How Changing My Prayer Strategy Strengthened My Faith
January 24, 2021
Hey SUM family, Tiffany here!
Two and half years ago we put our house on the market. We were so certain that it would be a quick sell. The houses in our price range were hard to come by. We were looking for a bigger home but had to sell our house in order to get a new one. We would go to ask for a showing only to find that the home was already pending after one day.
I remember the disappointment and heartbreak as two weeks had come and gone with no offer on our home. I remember crying out to the Lord. Why, God? We NEED a bigger house. We NEED more than one bathroom. You do what is good for your children. Why does it seem like the door has closed on our dream? What are you waiting for?
Fast forward to September 2019. My husband got into a "mood" where he started looking at builders for a home. After some research he picked a builder that seemed like a good fit for us. He was crunching numbers but we needed to see what the average price of a home would be. We went to the models. We planned. We dreamed.
We had finally come to a point where we had agreed on a plot of land and a floor plan that we both liked. The realtors as well as my husband were certain that the plot of land that we had fallen in love with would be gone quickly. After a few weeks, my husband found that we really couldn't afford it. I was crushed. Again.
I was really struggling with not becoming bitter. I was tired of being put on hold. It was then that the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart: Psalm 127:1.
I decided to pray and stand in faith. Lord, if it is your will, put the Carter name on this plot of land that no one can have it but us. I had never prayed a prayer like that before. I wasn't even sure if it was "okay" to make such a request; however, my heart was of pure intentions.
I had a craft show at the elementary school a couple of blocks from the plot of land. I drove up to the land and prayed again in faith. Lord, we have chosen this land. We have agreed upon it. You know it is hard for my husband and I to agree on things at times. The process of choosing has been so smooth. It was easy and even fun planning and dreaming together. Hold this land for us. Because of my faith, we are standing firm - together.
I took my kids with me and prayed with them. I told my husband that I asked God to hold the land for us. I held my ground and prayed. After some time I checked the plot of land and it seemed as though it was still available. I told my husband. This seemed to activate another "mood" of crunching numbers. Now almost exactly a year after claiming the land it seemed as if the tide was turning. It seemed as though the numbers were adding up.
We went through the process again. We looked at the model home. We got updated pricing to build. We crunched numbers and crunched them again. The only way we could make this work is if we sold our home. We had done a lot of upgrades to the home since we put it on the market almost two and a half years ago. The market is so much better than it was before. We had paid off debt. Would this be the time for us?
There were many God moments and chances to witness to my husband along the way. I wish that I had the space to share it all! I will share one briefly before I close.
I made sure to give God the glory in front of my husband throughout this whole process. We put the house on the market on Friday, January 15th. In our location we were set to have a snowstorm on Friday. Thursday night my husband said, "Well I bet we won't have any showings on Friday because of the weather." We were both amazed when our phone kept going off the next day. Our realtor alerting us of showing after showing. I told my husband that God is a God of more than we can ask or imagine. On Sunday, we got our first offer. They offered full asking price and they had no contingencies. My husband said, "I never would have thought we would have sold our house for this much." I reminded him again - God is a God of more than we can ask or imagine.
As you read this, we have signed papers to sell our current house and also build our new house - on the plot of land that God held for us for an entire year. Hindsight is 20/20. Looking back I see all that God shielded us from. We had no idea that COVID-19 would hit. We had no idea that there was such a better offer available in the not-so-distant future. We had no idea that there would be better interest rates for home mortgages. All I could see back then was the disappointment of failed expectations. I had put parameters on what I wanted to see God do. I wanted a breakthrough, but I wanted it in my timing and my way. Thank the Lord He doesn't always give us what we want!
What is it that you are praying and hoping for in your life? A new job? New home? Loved one to be saved?
Don't get sucked into the trap of putting parameters around your prayers and expectations like I did. It only caused pain, disappointment, bitterness and uncertainty.
When I began to pray with God's character in mind, my prayer went from uncertainty to expectation. Of course, not everything we pray for will come to pass. Sometimes, it will be a no from the Lord. However, our attitude and perspective will drastically change for the better. We will begin to focus on Him and His goodness, mercy, grace, etc.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6-7
Let's meet in the comments. What are some prayer strategies that have strengthened your faith?