I often wonder if God arranges these conversations more for the people I talk with...or for me. I'm being stretched. He is using these opportunities to show me how to love others, to have compassion for their needs. He's opening my eyes to the needs around me. And He is reminding me how critically important prayer is to Him...and me.
It's no mistake. Look at what Luke says in the New Testament.
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. Luke 18:1 NIV
It's a good reminder for us. As I shared with a friend earlier today, I've never met a person whose prayers went unanswered. There are "yeses", "nos" and "not yets." The problem when someone says their prayer is unanswered is not that God has not heard, it's that He chose to answer in a way we didn't expect and we fail to recognize it. I encourage you, when God gives you a chance to pray--for your own needs or someone else's--pray with all your heart. Entrust every bit of every need to Him. Then trust that He will do what is best in the situation that lies before you. His answer may not be what you prayed for but it will always be what's best.
For my new friends in New Jersey, please know that Lisa and I have prayed for you since we left. You will be in our hearts and we thank God for each of you.