Lessons in Prayer and the WIP Wednesday Link-Up

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I like it when God answers prayers in big, radical ways. 

Like when an envelope filled with a large amount of cash appears in the mailbox of a couple preparing to adopt internationally.

Like when after years of trying to have a child, God unites parents and son in a way only he can orchestrate.

Or when there is not a dime in the budget for a blogging conference, and suddenly I win a free ticket.

I like it when God answers prayers in big, radical ways because the events are so obviously His doing that I don’t have room to second guess or take the glory for myself.

But God doesn’t always answer prayer in big, radical ways.

When I won the ticket to Allume, I saw it as evidence that God wanted me at that conference, but the financial situation was unchanged. We did not have a dime in the budget to cover travel, food, and/or lodging to make the trip a reality. I was trusting God to provide, and I was expecting another big, radical move.

I applied for a sponsorship thinking maybe this was the way, but I wasn’t selected.

I sent out pitch e-mails to several companies offering sponsorship opportunities but nothing materialized.

I waited for money to fall out of the sky on top of me. Yeah, that didn’t happen either.

Even though nothing seemed to be happening, I continued to act in faith that God would provide–I booked plane tickets. I committed to a room with 3 other ladies.

Little did I know that behind the scenes God was slowly but surely supplying the money.

Around the same time that I won the ticket, my husband and I made a decision for me to stop accepting new clients at my job and begin to cut back my hours. The end goal being to stop working completely and be at home full time. As a counselor, I am 100% committed to seeing my clients through until they are finished with therapy, so I continued to see and am still seeing several clients. At the time we committed to Allume, we did not know how long I would continue to see clients, but through that job, God has provided exactly what I need to attend the conference.

Do you know what my temptation is in this situation? I’m tempted to say that I paved the way to Allume myself after God provided the ticket. I did the work. I earned the money. But I know that is a lie–the sin of pride and greed rearing it’s ugly head.

At the very heart of this blog is the belief that everything I AM, everything I DO, and everything I OWN belongs to the Lord. <–Click to Tweet!

I was able to work a job because God provided the office, clients, education and skills necessary for me to do so. The money I earned there was His to begin with and remains His as I seek to be a good steward of it.

I’m also tempted in the opposite direction–to think that since God didn’t provide in a big, radical way, that maybe I was wrong. Maybe I should stay home. That is a lie as well.

God’s method was not big and radical, but it is still His provision for this situation–with lessons in the getting.

I’m learning to pray big prayers–prayers that only God can answer. I’m also learning to recognize that His answers come in many different ways–both big and radical and small and subtle. To Him be the glory for every bit of it. 

How has God answered prayers in your life? Take time today to stop and recognize the small ways that God has answered your prayers. I’d love to hear!

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  Work In Progress WednesdayIt’s time for the WIP (Work in Progress) Wednesday Link-Up! 

What is God doing in your life? Link up a post below or let’s chat in the comments! Please make sure you link back to newlifesteward.com! This helps promote the community and allows everyone’s posts to be shared. If you aren’t sure how to do that, e-mail me! I’ll be glad to help!

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Photo Credit: Jack Batchelor

Comments

  1. Such a wonderful reminder, Mary Beth!

  2. Whoohooo Glory to God for answered prayers. Sometimes He might not answer them in the way I want or when I want but then again it’s not about me, it’s about Him.

  3. Mary Beth: Love how honest you are here about the process of your prayers. I had a similar experience stepping back from my position as social worker at a foster agency over a period of time. When it was time to step fully away, I knew, but financially it definitely has not been a breeze. Still trusting.
    Praying for a rich and full weekend for you as you continue to glorify Him! blessings, lauren

  4. soulstops says:

    Thanks, Mary Beth, for giving God the glory, as He can’t be boxed in, and He answers us in different ways…praying you continue to sense His provision at Allume…blessings to you :)

  5. Laurie Collett says:

    Praise God that without Him we can do nothing, but with HIm, all things are possible! Thanks for the great post & for hosting, & God bless!
    Laurie

    http://savedbygracebiblestudy.blogspot.com/

  6. I always think it’s so tempting to forget that we’ve prayed, and just assume that it would have turned out okay anyway, or to take the credit ourselves. I love that you gave e glory to God.

    I’ve also been thinking about prayer this week! High five!

  7. messymarriage says:

    Yeah, I’m always surprised by how God answers my prayers for provision (well, for anything really) and I learn many lessons from how He does it each time. It sounds like you’re learning some great ones as well, my friend. As far as how God is answering prayers in my life, He’s been working in big ways lately–at least “BIG” to me. :) It’s always exciting when He does that, but I want to also be thankful and aware of the small ways He answers. I think those are just as important to learning about His faithfulness. Great post, Mary Beth!

  8. Gertrude Nonterah says:

    “I like it when God answers prayers in big, radical ways because the events are so obviously His doing that I don’t have room to second guess or take the glory for myself.”

    That is just too powerful ! I love that you mention that even though nothing was certain as to whether you would actually make it to the conference, you still took those steps of faith and surely God answers to our faith (Hebrews 11:6). Thanks for sharing. I really needed this today. God richly bless you.

  9. ThandiweW says:

    Mary Beth, AMEN! Have a richly blessed time at Allume, it’s something I look forward to-I love your testimony about God bringing it together. His plans are better, and when He wants us to testify about His Goodness, He moves in a way that is so clearly Divine that there can be no doubt.
    Enjoy the conference, and thanks as always for hosting.
    Peace and good,
    Chelle

  10. Amen! Loved this, Mary Beth… Everything that is good within me came from Him…no exceptions.

    Oh how He loves us…so much so that He takes care of little itty bitty details like providing for Allume…YES!

    I’m not linking up this week as I’m so far behind…but I so enjoyed reading yours. thank you for sharing!

  11. Smitty and Patsy Burks says:

    This is “the Mom” hacking if you will. Please take care of my lovely daughter and send her safely back to her family. Even though she is married with a child of her own its just like putting her on that plane to Thailand her freshman year in college and I know that was God’s plan also.

  12. Christina says:

    So true! When things work out the way I want, I take the credit. Thanks for sharing this testimony of how He provided for you! Have fun at Allume:)

  13. I hear you! How often I smugly think that everything is working for my plan ……and realize that He had it handled all along. I needed to hear this truth today! See you tomorrow!!

  14. Love the truth of this post, Mary Beth. How easily (and often) do I take credit for how God arranges all things for His purposes?! Thank you for reminding me to look to the One who sets all things in motion. See you tomorrow!! (Yippee!)

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