The House-Sale Prayer

Our prayer to sell a house had always worked before. Now when we needed it most, it went unaswered.

By Elizabeth Sherrill, Hingham, Massachusetts

As appeared in

For my thoughts are not your thoughts . . . says the Lord.  Isaiah 55:8 (RSV)

My husband and I had a house-sale prayer that had never gone unanswered. We’d prayed it often for friends: “Father, You know that Jim and Marge need to sell their home. You also know the particular family who needs this particular house. In Your perfect timing, Lord, we ask You to bring these needs together.”

And soon the friends would call to say they’d found the perfect buyer. So when the time came to put our own home of fifty years on the market, we prayed those words ourselves and made the move to another state without waiting for the sale we were confident would speedily occur.

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But a month passed, two months, six months . . . When the Realtor had no success to report after a full year, we panicked. God, it was clear, didn’t know about the bad housing market. It was up to us.We lowered the price. We advertised in newspapers and the Web. We even offered the house to a charity in exchange for an annuity.

Twelve more months passed with no buyer.

Then came a phone call from a young woman who’d just seen a photo of the house on the Realtor’s Web site. “I knew right away that this was our home!” she told me. They had three children the ages of our three when we bought it. We had close friends who, it turned out, were also their close friends. The more we learned, the more we knew that the fit of this family with the house that’s now theirs is something only God could have brought about.

Father, I forgot three little words of the house-sale prayer. Remind me that “Your perfect timing” doesn’t mean "on my schedule."

Download your FREE ebook, A Prayer for Every Need, by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.

This devotion is excerpted from Daily Guideposts 2013.

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Your Comments (7)

Our house and property has been for sale a long time/ years! We did a lease purchase last year and had to take it back a couple of months ago. The people owe us in the thousands, plus stole stuff of ours that they were suppose to have bought! My husband kept giving them more time to come up with their own financing . Ugh! Finally, he listened to me and we had to hire an attorney to evict the people. We had to quit our jobs; in a different state and move back to Ga.. Now, for the past couple months we have been cleaning up our property and painting. I like to think we are stewards of the land and the right buyer will be here soon! The realtor "claims" he has an interested party, but they were suppose to have came back a second time and we are still waiting! My husband is a semi driver( bull wagon) and is gone about 20 days a month, leaving me here by myself. It is hard to not get depressed. Please, pray for a quick sale for us and a rightful owner! All our children and grandchildren live where we moved back from and where we will go again!

Dear Mrs.Sherrill: Our home of 47 yrs. has been for sale for two years. Today as I prayed I asked why my prayers haven't been answered...have I not prayed hard enough..or with enough faith? I also pray that we will be kept safe and healthy and today that prayer was answered as my husband fell but was not injured. Tonight I opened my Daily Guideposts and found your story...what perfect timing. I know the time has to be right..perhaps our "new home" isn't available yet. Thank you for your words just when I needed them.
P.S. My husband is from Mass. and we moved here to Illinois from N.H. 47 yrs. ago. Still miss New England!

Your house sale prayer is so right on. In 2003 my wife and I went through 3 escrows, the last one fell out when a tree
fell on our house, We were able to get our home repaired but the seller of a condo we wanted decided we would never
be able to sell our house and contacted his real estate agent. We asked our church to pray and the following weekend 2 families were interested in our home. We were able to sell to one of them, just in time to buy the condo.
It was truely in God's time not ours.

I read your husbands article about "10 words that changed our lives" I tried to find a way to communicate with him, but to no avail. Maybe I am just not patient enough.

I am doing a Varner family geneology search, and was excited when I saw a name in his article that may be of interest, I am hoping that he will email me so that I may ask him a few questions.

God is definately at work, two leads for Varner in less than a month. My prayers are being answered. HE knows my time is short. Please respond if you can.


Jan, some of our authors check in here when their stories appear on our website, but others do not. You can always contact any of our authors by writing them care of the address below -- we forward all correspondence to them. Guideposts 16 East 34th Street, 21st Floor New York, NY 10016

Thank you for your prayer. It only confirms, in our everyday life God works on his time and not in ours. He always knows best.

Thank You for the house sale prayer! I am a realtor and have a house to sell that I listed. I needed that prayer also since we are having alot of showings but no offers.

Thank You again!!