Waiting in prayer

After church yesterday our day segued into a series of lines. Lowe’s. Barnes and Noble. Costco. (Were we crazy?) Bookstore #2. Feed store. Walmart.

Craig has learned to wait with patience by bringing a book with him. I typically fiddle with my phone. By the last stop, though, it was hard to face the Walmart mob.

I’m not great at waiting in prayer either, but I learned a valuable lesson this weekend from our oldest, Rebekah.

She and her husband Ozzie have six kids, ages 11 down to 4. The five oldest are taking violin lessons, and Rebekah has the kids’ violins mounted on racks in their hallway, from the smallest to the largest. As you can imagine, it’s quite an investment of time and money to keep kids in lessons (which they rotate from week to week), especially since the teacher is in Reno, about an hour from our rural, northern California town.

The oldest, Josiah, shooting up like a weed, began asking for the full-size violin. Rebekah wisely wanted to invest in a very good instrument, since it would be the one he might take well into adulthood. On a single income the instruments have been a sacrifice, too. So, several months ago she decided that rather than just pick up something inexpensive, she would pray that God would provide a beautiful violin–especially since Josiah has been demonstrating a natural gifting for playing (he and his sister Faith play with the Reno Phil Junior Orchestra).

My natural instinct would have been to just go online and order something and worry about the cost later. Perhaps that’s why she didn’t tell me. In fact, the first I heard of their need was when she told me her prayer had been answered last week.

One of the volunteers who works with her husband at a federal facility casually began asking Ozzie about his family, and they realized both she and Rebekah sang with the Reno Phil Chorus–they hadn’t made that connection before. Ozzie also shared that their children play the violin–and that they were now looking for a full-size violin.

She said, “I have a violin. I haven’t played it in 35 years and have been wanting to sell it.”

Ozzie was shocked when he learned the price. One hundred dollars.

The bigger shocker was when the children’s violin teacher said the German-made instrument was worth up to EIGHT hundred dollars and that the bow was worth at least that much, if not more. Plus the lady also gave them music worth several hundred dollars.

An answer to prayer of this magnitude should not be a surprise at all. When we wait for God to answer our prayers instead of rushing ahead and solving the problem, he provides with abundance.

When the disciples saw thousands of people to feed on the hillside, they could only see a man-sized problem with no man-sized solution.

Jesus frequently offered prayers of blessing, and that happened in this case, too. He took a boy’s “sack lunch” of fish and a couple loaves of bread and BLESSED that food–and there was not only enough . . . there were leftovers . . . more than enough.

By praying and waiting, my kids not only got their violin problem solved . . . they got one they could not have afforded. They got more than enough . . . PLUS the opportunity to testify to God’s goodness each and every time someone says, “Wow! That’s a beautiful violin you have there.” That was at least a year’s worth of Sunday school lessons for those kids right there in that one answered prayer.

Pray expectantly, wait . . . and see what the Lord will do. I expect he will show up bigtime.


Want to learn more about Jesus’ prayer life? The only comprehensive book about what Jesus taught about prayer, his prayers, and his prayer practices is ready for pre-order through Bethany House Publishers (release in June). This is a SUPER good deal today: just $8.99. https://www.christianbook.com/complete-prayers-jesus-prayed-change-today/janet-mchenry/9780764230745/pd/230745?product_redirect=1&Ntt=230745&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP


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