Praying to find a spouse, have a baby or salvation for a loved one doesn’t seem like they would be requests out of God’s purpose or will. Yet, when many years go by and requests go seemingly unanswered, it can certainly look like the answer really is a disappointing, “No.” Sometimes though, it takes decades for the things we pray to come to pass. If we cling to the God who knows best, we may just end up with amazing answers to old prayers.
It is easy to get discouraged when it looks like our prayer requests will never come to fruition. My friends Kat & Kathleen have been praying for their fathers’ salvation for years. We still wait and continue to pray that the gospel will penetrate the hardness of their hearts. But be encouraged by the glorious report of God answering to old prayers. Requests originally petitioned for over a decade ago by friends and family alike.
The Answered Prayers:
About nine months ago, one married woman got pregnant and one single woman received a mysterious email.
The Married Woman
A friend, Kelly, of my friend Brandy had always wanted to be a mom. At some point she and her husband realized that it wasn’t possible for them to have biological children of their own. They decided to become foster parents. Eventually they adopted two baby girls.
It has long been the prayer of many people that this couple would be able to have children. I prayed for them myself. I have always admired them for the path they took so they could be parents. But then, after ten years of marriage, the most amazing thing happened: the impossible became possible. They found out they were pregnant! In January, Kelly gave birth to a little girl who happily joined a house full of children, five adopted and foster siblings.
Brandy told me that “even though it seemed like it was physically impossible to get pregnant, Kelly never gave up hope. She got pregnant without fertility treatments and when her youngest foster baby was only 4 months old. When they were struggling most with infertility, their best friends gave them a plaque with the verse in Isaiah reminding them that those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. When Kelly was pregnant, she was shopping at the Christian Bookstore and saw that verse on a name card for Lauren. She immediately knew Lauren was to be the baby’s name. They choose the middle name Grace because Grace is getting something you don't deserve.”
The Single Woman
In March, I received a random email from a man raving about everything I’ve written about singleness. After reading all he could find on the web, he was hoping to read more. He got more than he bargained for - perhaps.
We emailed back and forth for days and at the end of the week - St. Patrick’s Day of all lucky days - we met for dinner. We’ve been together ever since. I have never been in such a normal, healthy, and fun relationship before. It feels so natural to be with him. There can be no doubt that God lead him to me and means him for me. He suits me in so many ways and is man enough to love me despite my quirks.
Granted, in the beginning I needed to get over some issues I had. It’s easy for me to cling to fear and doubt - that’s what I am really good at. The challenge for me is to cling to the God who answers old prayers, who is faithful to finish what He started and who really wants me to believe He is able to come through for me. I know He doesn’t want me to cling to fear, doubt, or the belief that He doesn’t want good things for me.
So after nine months together Walter proposed on December 22nd, my 34th birthday. And on January 2nd, Kelly gave birth to a baby girl. It occurred to me one day that God answered both of these old prayer requests within a couple weeks of each other. I just found that to be so amazing. It’s like God dusted off these requests and said, “Ok the time has come. Time for Me to do what some (especially Lizzy) think is impossible.”
Come April I’m getting married! I cling to that as fact. I am learning to trust that God really does find husbands for women in their 30’s and opens the wombs that were thought to be closed. Let us not grow weary in praying that soon we can rejoice for unsaved fathers who now believe…or whatever old prayer requests you still cling to.