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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.