The Beauty & Mystery of Prayer

Prayer is a beautiful and mysterious gift God has given us. There are times we can actually see how God answers our prayer and experience living in a world that has been transformed by the lifting of our hearts and our voices to the Father in Heaven. You see a need for God’s intervention and you ask for Him to step in as only He can. And He does. The need is fulfilled. Things are made right again.

We celebrate and give thanks for God working on our behalf and answering our prayers. It’s a beautiful thing to have the curtain pulled back, get a glimpse into the unseen world, and tangibly see the power and grandeur of God’s goodness at work in our lives.

Then there are those times where our visibility is obscured. It’s not quite as easy to see what God is up to or how He is responding to our earnest petitions.

We don’t have the obvious, immediate answer we have been asking, even pleading for. And yet these are the kinds of prayers that can radically grow our faith, if we trust in the all-knowingness and goodness of God.

We choose to believe that there is more going on than we can see and that God, in His perfect timing and His perfect will, will answer our prayers in a way that brings Him glory and honor, despite the perceived lack of our requested outcome. This is a great mystery and reminds us that we are not God.

As mothers praying for our families, falling on our knees on behalf of our children and our husbands, we long to experience those transcendent moments where we see our prayers powerfully answered. And when those moments do happen, it’s crucial to share them with the fellowship of believers to create an Ebenezer—a reminder of how God has helped us thus far. It’s exciting for me to share the following example of God’s provision through our prayers.

School is one of the most difficult environments for our children. From bullying to marginalizing the Christian faith in our nation’s history to just learning how to deal with others, our children are walking through a potential battlefield each day they step on the school grounds.

This was the concern for a Moms in Prayer group in Pennsylvania. For more than fifteen years they have prayed for the school, the teachers, and the students (by name). They prayed specifically “there would be more of God.” Two years ago, a Christian after-school program ended. Rather than feeling defeated, they began praying even harder. That’s when they heard that a transformational program called Bible2School was coming to their school and they proclaimed “this is answered prayer.”

Bible2School provides free elective Bible classes to public elementary school children during the school day, utilizing the Released Time provision in federal law. In partnership with local churches, trained volunteers engage the children in lively worship and Bible stories. Children and volunteers discuss how they can apply the Bible lessons in their lives and pray together. You can see how this was a clear and powerful answer to the prayers of these moms. Not only was this process growing and discipling the children of these faithful mothers, it also became a unexpected outreach opportunity for another Moms in Prayer group.

There was one elementary class at a school on the other side of Pennsylvania where none of the children attended church. They were completely unfamiliar with any Bible stories or worship songs. Through Bible2School, they were told about Jesus for the very first time! By the end of the year, when they played Bible Jeopardy, the children knew almost every answer.

This was God’s extravagant answer that was above and beyond the prayers that were offered up. When you find yourself in that mysterious place of not knowing how God is going to meet you in your time of need, remember God Stories like these. Let them be a memorial that fuels your faith and trust in a Father who loves and cares for you more than you’ll ever know. You may not always see the answer, but you can rest assured that our God is always working things out for our good and for His Glory.

Kori Pennypacker​ is Executive Director of Bible2School, a non-profit organization that offers Bible Electives to public school children during their school day in Lancaster County, PA. She speaks to businesses and churches about the benefits of spiritual training for elementary age children, especially those who do not get to attend church. She leads a team of 150 volunteers and staff with the goal to have a Bible elective available in every school in her county and to influence other counties in the nation to do the same. Kori has a Bachelor’s Degree from Shippensburg University and is married to Blaine. They have three high school/college-age sons: Justin, Matt, and Ben.