“Unexpected Blessings”

The Upper Room devotional reflection for Tuesday, July 26, 2022, comes to us from Milton Looney of Alabama

1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples." 2 He said to them, "When you pray, say: " 'Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread. 4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us and lead us not into temptation. 5 Then Jesus said to them, "Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.' 7 And suppose the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.' 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. 9 "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Luke 11:1-10 NIV

 

“Unexpected Blessings”


I was raised in a Christian home and my early Christian education taught me the power of prayer. These lessons have stuck with me, and I have adopted different prayer habits through the years. Unfortunately, I sometimes pray more for things than I pray “thank you.” Early in my career I prayed for a promotion that I felt qualified for and expected to receive. I did not get the job. I left that organization to seek other employment, and, for a period of time, my thoughts would often wander back to that job, wondering why my prayer had not been answered.


Years later, I am now retired from a career that brought me enjoyment, economic security, opportunities to contribute to society, professional credentials, and friendships with people that I would never have known had my original prayer request been granted. I am in awe now to know that God always gives us blessings, even when it sometimes comes in the form of God’s saying no.

 

Friends –

I have often reflected about situations I have prayed to have resolved in the particular way that I want. As I remember those moments, I am often struck by the ways that a particular situation turned out so well – even in ways that I could never have imagined. I am reminded that God is always present and loving us, often in ways that we aren’t aware of and can’t imagine. I can think of numerous times in my own and others’ lives when some situation seemed negative and difficult, but ultimately ended with blessed results. Those results have often led to improved life situations, even increased faith and ministry. I Invite you to think about times in your life when God has answered your prayers in completely unimaginable ways.

--Pastor bea

 
Prayer:

Loving God, thank you for blessing us much more than we deserve. Help us to recognize all the ways that you answer our prayers, especially when you answer in ways we do not hope for or expect. Amen.

--Milton Looney


Prayer Focus:

Those struggling with Unanswered Prayers


Thought for the Day:

God answers my prayers – sometimes in unexpected ways.

 

Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, it will be yours.” Mark 11:24 (NIV)