Before bed last night, we did our family devotional time. The topic was prayer, but more specifically when did you pray last, where is God when you pray, does God hear our prayers, and does He answer prayer. Our children range in age from 12 to 5 and their answers can have a wide range too!
The "when" question was first. Our youngest son said it was dinner. Each one agreed that was the last time they prayed. Though I wish that wasn't true for me too, it was. Had there been other moments I could have prayed or should have prayed? Yep and those times came flooding to my mind. I could have thanked God for the wrestling matches the kids had with Matt... for neighbors that fed my oldest two... for the warm showers for my sons... for the snack as a family. I could have asked God for patience with my husband and kids as they got rowdier than I like... for protection for the hearts of my girls next door... for the itchy bumps that are so hard to see on my sons back... for the medicine to help... for warmth for our animals through the night. I could have and I should have. Toes stepped on.
Next was the "where" question. I got an immediate answer from my oldest of "everywhere" followed by the second oldest quoting lessons in the past that "God is omnipresent." Then, our oldest son said "In here!" pointing to his heart. How can you argue with either answer! I couldn't. These are the facts. The devotional book quoted Psalm 145:18 where it talks about God being near to those that call on Him. He. is. near. You may not feel like He is... I know sometimes He feels so distant... but He says in His word that "the LORD is close to all who call on him" and I trust His word.
"Of course God listens!" was the answer from our youngest girl. No doubt in her mind! Answering this question answered the final one too because that is how the know God listened to them. He doesn't just listen... HE ANSWERS. We recalled how God had listened to our prayers about Margaret, Joel, and Kenneth being home soon and answered that request by making a way for them to go back to their village. We remembered how He had brought Isaac and John Terry to us and through all the trials to get them in to our home and lives forever after being stuck in process in Uganda. Isaac also recalled a time he prayed.
"We had no food. I prayed. I was hungry and John Terry was hungry too."
I asked him if God provided.
"Yes. He said to go get the jack fruit and eat."
The conversation continued as he shared how God told him where to go. We shared with him how God brought them to us. We talked about praying for them before we met them and how the bios were sad when we left for Uganda, but excited too. They shared about being woken up to go to the guest house and about being excited, but then scared when we arrived. Our children, the bios and the ones God placed with us through adoption, each have individual stories of how God heard them and answered them over and over again. Their stories and our family's story too is proof that...
Praying without ceasing should be the goal because God is near and God listens and God answers.
A few photos of the kiddos building a "house" together!