Encouragement for Today
“A Surprising Answer”
Susanne Scheppmann, Co-Editor of Online Devotions, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member
Isaiah 55:8-9, “’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’” (NIV)
“I hate you!” she said as the door slammed behind her. I recalled, with a sigh, the ten long years that I had been praying for the Lord to bring my stepdaughter, Erin, a Christian friend. Since she was living in another state, we held little sway of influence as Christian parents. My husband and I longed to raise her in our Christian home.
Now however, she was sixteen and attending high school. I doubted we would ever have the opportunity for her to live with us. So what could I do? I prayed for a Christian friend to move into
I prayed. I wrote in my prayer journal of the desires and concerns regarding
Then on a dreary December night, we received a call from
The night she yelled, “I hate you!” I curled up in bed, discouraged and exhausted. Again, the question surfaced, “Lord, do you hear me at all?” I picked up my prayer journal from the nightstand, thumbed through the pages of the past year. The written record of my prayers pleaded, “Lord, bring her a Christian friend!” Suddenly, I saw the answer to my prayer. God could use me to be the friend who would point her to God.
From that moment on, I worked diligently to win her confidence and trust.
Was it easy? No. Does
However, God affirms this verse in my life time and again, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV).” He surprises and challenges me with His answers.
What surprise answers lay within your prayers?
My Prayer for Today:
Lord, remind me how You always hear my prayers. Open my eyes to the answers You give in response to my requests. Help me to understand when You answer my prayers in completely different ways than what I may expect. Let me accept that Your thoughts and ways are higher than mine. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
If you record your prayers in a journal, take 15 minutes to review past prayer requests. Ask yourself, Has God answered any of these prayers, and have I overlooked His obvious answer?
Or begin today to record your prayer requests in a notebook. Jot down the date and the request. Leave room for notes on how God answers your prayers in the future.
Do I believe God hears my prayers?
Do I dictate to God how He should answer my prayers?
How has God surprised me with an answer different than the one I expected?
Do I acknowledge that His ways are “higher than my ways” when I pray?
Psalm 91:15, “He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.” (NIV)
Isaiah 58:9a, “Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.”(NIV)
Psalm 34:17, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” (NIV)
Psalm 55:17, “Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.” (NIV)
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