Surprised by an answered prayer

James 1:6 (NIV)
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

alone calm faith light
Photo by Garon Piceli on

Does God answer prayers?

I recall we were driving through Mexico on our way back to Honduras. My dad was driving and I was in the passenger’s seat enjoying the view. We were making good time, for traveling on some rough dirt highways.  But suddenly the unexpected happened, my dad tries to slow down the vehicle as we fly down a hill but no brakes, his foot slams straight into the floorboard.

My dad’s many years of driving experience activate and he gears the vehicle down as carefully as possible in an attempt to slow the truck down. Lucky he manages to downshift and the hills sloped down so we can cruise to a safe halt.

But that’s not it.

I’m not sure what went wrong but I recall my dad said there was a part missing and that’s what led the brakes to fail. We were out in the middle of nowhere and this was pre-cell phone days so we couldn’t contact anyone. But to my fortune I found the part resting on the front bumper of the car. I realize it’s hard to believe. I can still barely believe it myself.

But was it luck?

It wasn’t. At the start of this crazy adventure, I prayed like crazy. It all seems like it happened in a couple of seconds but I’m sure I promised God a million things if He would protect us.

And that’s what He did—protect us. Not because I assured Him a million and one things I clearly couldn’t keep but because He chose to do so. It was a miraculous answer to prayer. God answered two of my prayers–Safety and locating the part we needed.

Why is it then, that I and other individuals still struggle with doubt? Why the shock when God comes through? You might indeed read this thinking I’m just making this up to prove a point.

Why we doubt

It’s because it’s one of our enemies tools and it’s part of our fallen nature. In Genesis, we read where Satan caused Eve and Adam to doubt God. And that original sin still has roots in every human being since then.

It infects us with distrust. We say we trust and we pray for an answer but then act surprised when God comes through. The truth is we never wholly trusted.

Why we should trust

I want to remind you we serve an all-powerful God. He created all we can see by speaking it into existence. And He can answer your prayer.

James, the brother of Jesus pleads with us to believe and trust because he understands that it doesn’t come naturally. But he asks because you can do it. Never in your own strength but always with God’s.

Trust Him to answer your prayers and don’t become surprised when He answers them.

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