done in your life, then give thanks, consider whom you can tell, and figure out if there is some way you need to respond. I guarantee that a regular diet of doing these forms of honoring God will enhance your relationship tremendously. Blessings from The Practical Disciple.
p.s. I would love hearing your God-incident stories and how you honored the gift.
Do you struggle to see God at work in your life? He may be more active than you realize. Click below to download a free copy of “Eleven Ways God Responds to Prayer.”