I am way behind on my blogging – as far as my reading list and blogs on scripture, I have several started that haven’t made it to post-able form yet. I sat down today to pray and read and try to blog for a moment, and I decided to first open a piece of mail I received yesterday.

Every year our church in California takes either the last Sunday of the year, or the first Sunday of the new year, to write a letter to the Lord. During the service time, the worship team plays quietly, and we all get blank papers and envelopes to self-address. We write a letter to the Lord: hopes, dreams, prayers, fears… It is a chance to reflect on the coming year and the one that is just past, and give it all to the Lord. Things we want to leave behind, things we are asking for, where we want to go, and commit it all into the Lord’s hands. We each write a letter, then drop it off in a basket on the way out of church. In summer, the church mails all the letters out. No one else ever sees your letter, it is just between you and God, and it is mailed back in the summer so you can see what has happened in the interim.

I received my letter yesterday, and in a quiet moment today, opened it and read it. It was the last Sunday before we moved to Oregon, and my letter expressed all the unknowns that lay before us. Who will we befriend? Where will we work? Will my son like his new school? And other such questions. At the end I wrote this:

“And so, Lord, I write this as a statement of confidence. We have always been well-cared for by you, and you have shown your faithfulness to us. I trust in that provision, faithfulness, and leading. You are in control, and we rest in that. My immediate prayers are for health, safe travels, that our stuff arrives safely. That the kids transition well, and that our marriage stays strong. Please help me not to be stressed, and please help me hear and follow you. I love you forever! Amen.”

As I re-read my letter, I realized every one of those immediate prayers has been fulfilled. Our family is in excellent health – physically and in family unity. There has been some stress, but looking back, not as much as might be, considering the circumstances. The kids are doing well, and everything arrived safely. And I do believe, that though there are always questions, I do have a peace that I am hearing and following God.

Every prayer was answered.

It reminds me of Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the temple, when he declares and then prays over the people in 1 Kings 8:56-61

“Praise the Lord who has given rest to his people Israel, just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the wonderful promises he gave through his servant Moses. May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us or abandon us. May he give us the desire to do his will in everything and to obey all the commands, decrees, and regulations that he gave our ancestors. And may these words that I have prayed in the presence of the Lord be before him constantly, day and night, so that the Lord our God may give justice to me and to his people Israel, according to each day’s needs. Then people all over the earth will know that the Lord alone is God and there is no other. And may you be completely faithful to the Lord our God. May you always obey his decrees and commands, just as you are doing today.”

That is my prayer today, my decree of thankfulness at God’s faithfulness, and my prayer for the future, for my family, and for you as you read these words: May we be faithful, my God’s blessings prevail, and may the God of the Bible, who is alive today, become truly known in the world today. And may we never stop praying! Because the Lord truly does answer prayer. Amen!