God May Answer Your Prayer in Surprising Ways. Here’s Why:

Margaret —  June 18, 2014 — 26 Comments

God May Answer Your Prayer in Surprising Ways. Here’s Why:

You may be living in-between. That time of waiting for what’s next, but not knowing when and if it will come.

In-between jobs. In-between relationships. In-between places to live. In-between paychecks.

Frustrated, you may find yourself crying out to God wondering: What’s next? How long do I have to wait?

During our first year of marriage, my hubby, Leif (pronounced Lay-f) and I had a year of living in-between.

We house-sat in order to save for a down payment on our first home. We were given a place to stay for the first four months. As time rolled by, we wondered what was next.

We prayed.
We asked God for favor.
We let family and friends know our needs.
Low and behold, another place would open up.

This pattern continued for a full year. We bounced in-between homes and apartments and trailers. The last few days in a place would be upon us and we’d have no clue what was next.

Then, the cell phone rang or we’d bump into a friend in the market suggesting another house-sitting opportunity.

God answered our prayers by guiding us to the right people at the right time.

For an entire year, we were given a place to stay, and, on occasion, were even paid. Moving was stressful—especially as newlyweds—but I’m amazed how God orchestrated a full calendar year’s worth of free housing. I’m in awe of divine guidance and provision.

In my perfect world, God would have handed me a calendar on our wedding day with a full schedule of where we’d be living and when. Instead, God used chance conversations with friends and opportune moments to guide our steps. Though the year of living in-between was full of challenges and Leif never wants to pack another box, God’s guidance was perfect.

When I think of the guidance of God, I think about geography, proximity, and chance encounters. I’m learning to broaden my definition of the Spirit’s guidance.

God doesn’t just guide the places where we go or the people we meet; the Lord is involved in the minuscule details of our lives.

Maybe this is just the reminder you needed today:

Even in the in-between, God is guiding and leading and teaching and reminding.

Even when life feels out of control and you aren’t sure what’s next, God is still on the throne. God hasn’t left you. He is near.

Even in the in-between, God is guiding and leading and teaching and reminding.

This week on Facebook and Twitter, we asked this question:

I’ve begun to recognize prayer as three parts: one part speaking, one part listening, and one part waiting. Which part comes most easily for you? Which part is the most difficult?

God May Answer Your Prayer in Surprising Ways. Here’s Why:

God May Answer Your Prayer in Surprising Ways. Here’s Why:

Gather. As we gather for the Summer Bible Study, let’s discuss this question:

When was the last time you found yourself in-between? How did you respond?

*Join us right back here at MargaretFeinberg.com on Monday to start week 4. You won’t want to miss it.

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26 responses to God May Answer Your Prayer in Surprising Ways. Here’s Why:

  1. LOL…I’m “in-between” right now!!! Seriously!! I was actually smiling and half-laughing reading this post. To me this is a precious whisper from God that He sees me, knows the “in-between” I’m facing, very aware of my situation. I was only placed here yesterday when a door was closed to something that I had felt would be God’s answer…and it wasn’t, so now I wait to see how He will provide, in the place of “in-between”. Instead of being anxious, I’m excited now!!! If God can time my reading here so specifically, I KNOW He will provide, and “in-the-meantime” of the “in-between-time”, I’m anticipating His guiding, leading, teaching and reminding!!! (LOVED THAT!)

    THANK YOU LORD for this “sacred echo” to my heart today!!!
    Blessings,
    Joy

    • Yes.Yes.Yes. Joy, thank you for sharing. So thrilled God is speaking so clearly even in this season of in-between. Sending a huge hug your way.

      • Well, I just had to return!! Guess what? The LORD provided TODAY! I so often think He watches to see our reaction when a door is closed or plans change. Do I immediately offer praise? Do I continue to trust? Do I believe He will provide in His time? Although the door closed on a previous planning process of 4 months, I thanked the Lord yesterday and accepted the decision although I didn’t/don’t understand. However, He has already provided another answer and I’m so excited. I just had to come back and share. I continued to look with anticipation, but quite honestly thought it would be more of a wait. Totally overwhelmed by His quick response this time. WOW!

  2. Exactly!!! So well said. Thanks. God is still on the throne, and He cares about every detail of our lives. Thanks for the reminder to live day-by-day

  3. I have a prayer answered to share! Back in the early 1990s we took in a boy from a foreign country. He lived with us for one year. When I first heard about him I wanted to have him come and live with us. It was a dream come true for me because I always wanted to go on foreign mission field. After much prayer and talking with my sons and my husband they agreed us to have him here with us. The young man excepted Jesus into his heart with us! He went back to his country and his mother wrote me a letter saying that she sent me one boy I sent her back a different boy! A happy boy! A changed boy! She asked me if she could send me another boy! He came and asked Jesus into his heart! Then she sent me a daughter! She came and asked Jesus into her heart! I felt so blessed that God had allowed the foreign mission field to come to me!
    Many years later the daughter that came has corresponded with me many times, has gotten married but has been unable to have a child. I have prayed for her for many years that God would bless her with the child.
    Just recently she has been given a child through an adoption agency in her country! Part of her being able to get that child she has to set up a pastor in a church close to the orphanage. This orphanage is about an hour and a half plane ride from her town. She called the church that she and her husband have been attending in her town and found the name of the pastor of the same denomination close to the orphanage.
    In the mid-1990s the mother of the boy that we first took in was on a board at her church. The pastor was talking about a young man who needed to have a home he was very poor but he wanted to study to be a pastor. The Mother thought to herself my friend in America took in my boy I will take in this boy! This man is the pastor who is going to bless the child and get the child to my friend!!!
    Isn’t God amazing? I stand wonder struck! I hear the sacred echo of our Heavenly Father!!!

    • Wow! What an amazing testimony, Christie. Thank you for your faithfulness and for serving those kids so well.

  4. debbiesneddon June 18, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    It’s another “sacred echo” from Poppa God through you Margaret. I have been shown this type of answer for three days, reminding me that He hasn’t forgotten me or what I am waiting for. Psalm 38:9 You know what I long for, Lord; you hear my every sigh. Just another reminder that He hears & answers. I keep hearing September. If not I will wait some more because if I get what I want I don’t want to forget Who arranged it for me & take Him for granted, I would rather not have it if that were to happen. God bless and thank you.

  5. Margaret,
    I felt like you were speaking right to me today! Thank you for sharing your insight on prayer and encouraging me. It’s so hard to be still and wait on God, but this reminder was just what I needed. I’ve been an admirer of your writing (love “Wonderstruck”) for a long time! :)

  6. I am “waiting” for my next project and its hard. Since I am doing this Sacred Echo study I have my radar up. Every time I see or hear something I think might be my next adventure i am waiting for the echo to confirm it. Sadly I am still waiting BUT this time has left me extra time to pray and study

    • Sometimes in those seasons of waiting God does some amazing things in and through our lives. May that be the case in the season you are in right now, Kim. Big hug.

  7. Printing and keeping, as an encouragement from God, in this in between.

  8. Margaret, your waiting story about a place to live . And what’s next is exactly what I went through. About a year ago, I finally heard God I mean
    I had spoken so much, it was at that
    Point, I said Ok, I’ll do it your way, his voice was gentle,
    it was an echo I’ll never forget.
    It took me 9 months in a very nice apartment, that family helped me
    Get, but I had to first ask God, “What
    do you want me to do?”listen & trust.. Second speak each so hard.
    I have always waited but if we don’t speak & listen it’s pretty silent, until
    Echos began to be repeated – then
    I realized how important that is.
    I’m overwhelmed at a symbol of a loan oak tree it kept popping up,
    Then I noticed an Acacia Tree right out side my patio, it’s rare I ever see one, then I realized as a little girl we had several Acacia Trees that lined our circle drive way – and I remembered my mother how she loved Joice Kilmer’s poem Trees..
    I couldn’t imagine, he was saying I’m rooted in His Word. That was a few days ago. And since I started this Bible study each day has bright a future – 180 degree turnaround I stopped waiting and began listening.
    I’m pretty thick headed!! So it took
    A lot to get my attention..
    Mae
    listening.

    In Him.

    • I think we all have some thick headed moments, Mae. Grateful to a God who continues to echo his love for us over and over again.

      • Amen to that!! I have learned gratitude the hard way, because my , humaness, (if that’s a word) got in the way. I have learned
        relationships are hard. I have learned anther issue: “Money Changers” is another Echo transforming me to protect what God has allowed me to have
        Though not rich, it matters, it is his afterall. iv learned to listen to the negative words I tell mrself.
        Commitment is key, iv learned I am a princess of the most high king. I leaned to lean in as you suggested a couple weeks ago!
        Thank you!
        Mae

        • Love hearing your updates each week, Mae. What a testimony to what God wants to do in each of our lives!

  9. First I want to thank you, Margaret, for hosting this study! Prayer is a topic I’ve been wanting to study and grow in.

    Waiting. The chapter on waiting as part of prayer has reminded me that in all things God knows what he is doing and there is a purpose in our times of waiting. I wait for several prayers to be answered – small and large. I feel God gently nudging me and saying he has things for me to do while waiting. Come to him, be with him. Seek fulfillment in him alone and then he will be able to add more. Cease striving so hard. Seek him first so that when he adds, it will have even greater beauty.

    One area of prayer and waiting for me is the women’s ministry at my church. It has fizzled. No Bible studies or small groups. I had been so hopeful when the church started some new study groups a couple years ago. Now, nothing. I had been asked to help out as a co-leader in the beginning, 2 years ago, but last year was not even talked to about joining. I had to call to find out about the few fall studies and by spring, nothing was offered.

    So now I am waiting to see what God has for me to do, to study, for fellowship. For now, I have found that my time with God is the sweetest fellowship as he whispers love into my soul. And I wait for what is next. Not so worried as before since coming to terms with times of waiting.

    • Julie, praying for you and your church during this season of waiting. May you continue to lean in to God’s echoes as you wait. Big hug to you.

  10. I have been in the “waiting” for one of my children for a few years now! It’s hard, so hard, but it has brought my husband and I closer AND it has deepened my relationship with God! Waiting patiently is not easy, and we may never see the good that comes from it in any visible form, but He is always gracious, always kind and always merciful.

    • “He is always gracious, always kind and always merciful.” –You can say that again! Grateful for your words, Sonya.

  11. Dear Margaret,
    What a wonderful time 14 Lubbock women had this morning sharing our thoughts and practices on the mysterious nature of prayer. We listened to your first talk.
    In response to your question….
    Sharing my heart/life/ struggles/ blessings with God and then pondering “what am I called to do right here, right now?” until it becomes clear what the answer to my prayer is.
    So for me the three component more often are: speaking, being, and then listening. For me the hardest part is the speaking

    • I love the way you worded that, Sharie. The “Being” part of prayer is so tricky. Just to be still and know that He is God. Great reminder for this Friday morning!

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