Do you ever doubt that God hears your prayers? I know I do. I pray daily and sometimes hourly for people or particular intentions and yet sometimes I see no action, no glimpse of the bigger picture. And yet, I am a firm believer in the power of prayer. I’ve seen too much to believe in fate or coincidence. God hears. It isn’t always the answer we are asking for, but He always hears.
Last week was a week for answered prayers. Surely God has compassion on our lack of faith and sometimes sees fit to give us a boost. A moment of clarity, a glimpse beyond our own meager sight.
I can’t get into all the details of this first account, but it feels miraculous. I pray for someone daily, that they would encounter the person of Jesus in their lives and that God would send his people to minister to them. And in a completely random encounter, I received confirmation that God is indeed doing exactly that. God offered me a tiny glimpse into what He is doing. I don’t have all the details and I have no idea what the outcome will be but it was as though he was saying “I hear you and I am working.” God hears.
And then there was the little incident of the Super Bowl Party. If you know me, you may know I don’t care a single bit about football. I don’t even actually understand how the game works and am perfectly content in my ignorance. This year I’m back on the Core Team working with the high school youth at our parish and facing the annual Super Bowl party. I loathe everything about this particular event. You arrive early to set everything up, you work throughout the party to keep people fed, clean up sticky messes, and I usually hang out in the non-football watching crowd which means playing games and hanging out. And I like teens and hanging out and playing games. But this particular party always feels like it is 100 years long. You play, you visit, you catch up, and then there are 3 more hours of party. And then a lot of clean up. And all revolving around a game you don’t care about AT ALL. Anyway, there we were, staring the dreaded Super Bowl party down again. My life has felt rather overwhelming and over committed and the last thing I want to do is that party. The week before, at the team meeting, I told the core team that I was praying a novena that the party would be snowed out. Everyone laughed.
All week I prayed—but there was nothing formulaic about my prayer – and though I prayed every day, I prayed no particular prayers, it was mostly like this “PLEASE snow out that party Jesus!” And I checked the weather religiously. Monday, no snow even in the forecast. Tuesday, nothing. Wednesday,slight chance of some snow this weekend (like an inch or two). Thursday, 1-3 inches predicted for Saturday night. My excitement starts rising. This is it! Friday, the prediction for a couple inches gets upgraded to a Winter Storm Watch for Saturday night into Sunday. YUSSSS! By Saturday everyone is talking Snowmaggedon. They’re predicting 5-8 inches now, all day on Sunday. The party gets cancelled (AND THE PEOPLE REJOICE!) I go to Saturday evening Mass to avoid the snowy Sunday morning mess.
I’ve never been so happy for a snowstorm in my life. I feel as though this storm is a direct answer to prayer- not something earth shattering- but just one of those things that Jesus did to show me that he hears me. And then it turned into quite the epic storm. In my yard, it looks like about 15-18 inches- which is a lot of snow. Even there, it is as though God is reminding me that He is a God of abundance. I wanted a mere 3 inches to cancel a party. God sends five times that because he isn’t stingy. He loves us and will do anything to show us that love.