Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Prayer and a Piano


Sing to the Lord, for He has done glorious things; let this be known throughout the world.
Isaiah 12:5

For the mighty One has done great things for me -- holy is His name.
Luke 1:49


In an effort to help calm my tendency to worry, my mom taught me to pray when I was a little girl.  She encouraged me that I would find comfort in God through prayer.  At that point in my life I hadn't surrendered my life to Christ yet, but when I would recite the rote prayers I was taught, I was filled with a sense of closeness to God that brought me peace.  I never prayed specific prayers for specific things.  Instead, prayer for me was a source of comfort.

Once I was born again, my prayer life changed.  Through the prayers of the Saints in the Word of God, and hearing believers praying out loud, I learned how to pray - in confession and repentance;  in humility; for God's will; for wisdom; in boldness; without ceasing...

Many of the Lord's responses have been above and beyond what I could have hoped or imagined; others were answered exactly how I had requested.  I've also had prayers that were answered not in a way "I would have chosen" because some suffering came with the journey to the answer, but in hindsight, I could see the way God answered it was perfect, bringing Him Glory and bringing ultimate good for the situation prayed for.  There have also been answers of "no" to my prayers.  Some , that later would become obvious that the best answer was "no".  Still others I may never know this side of Heaven why the answer was "no", but I trust my Heavenly Father's Sovereignty.

Since becoming a believer, there have been three "noteworthy" answers to prayer that I have received which greatly strengthened and shaped my faith in the Lord.  

The first matter for prayer happened when I was a brand new believer.  My husband had been out of work for nine months.  We were facing the final unemployment check as my husband's allotted amount had run out.  With no other income on the horizon, already scaling back our groceries, eating pasta and pancakes just to preserve money, we went to our penny jars and started counting pennies.  We came up with $50.00. We had exhausted all our savings... Bills were mounting...  The end of the rope had come...   Things were about to become desperate...

 I remember going on my exercise bike, pedaling so fast and praying fervently and boldly, pleading our situation to the Lord, asking Him to show Himself to me in a mighty way.

The very next day three answers came.  
  1. We found out that the Government issued another extension for those collecting unemployment.
  2. Our church presented us with a $200 check to buy groceries
  3. My husband was contacted for a job interview and was ultimately hired.
"Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy 
and find grace to help in time of need."  
Hebrews 4:16

The next matter for prayer happened a few years into my Christian walk.  It was quite a serious one.  I had discovered a lump in my neck that turned out to be a very large thyroid nodule.  I needed a biopsy.  Unfortunately, the doctor was not able to get enough tissue from the nodule to do an adequate biopsy.  However, the removal of fluid shrunk it down quite a bit.  The doctor remained hopeful.  Within two weeks, the nodule came back and this time it was even bigger!  Another biopsy was necessary.  In the week before my biopsy, my prayer request was that the specimen gathered would be sufficient enough to test AND most especially, that it would not be thyroid cancer.  My entire church was praying for me, and I was on several church's prayer chains.  I had the biopsy, and the doctor was convinced that again he didn't obtain enough of a specimen to do an adequate biopsy.  Because the nodule was so big, he prepared me that if the biopsy was not sufficient, the next course of action would be a thyroidectomy.  And the church continued to pray...

The answer came one week later...

Not only did the doctor have an adequate specimen to biopsy, it was not cancer!  I did not need to have surgery!  Even the doctor said he was quite amazed that the biopsy was successful.  I was able to testify to my non-Christian doctor about the great and wonderful answer to prayer. 

Is anyone among you sick, let him call the elders of the church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.  
And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick...  
James 5:14-15

Again, I say to you, if two of you agree about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.  
Matthew 18: 19-20

The third prayer was actually a result of reading a biography about George Muller.  Let me explain...

George Muller is best known for providing Christian education to children who were under his care.  He established 117 schools which educated over 120,000 children, many of whom were orphans.  George Muller's biography details how he raised the money for these schools solely through prayer.  What struck me the most, was that George Mueller did not share his need to anyone.  The matter for prayer was just between him and God.   Over the years, George Muller's private prayers yielded large amounts of money to build the orphanages.  He also received unsolicited provisions for food and other necessities, always at just the right time.  George Muller's faith was greatly strengthened through seeking the Lord in prayer and expectantly waiting for answers.

I wanted to experience God in my prayer life the way that George Muller did...

At the time, my daughter had recently started taking piano lessons.  We discovered that she was quite gifted at playing the piano.  In order for her to be able to diligently practice, it would have been advantageous to have a piano.  We didn't have the money for such a luxury, and we really didn't have much space in our home for a piano.

Even though a piano was just a desire and certainly not a dire necessity, I set out to pray the way George Muller did, only sharing my request with the Lord, not with anyone else.  I was quite specific in my prayer for the piano, even down to the size, style and color I preferred.  And then I expectantly waited...

The answer came two weeks later...

A friend of mine called to ask if I knew anyone who needed a piano.  As the words sunk in, I felt all the air go out of my lungs as I breathlessly said, "We do!"

But wait, there is still more to this story!   As my friends were unloading the piano from their vehicle into our living room, I looked in awe to see that it was the EXACT size, style and color that I had specifically prayed for!!

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

But when you pray, go away by yourself and shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private.  Then your Father who sees everything will reward you.
Matthew 6:6


The Lord strengthened my faith through each of these very different prayers - a prayer spoken boldly, a prayer lifted up corporately, and a prayer uttered in secret.  Our Heavenly father hears our pleadings, listens when two or three are gathered in His name, and delights in private communion with us.

I hope this post brings to your remembrance the great and mighty things the Lord has done in your own life.  I'd love to hear how the Lord has ministered to you through answered prayer.

Remember the wondrous works He has done, His miracles...  

40 comments:

  1. Karen, so glad you visited me so I could read this beautiful post! Answers to prayers will carry you in the dark times...we look back and remember what God has done and are reminded He will do it again, we must wait and be patient. So beautiful! ♥

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  2. Karen, so glad you visited me so I could read this beautiful post! Answers to prayers will carry you in the dark times...we look back and remember what God has done and are reminded He will do it again, we must wait and be patient. So beautiful! ♥

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words.

      Indeed, it is so faith building to remember what the Lord has done for us.

      I'm so glad you stopped by!

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  3. What a beautiful story of God providing for your family, Karen! Thank you for sharing it :). (FYI, there's something glitchy about your web page. If I pause the music, I can't scroll down and the screen flashes :(. I use Safari on a Mac, so I don't know if my web browser has anything to do with it).

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. :-)

      I'm sorry to hear you are having issues with pausing the music. I have been able to pause the music and scroll down without a problem. It might be a Safari issue. When I get a chance I will google around and see if there is an incompatibility between safari and SCM player. Thanks for alerting me.

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  4. Hi Karen, I would have visited you earlier, sometimes life throws in unpredictability.
    I am glad you have answers to your prayers. I am very happy the doc. report was a good one.
    Thank you and be encouraged

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Ifeoma!

      Praising God for His unfailing kindness.

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  5. I love the bold answers to prayer! They give us faith to keep praying and believing. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Karen, I loved this. It touches me when the Lord grants the secret desires of my heart as He did for you. We were living in California during the summer Olympics that took place there. Watching the opening ceremony I thought, "Oh, I wish I could attend something like that." On the day of the closing ceremony a friend of a friend who was staying with us asked me if I'd like to go to the Olympic closing ceremony. The extra ticket became available when his friend had to go home early. I couldn't believe it. I hadn't even prayed. God just heard my heart. How great He is!

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    1. Debbie, thank you for your kind words!

      Thank you so much for sharing your story about the Olympic Closing Ceremony. That must have been amazing to attend and even more special to know that it pleased your Heavenly Father to bless you in such a wonderful way.

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  7. God is so good and powerful, showing Himself through our prayers. What examples you share here.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

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    1. Indeed He does.

      Thank you so much for visiting!

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  8. I love reading the story of how God has answered prayer in your life! Isn't He so very gracious to us!

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    1. Our God certainly is so full of grace and mercy toward His children. :-)

      Thank you for your encouraging words!

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  9. Your stories made me cry! God is so faithful! We can't forget. I love the music on your page!

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    1. Awe. It blesses me that you were encouraged by answered prayer in my life.

      I'm glad you love the music! :-)

      Thanks for visiting!

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  10. Karen, it's so lovely to "meet you" through Thought-Provoking Thursday today! :) -- I have a piano at home with pictures on it that looks very similar to yours. I loved your post, and will be sharing it with my prayer group. Prayer changes things! :)

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement.

      Indeed! Prayer does change things!

      Thanks for visiting! :-)

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  11. There are so many things I love about your post: being taught as a child to pray, how God walked you through your husband's unemployment days, George Mueller and Come Thou Fount. Oh, and I LOVE prayer, too. So glad I stopped by today- I am your neighbor at Blessing Counters' linkup.

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    1. Gina, thank you for your kind and encouraging words.

      Thank you so much for visiting!

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  12. Such great examples of different kinds of prayer! "The Lord strengthened my faith through each of these very different prayers - a prayer spoken boldly, a prayer lifted up corporately, and a prayer uttered in secret." Awesome, just awesome! Pinning this! Blessings from "Espressos of Faith" via #BlessingCounters!

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    1. I am blessed that you were encouraged.

      And thank you for your encouraging words! :-)

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  13. Beautiful testimony of the power of prayer. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Praising God for His answers. :-)

      Enjoy your weekend as well!

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  14. Ah, Karen! I think this is my favorite post of yours so far! I just love hearing the amazing ways God has worked in lives of others-- and these three examples are just wonderful. I so appreciate you sharing them-- super encouraged my heart today :-)

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    1. Sharita, you are always so encouraging with your very kind words. :-)

      Praising God that your heart was encouraged and that the Lord was glorified.

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  15. Thank you so much Karen for sharing the wonderful things that God has done in your life. We prayed and prayed for a farm without debt, and God blessed us with it, what a wonderful testimony to our children and our family. Thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your prayer story! I am going to share it with a friend of mine who has been praying for years to establish a ministry in the Midwest, a respite for those in ministry to go to. I know she will be greatly encouraged. :-)

      Thanks for visiting!

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  16. This post truly speaks to my heart. My husband and I have been earnestly praying for what seems to be an impossible need, yet we have faith that with God all things are possible, as your post so beautifully demonstrates. Praise God for answered prayer! Linked up with you at Give Me Grace -- hope you'll stop by Saved by Grace for a visit!
    God bless,
    Laurie
    http://savedbygracebiblestudy.blogspot.com/

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    1. Laurie, thank you so much for sharing your heart. I lifted you and your husband up to the Lord knowing that He knows your situation. Praying that you will see God working in this need very soon.

      Praising God for His encouragement to you through this post. :-)

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    2. Thank you so much! God bless you!

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  18. What blessings you've been given! As a professional pianist I know the power of a piano. :) Some of my favorite ways to play are to accompany the hymn-singing in my church either on the piano or organ and then also to put together medleys for solos. I hope the Lord continues to bless you!

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    1. Thank you for sharing your story!

      I have such admiration for those who can play an instrument, especially the piano. How special that you can use your gift to play hymns and serve at your church.

      So glad you visited!

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  19. What an encouraging post! I've read a lot about George Muller and have prayed similarly to what you're describing. God's answers amaze me! Thank you for sharing with us at Grace & Truth!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. :-)

      Indeed His answers are amazing!

      I so much appreciate the fellowship at Grace & Truth.

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  20. Hi Karen - I traveled over to your blog after you left such a sweet comment on mine, and how thrilled I am to read of how the Lord has answered three specific prayers in such remarkable ways! Isn't He wonderful! He knows the hairs on our head, sees the sparrow that falls, and knows our every hope and desire. What better FRIEND could we have than Him. And thankfully, He says no to things that we ask for sometimes because He has a better plan. Each day I am learning to lean on Him, and trusting Him for everything. It makes all the difference. Enjoyed your post so much - what wonderful encouragement it is! Look forward to getting to know you better :)

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  21. I'm so glad you visited! :-)

    Thank you for sharing your praises for our Great God.

    That is so sweet! I am looking forward to getting to know you as well. :-)

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  22. This is a lovely story! I too, prayed for a piano and my prayers were answered above what I could imagine. Thank you for a reminder of the faithfulness of God. Just found you via Grace & Truth link up.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment.