We talk a lot about answered prayers. But sometimes we don’t consider that God answers prayers before they form.

A missionary in the Congo had a desperate situation. In her hands was a premature newborn. But her mother died in childbirth. The baby was suffering. They tried to rig an incubator only to find a broken hot water bottle.

The children at the orphanage prayed for the baby and her newly-orphaned sister. One of the girls responded, “Dear God, please send a hot water bottle today. Tomorrow will be too late. And dear Lord, send a doll for her sister so she won’t feel so lonely.”

The next day a box arrived from an unidentified source. The children watched as the box opened its lid. In it were clothes, and under the clothes, a new hot water bottle.

That sent the girl who had offered the prayer into a frantic search into the bottom of the box.  At the bottom was a doll.

Jesus reminds us of something we forget.

Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:8)

Our prayers come to a God who already knows the need before words can be crafted. The faith to pray must include the faith to believe God can give even when our prayers are lacking.

Believe in a loving God. He gives more than we can ask or even know to ask.

A baby is alive because of God’s grace, while prayers started to form. Answered prayer comes in mysterious ways.

-Robert G. Taylor-