One evening when my daughter was about 7 or 8 years old, it was her turn to say the prayer at the dinner table. We all held hands and I found myself smiling as she thanked God for the food, for our family, for the day we’d had. The prayer followed her typical pattern until she reached the end. Suddenly she veered off course.
“And dear Lord, please let someone get me a drink, because I don’t have one. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Startled, I opened my eyes and scanned the table. Sure enough, everyone had a drink at their place except Bethany. Smiling, I quickly pushed to my feet, eager to answer that simple prayer with practical action.
It is rare for us to actually be aware of being the answer to someone’s prayer. More often than not, God works to place us in the right place at the right time to accomplish his will without us even being aware of the need we are meeting. Other times, we find ourselves at a crossroads. Do we continue on the path we are comfortable pursuing, or do we heed that quiet urging on our spirit that suggests we take a different route?
I have to confess that I struggle with this kind of change. I’m a planner. When we go on vacation, I know exactly where we will stop each night, what hotel we will stay in, how long we will spend at each landmark or attraction. So when I believe I am journeying in the direction God desires for me, it really throws me off my game to have something unexpected thrown in my path.
I like my comfort zone. I like serving God in the way that I’m accustomed, the way that is easiest.
Yet how many times have I failed to become the answer to someone’s prayer because I chose to remain on the easy path instead of reaching out to embrace the unexpected?
As you go through this week, let me encourage you to be open to new directions, to interruptions, and opportunities that take you out of your comfort zone. Listen to that still, small voice and follow where it leads. In doing so, you just might become an answer to someone’s prayer.
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.