This post is published as a companion to Unit 9, Session 4 of The Gospel Project for Adults Vol. 3 (Spring 2022): From Conquest to a Kingdom.
Hannah desired long and hard for a child. She was tormented by her rival and unmoved by her husband’s gift of a double portion. What she wanted was a child. And God was gracious and eventually gave her a child. And in her faithfulness, because she knew God had given her this child, she thus gave him back to the Lord for His service.
I don’t know many of us who would give back to God something that we have been yearning for. Surely, it would be a difficult thing to do. It could easily be rationalized as a gift from God and God wouldn’t necessarily want us to give it back to Him, would He? Yet perhaps, many things we ask of God should be recommitted back to Him.
A job perhaps. If we had been praying for a job and God grants us one, how are we using that for His glory? How can we share the love of Christ in our workplace to show God we know He gave us such a role for a purpose? How can we give a part of our salary to His ministries in our local church and otherwise to show God we know He has provided for a reason?
Our relationships. Spouses or kids. How can we invest in our marriages and children to show God we see His provisions as a way to help them towards Christ? To help others see God’s wisdom in marriage and parenting? When we have prayed for a spouse or a child, may God see that we don’t take His blessing lightly, and we are intentionally taking the responsibilities we have as husband or wife or father or mother, to guide people in God’s ways. This would apply to friendships as well as community.
God Redeems All Things
Anything on our prayer list that God answers yes to can be given back to the Lord for His purposes and glory. But we do need to take time to intentionally seek out God’s desires for the requests that we ask and the requests that He gives. Healings can be used to give God credit or to use to have the strength to do more of His ministry, whether it be physical, relational, mental, or spiritual healing. Resources can all be given back to the Lord for the furthering of His kingdom. Direction and guidance can all be seen as ways to disciple more people as we see clearly God’s path for us. Safety and security can be directed back to God as we are able to walk more confidently on His paths. These are many of the prayer requests we have that we can give back to God.
Whatever the request, whatever the provision, God desires that everything we have and do is recognized as a gift from God and as a giving to God. There is nothing that He can’t use for His plans and glory. And in so doing, it becomes a blessing from Him and to Him and we can see how God works with what He provides as we give things back to Him. What better way to see a loving God who grants our desires and makes them ever more useful for His glory!
May we always see our blessings and our answered prayers as gifts from a loving Father who makes even our simple requests useful and redeemable for our good and His glory!