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Prayer, the Answered Side (or, Kermit, the No Show)
When I awoke this past Sunday morning, the ravages of a head and chest cold had descended upon me. What little voice I had was raspy, and the prospect of preaching and singing seemed out of reach for the day. Then it occurred to me that in the next 3 days, I was scheduled to preach and lead music in 8 services. "No way," I thought to myself. "It's just not going to be possible."
My next thought was one of great disappointment. Several times during the year, a week's worth of meetings will bunch together over a few days. There's always a sense of being both daunted and thrilled when this happens, along with the sheer joy of being able to share the Lord Jesus Christ with so many different groups of people. Without a voice, however, or with one more like Kermit the frog than my own, it didn't seem that singing and preaching in so many services would be possible.
"With God, all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26).
As I pondered the situation, the realization hit me that I could ask the Lord for the grace and enabling to fulfill my responsibilities. Now I know this seems obvious to you, but I usually take some time to find my way through the fog into God's bright sunlight. "If the Lord wants me to do these meetings," I thought to myself, "well, He'll make a way and do something about Kermit!" So I simply asked Him to clear my chest and voice, or to do whatever He deemed necessary to make preaching and singing possible.
I write this on the other side of the meetings, and on the other side of prayer. The answered side. As I look back on the last few days, the realization hits me that Kermit did not show up for any of the services. He was certainly with me at other times, and even now, I'm glad for a few days to rest my voice. Most importantly, I know that I know that I know God provided grace - and a voice - as I needed it. Things went so well that during the services I didn't even think about being sick and hoarse. I just spoke and sang as usual - and then afterwards wondered how it had happened.
Of course, I knew, and you know. In simple terms, God answers prayer. Certainly we all know and believe this, but I'm also aware that we all have to be reminded often to "let your requests be made known unto God" (Philippians 4:6). So this is written as a grateful remembrance and encouragement from our Lord to my heart and yours - Let us pray! (a note of appreciation also to Kermit for going wherever he went during the services! :) ).
"Men ought always to pray."