Someone answered my prayer this week.

I mean, obviously God answered my prayers – but he used a person to do it.

My secret heart’s cry to my heavenly Father was heard and he offered another the chance to be part of the solution. She felt that nudge of the Spirit and responded by kindness and generosity, not only in the gesture but in the words accompanying it, reminding us that we are not forgotten, that God is still with us, for us, blessing us.

I was, am, so very grateful.

And also challenged.

You see a couple of weeks ago a different friend had been on my heart, someone for whom life has brought some significant challenges over the last while. I prayed for her and thought of a practical way in which I could offer some help, using the free time I had that coming weekend. I told myself I’d be in touch during the week to see how she was and reach out to her, but the days passed and I decided to paint the hallway that weekend and before I knew it the free time was gone along with my good intentions. I felt pretty sure that I hadn’t just missed an opportunity to be kind but something much more significant.

You see, as my own prayer had been answered, the friend that did so reminded me that sometimes, perhaps even often, God uses us his people to be the means by which he responds to meet our needs. Which leads me to ask, how many times have I been the answer to someone else’s prayer – and how many times have I missed it? It’s no good to pray, as I often like to do, ‘Lord help me to keep listening for your voice today, for the whispers of your Spirit’ if I’m not going to do what he asks. Am I really prepared to pray that and mean it? Because that will mean some action and probably some significant sacrifice on my part.

But what an extraordinary privilege.

That the maker of heaven and earth, having listened to the longings and desires of one of his precious children, would ask me to respond on his behalf. Why would I ever say I’m too busy for that? Sorry it’s really not convenient just now. I have a hallway to paint! Imagine.

Oh Lord let me never be too busy for your purposes. Let me begin each day putting all that I am and all that I have at your disposal. Give me ears to hear, hands that are willing to be open and feet that are ready to move. And as I see a person or circumstance laid upon my heart, as well as lifting them to you in prayer, help me to ask if I might be part of the answer.

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