I was sitting in my living room early in the morning and I heard flapping in my chimney. I knew a bird was caught and I prayed it would somehow get out. When I was praying I listened as the Holy Spirit told me to put some bread in the fireplace so the bird would come down and be free.
My actions showed that I was in doubt because I went off to work, automatically leaving the door open so Snowy our cat could get into the living room. When I got home, sure enough God had answered my prayer and the pigeon was sitting on the mantel. It was bedraggled and shivering as Snowy prowled around below it. I picked Snowy up and put him in the bedroom. Then I gently clutched the frightened bird and took him outside where he flew away to freedom.
The next day I was at a garage sale and found a plaque of the same type of bird God saved for me. I hung it up on my bedroom wall to remind me that God always answers my prayers.
There’s a story in Acts 12 similar to mine, where people were praying but still doubting at the same time. Their actions showed they didn’t expect God to really answer their prayers. This is the story:
Peter got thrown into prison and Christians gathered at Mary’s house to pray. The Bible doesn’t tell us what they were praying about but we can pretty much assume they were praying for Peter’s release. God answered their prayer miraculously by sending an angel to lead him out.
Peter showed up at Mary’s house where they were praying and Rhoda answered the door. She saw him and was so excited she ran in to tell the others and forgot to let Peter in. She told them Peter was there in the flesh but they said she was crazy and decided it must be an angel. They believed in angels, but they failed to really believe God was answering their prayer for Peter to get out of prison.
Peter kept pounding on the door and finally they came to the door. They were astonished and must have all been talking at once because Peter had to quiet them down to tell the story of his escape (Acts 12:1-17).
Even though I prayed, I didn’t really believe God would save the pigeon and these people didn’t really believe God would save Peter. My experience with the pigeon was a turning point for me. It showed me that God ALWAYS answers my prayers. He doesn’t always do it in the manner I expect or even in the time frame I would like, but He does always answer.
We can trust that He will do it every time. Jesus always tells the truth: “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24). Notice He said “when” you pray. So at the very time of praying we need to tell ourselves that we believe God’s going to answer.
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