ingredients

The Recipe for Answered Prayer

If you’re reading this, then you might have some questions or challenges about some prayers you’ve made that are unanswered or unresolved – so we’re in this together 🙂

To this end, I was recently asking God to change someone & make them more flexible.  This could translate to mean that I want that person to be more compliant to my preferences and it could mean that God might want to work on some control issues in my heart, which is certainly food for thought 🙂

As we think about the prayers we make to God, it’s interesting to think about how God answers prayers.  I say this because of recently reading two exchanges between David and God in 2Samuel 5, when David asks God about attacking the Philistines.  In the first exchange, God tells David to attack in response to his first enquiry.  David obeys God’s direction and successfully defeats the Philistines.

On the heels of being defeated, the Philistines attack a second time.  And David asks God again about confronting the Philistines.  In response to David’s second enquiry, God tells David to circle behind the Philistines, wait for the sound of marching in the tree tops and then attack.  David obeys God’s instructions and defeats the Philistines the second time.  From my point of view, these are very explicit instruction & a stark contrast from the first battle.

So here are some ingredients for the recipe to Answered Prayer:

  1. AFDI:  Ask For Divine Input rather than depending on your own brilliance or willpower
  2. Unlimited obedience, served up with daily consistency
  3. Trusting God more than a method:  yeast goes with flour like trust goes with God;  God seems to work uniquely in each situation, so trusting in a method isn’t as helpful as trusting in God 🙂
  4. DBS:  Don’t Be Surprised when you have to repeat something, but with a different method

In addition to these ingredients, it’s also important to consider how these ingredients go together, some possible marinading time and what happens when heat is applied over a length of time.  To this end, when I asked God about changing someone and making them more flexible, like I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, I received an interesting reply.

I felt God say to me, “Sarah, maybe the answer to your prayer is a combination of that person becoming more flexible and you being less controlling.”

I had to sit with that feedback and let that marinade for a little while.  And truth be told, I’m still ruminating on what God said to me.  Maybe I’m a little similar to meat marinating in a sauce.  Maybe it takes God a little time to break down the fibers of my resistance and self-deception so that God’s truth and loving flavor can influence my thoughts, attitudes, words, decisions and action.  Ultimately, this is what I want.  This is the ultimate answer to my prayers, even in the heat and fire of daily living.

In our quest to get our prayers answered, let’s be committed to allowing God to change us and help us grow.  Maybe the tasty outcome of God’s culinary efforts in our lives is the expression of genuine love, as we are wholly dependant on God’s presence yeasting into our core identity 🙂

Selah 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, cooking, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, uncertainty, values, watch, 0 comments

Short Supply

“Can I borrow some milk?” My former neighbor & I used to always borrow ingredients for cooking. Both of us were always busy, so it was abundantly helpful that we could text each other & have one of our kids run over whatever was missing (eggs, flour, sugar, milk, cumin, celery salt, etc). And we would often talk about how we had run out of patience, or run out of time, so it was very nice to have a friend who could sympathize with the “short supply” challenge.

Sadly, she moved a few years ago and my cooking has never been the same 🙂

And I’m super grateful that Jesus is never in short supply of everything I need! Indeed, Jesus has an oversupply of patience, grace, wisdom, time, energy, faith, genuine love, help, strength, . . . . To be sure, Jesus is the ultimate Provision for everything we need for all of this week and beyond!

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Posted by Sarah in busy, cooking, enemies to intimacy, family, fasting, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, travel, uncertainty, values, watch, 0 comments

The onion solution

The other day I was making a casserole & needed an opinion, but alas, we had run out of onions & my neighbor didn’t have any at the time. So, like all creative minds, I tried to get innovative in my onion replacement efforts 🙂
The end of this story is that my casserole turned out pretty well, even if I didn’t have the perfect onion solution. With that being said, there are some ingredients in cooking & especially in life for which there is no substitute, like Jesus 🙂
No matter how you configure life & regardless of the various ingredients in your life, there’s no substitute for Jesus. He simply cannot be replaced.

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Posted by sarahbowling in cooking, enemies to intimacy, family, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, 0 comments

important friendship ingredients

 Maybe I’m a social anomaly, but from time to time, I have some struggles with friendships – thankfully, the older I get the less frequent these struggles seem to be, I think.  Nevertheless, it seems to me that there are a few essential ingredients for healthy friendships (as with all things, the best source for the pure, organic & untainted source for these ingredients comes from cultivating a rich, deep & surrendered relationship with the Triune God):

  • extract of high quality forgiveness
  • a robust stick of faithfulness – substituting frequency with faithfulness doesn’t work 🙂
  • several “ouches” of humility – ounces are too small ,)
  • a generous helping of humor – mostly with ourselves
  • a pound of patience is certainly very helpful 🙂
  • an infinite supply of genuine love – only available from our Heavenly Father, don’t substitute generic love as it will ruin the recipe

I’m sure I’ve missed some key ingredients, so I’d LOVE to get your input & of course, please feel free to add some spices, flavoring for sweet or savory ,)

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, 0 comments