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Sears Free Spirit

Not my bike but similar – photo courtesy of Randy Zabarsky

I remember the first 10-speed bicycle that I owned. I was maybe 13 at the time. Yellow framed Sears and Roebuck Free Spirit. If it came with instructions about how to ride it, I didn’t read them. Why would I want to do that when I could just take off down the road like a senseless pup? Experience is such a great teacher ……..

Single speed bike cruisers have a different brake system than 10-speeds. With the old cruisers, you simply push backwards on the pedals and it will slow down. Not a 10-speed. With all the gears attached to the pedal crank I guess they couldn’t maintain that feature. You push the pedals backward and all that happens is they spin. No …….. with a 10-speed bike, you must use hand brakes attached to the handle bars. I haven’t ridden one of these in years so the system may have changed. Back then, you squeezed the left handle for the front brakes and the right handle for the rear brakes.

So I took off around the block on my maiden voyage. At the top of our street there was a slight hill that we loved riding down to gain some speed. I was flying down the hill toward the house, not realizing how exciting life was about to become. I tried to stop by pushing backwards on the pedals ………. nothing happened. Then, in a panic, I squeezed the left hand brake control, which is the front brake. With a 10-speed bike, if you only actuate the front brakes at high-speed, an interesting thing happens – the entire bike flips forward and catapults the rider off. So ……… I took a lesson in how to fly with 10 easy speeds.

Ouch ………

What do you expect to happen when you pray? Immediate answers? No answer at all? What is the purpose of prayer if you expect nothing to happen?

Here are some popular verses in the Bible about prayer:

Mark 11:24 ESV – Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV – Pray without ceasing,

Romans 8:26 ESV – Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

Matthew 6:7 ESV – “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.

Luke 11:9 ESV – And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

The charge seems to be very simple – say what you need to say, believe something will happen, and leave the rest to God. Right? Then why does it feel like I’m pedaling but going nowhere?

Multiple geared bikes are popular because once you put them in motion, you can ride at tremendous speeds by changing gears, much like an automobile. You start at the lower gears, but once you gain some momentum, you can switch to the higher gears and be moving at 30, 40, or 50 miles an hour. The record is 82 mph.

With a bike, it is necessary to keep pedaling if you want to continue to move. Not so with prayer. Once the prayer has been made, it is God who does the moving, not you. That’s not to say that a prayer can’t or shouldn’t be repeated. But the power of prayer does not rest in your activity but rather in God’s willingness and ability to act on your behalf.

No prayer ever goes unanswered, not one, not ever. How, when, where, and to what degree is difficult for a human with a finite mind to understand. But once the prayer is said, something mysterious has been put into motion. God begins to act on your request and as he works, momentum is increased until the task is complete.

IMGP37152

State Botanical Gardens of Georgia

Answers to prayer are not promised on human terms. Many times, God changes the heart of the person praying and they no longer need their request. Answers rarely come at record speed. Occasionally God may grant something immediately, but more times than not, it’s a process that takes a while. Little by little the results unfold before you.

The point is that something always happens, even if you don’t see it. So when you pray, know with certainty that God hears; anticipate that he is working on your request. Always expect, but be prepared for the unexpected ……….. the answer may come in a way that you least imagined.

Here’s to a new day – raise your mugs high with hopeful expectation!

All verse quotes courtesy of biblegateway.com