St. Joseph Miracle Prayers: Answered Prayer
A few weeks ago, at the beginning of the Year of St. Joseph, we mentioned the amazing story of the staircase.
There are many aspects one could focus on in this story. For sure, one major part is answered prayer.
The fact is, many people pray. According to the Pew Research Center, 55% of Americans say they pray "at least daily." 59% of Catholics pray every day, along with 79% of evangelical Protestants.
Unfortunately, among the number of those that pray every day, a smaller percentage attend a church community.
But, it is more important for this discussion to ask, among those who pray, how many have their prayers answered? Many people pray in order to feel better, to find peace, etc. And, the statistics prove that those who pray and attend church are happier, more fulfilled people. Priests are always among the top ten most fulfilling "jobs."
Many people pray as a daily communication, and relationship with the Lord; truly, this is what it's all about...but God did not "invent" prayer so that prayers would not be answered.
All Christians know prayer Scriptures: "ask and you shall receive," (Matt. 7:7) we should "pray always, and never lose heart," (Luke 18:1) "And when ye stand praying, forgive if ye have anything against any one" (Mark 11:25) etc. But, do we pray with faith? Do we forgive when we pray, knowing if we don't, the Father won't forgive us? (wow!) (Mark 11:25)
Do we actually see the results of our prayers? Do we believe our prayers will be answered?
The story of St. Joseph and the staircase shows two things: the sisters had faith that God would answer their prayers, and God did indeed answer their prayers, supernaturally (in a way no one could have predicted).
According to Jesus, getting answers to our prayers has to do with faith and expectation. Faith is trusting in the Lord, yes, but the actual Scriptural definition is from Hebrews 11:1-
"Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see."
It is the certainty, the assurance, that we will have what we ask for. If you are sure that you will receive something, you will also expect it...eagerly awaiting the arrival of the gift. Mark 11:24, Jesus said, "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
Do we trust more in Amazon, or God Himself? We know that when we order something online, it will come to our mailing address (as long as the credit card works). When we pray, do we expect this "air mail" to come from Heaven?
Yet, part of the problem can also be that our prayer is not based on the Word of God. In other words, when we pray, are we praying according to God's promises in the Bible?
If we do this, truly our prayers can't fail. When we returned from the foreign missions, we had no place to live. Before leaving for the missions, we had given all of our furniture away- some to Habitat for Humanity, some to a priest, as we felt called according to Matthew 19:21. We thought we would be living in the foreign missions- but it wasn't to be. When we came back to Canada, all we had was our car, and a few things in storage in a friend's basement...the ministry books and papers.
We spent three months living in and out of our car, not knowing what to do. We trusted in the Lord to help us- we knew He had heard and would answer our prayers. Yet, it seemed to be taking so long, and we were suffering greatly. It came to a point, where we had to grab ahold of God's Word and just stand on it until it came to pass. We found Psalm 68:6: "God gives a home to the desolate."
Then, our prayer turned from, "Lord, give us a house to live in, a house for people with no place to go" (which we ourselves were), to "Lord, Your Word says that You will give a home to the desolate..." and our faith increased. It increased because it says so in His Word- and we know that His Word doesn't lie. It's one thing to ask the Lord for things- but there is a power when we can stand on what He said in the Scriptures. Jesus said, "the Scriptures cannot be broken." (John 10:35)
Soon after we started standing on the Scripture, things moved into place, and a miracle happened, where we were able to buy a small house to live in, and run the ministry. To God be the glory! The Provider!
When the sisters in Santa Fe prayed, they believed that God would answer their prayers. They needed a staircase up to the choir loft of the church. We needed a house. What is it that you need? God answers the prayers of His people- those who believe in Jesus are His children. In this Year of St. Joseph, let us pray according to the Word of God, and see the results come in!
Hallelujah! "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil." (1 Peter 3:12) And, the righteous, as we know, are those that live by faith. (Romans 1)
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Join our 9 Days of Prayer for Healing!
Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.
Blessed Joseph, to us too,
Show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage,
and defend us from every evil. Amen.