CLERGY CORNER: God gives more than you can ever ask

Posted on 20 March 2019 by LeslieM

6 “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 4:6-7

You never forget the first time you move away from home for an extended period of time. In my case, I lived in California for a year leaving my home state (Minnesota) behind. Obviously, this wasn’t the last time I left home for an extended period of time, hence I am writing from sunny Florida, my home for the last 22 years.

When you move away from home, you gravitate toward people who serve as surrogate family members. One particular woman was my adopted Grandma and, like my grandmas back home, she was a person of deep and profound faith. Her name was Margaret.

When I went to Margaret’s small apartment, I noticed a few things that left an impression with me. The first thing I noticed was a map of the world with push pins denoting the location of missionaries. Every day, Margaret would pray for each missionary, send and receive correspondence, and share their stories. She was elderly and dependent upon others for transportation but she felt that she was playing an important role in mission. Indeed, she was.

But it was the prayer journal that I remember the best. She followed the advice of a friend and wrote down her prayer requests, prayers of supplication. And, then, in another part of her journal, she wrote the answers for the purpose of giving thanks.

When Margaret began her journey of prayer with her prayer journal, her prayers of supplication outnumbered her prayers of thanksgiving. That soon changed.

As she kept journaling, she found it easier to have two separate journals, one for supplication and one for thanksgiving. There simply was not enough room for one journal.

Pretty soon, she discovered that she was spending more time praying prayers of thanksgiving as opposed to prayers of supplication. She told me: “Sometimes, I just spend hours giving thanks.”

When I consider the words of St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians: “supplication with thanksgiving,”
I am reminded of the importance of paying attention to the answers. God answers prayers before we even have a chance to ask. We must be alert, aware and grateful.

But I also consider this saintly woman of faith who really didn’t have a lot of possessions. She didn’t have transportation. She was dependent upon church members to get to worship. What she had was faith and what she could do was pray.

Missionaries benefited from her prayers all around the world. Church members were blessed by her pleasant demeanor and her genuine kindness. I was blessed by her profound wisdom and the strength of her faith, not to mention that I felt I had a Grandma nearby when I needed it. I think Margaret gave more than she ever realized, but I know one thing for sure — Margaret would want to remind my readers that God gave her even more than she ever asked.

Pastor Gross is a pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, located at 959 SE 6 Ave., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. For more information, call 954-421-3146 or visit www.zion-lutheran.org.

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