The thing is, that no matter how low you go, the great thing about valleys is that there will always be…      Well, not valleys.

I think that my problem is that I have always looked for the mountain top high. My best friend and I were having a conversation today and she shared a little story about how when she was a little girl she remembers when she made a conscious effort to not expect more. It was a sad story (maybe another post)  but we ended up laughing, deciding that;

Expecting less out of life may save us from disappointment but it would be sad to go through life  only to find that your only joy may be…  not being disappointed because you expecteded less.

gifts place settings

When I was in my twenties a friend gave a few of us prayer tins as a party favor at a luncheon she threw for our friend’s birthday. Each one had blank cards inside waiting for our prayers. Her only instructions were not to open them until all the blank cards had been filled out and placed in the tin for three years. That little tin was packed away in-between the three year waiting period during a move in a box with journals and other personal books. Life went on and I lived it as a young mother in a struggling marriage. The tin had been filled and forgotten.

prayer box

Years later I found it again and I sat  in my cozy little home, one rainy afternoon as I emptied out the little tin onto the floor and began unfolding  dozens of prayer requests that I’d written to my Lord in quiet desperation.

folded notes

Remembering the time in my life when I’d written them all, believing each time that I inserted a new one that some how it was magically reaching Heaven from my pen to God’s eyes. And you know what I discovered? Every single one had been answered. Maybe not the way that I’d envisioned it but in a way that had been good for me and made my life better.

prayer request tin box

Folded Prayers

Oh Little Prayer tin

  forgotten in a box

holding all my pleas,

 I thought that you were lost

attic treasures

I recall the times when

I fed you every prayer

sometimes wondering

if ANYONE would care

You hold a special message

I needed to see today

That God answers if you ask

regardless of the way

HE hears our heart felt prayers

lonely window

and listens to our pleas

whether we are standing

or we are on our knees

praying on knees

He sees the folded prayer requests

folded in a tin

long after we have written them

and sent them up to HIM

HE is at work answering

long after our request

All inside a little tin I found

my faith had passed the test.

Diane Reed


Seriously, it is kind of a pretty neat exercise. Keep a prayer journal or start a prayer tin, and then look back a few years later and see how many of your requests were answered. It is really amazing how God really does hear us and how we always are so surprised to see how faithful HE truly is!!!!!

47 thoughts on “Unfolding Prayer Requests

  1. Oh I love that! It sorta reminds me of a gift box my daughter gave me when she was about 5. It was a plain white shoe box with kisses (using my lipstick, her mouth) on it. It was wrapped in a RED ribbon…. The directions said, “When ever I’m not around Mom and you need a kiss or a Hug, just open this box and get one out that’s just for you!” Some people would see it as an empty box, but I still have that box today… and inside is not only her hugs and kisses, but my heart! Great post!

    1. Keli,
      I would treasure that box too! What a great idea. Thank you for still being in my blogging neighborhood and checking in! I have been away for a while but I plan to take a big chunk of time and sit down and catch up with everybody else’s writing!
      I won’t ask you what’s going on here! I will go find out and hopefully you will be more up to date than I am! 😉
      I just want you to know that my prayers are that everything has been going good for you!

      1. Thank you for the prayers my friend! I too have been incredibly busy lately. Hopefully things will lighten up soon! 😀

  2. Diane, beautiful post and very heart touching!!! Thank you for the visit at Petals Unfolding. You keep up the great work you are doing here at this wonderful site!!!
    xxoo, Amy

  3. I’m so glad you left a comment on my blog so I could find yours. What a touching post this is. I, too, lived for many years in a struggling marriage, so I really relate. I’m grateful those days are long ago now. What a wonderful idea…a tin to tuck away our prayer requests so we can get a some distance from them and relinquish the impulse to control the way God decides to answer.

  4. That’s wonderful, and I also love the idea of a prayer jar. I keep a prayer journal that I write in most mornings. Love to read through them New Years Day as a reminder of His faithfulness and – yes – his perfect timing!

    1. Susan,
      I am blessed by what a faithful reader you have been. It is kind of neat reading all the comments all at once because I am able to truly appreciate the ones really reading!
      New Years Day is an awesome idea to read all of our answered prayers! Gotta love those journalS 😉

  5. My eyes zoomed in on your thought on our expectations and disappointments. when I was thrown into my personal crisis I remember reading about a philosophy that we should lower our expectations and then we will never be disappointed and I thought… huh? Shouldn’t we be striving for the very best we can at all times. Isn’t it better to miss the top of the mountain but at least have had a chance to see the views half way up?

  6. This is beautiful! How wonderful to look back and read your own words, your own prayers, only to realize that each of those desperate moments when you thought God couldn’t hear you or wondered whether that particular prayer would ever be answered, He was listening. And, He answered each one in His time, in His way. Loved this post!

    1. Ahhh my little friend♡
      Thank YOU for reading. You GOT it! God’s timing is everything. My problem is always checking back and messing up HIS answers by looking too early for them. That’s what meant so much finding them long after I’d forgotten I’d prayed and seeing that God answers them anyway♡

  7. Wow! This is excellent and very touching! It’s so good to be able to look back and see that God has in fact answered prayers, even some when we were the least deserving and the farthest away from Him! I just love this! Blessings, Natalie 🙂

    1. Natalie,
      TODAY I am reading all of my comments that I have not caught up with and I am being so blessed by you! I must say that when I see your name and a comment it is like a gift! Sorry it has taken me so long to reply! I agree HE does answer even when we are most undeserving! I should know…. 🙂

    1. Oh Carol,
      Thank you! I am catching up with almost 50 comments that I missed and I am so blessed to see the ones that you are so faithful in leaving me! Thank you for being such a loyal reader of both of my blogs! You are the BEST!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read! I have been away for a bit and need to catch up with everyone here but I did see your sweet name and am blessed that you checked in! Hope to see more of you!

  8. I love this!!! First I want to say that there seems to be a fine line between keeping optimistic and afraid to fall or having low expectations and never having any optimism for the outcome of things. It is a paradox. Second I would like to say there is truth to the old adage ‘be careful what you wish for” for what we focus on we bring, thus wishes do come true. Your poetry is a beautiful addition to a wonderful article. I was given an angel box (similar to your tin box) by my cousin a few years ago and was instructed to write my fears and or dreams and place them in the box for God and the angels to oversee. I truly believe with you Diane. xoxo

    1. Deb!
      Thank (((((you))))) And hugs!
      I am so glad you had a good time on your vacation. I was confused when you returned. What a drag about your computer! You did back up stuff right? What are they doing for you?? There should be some extra freebies for your trouble and loss of time working!
      Also I am loving your poetry lately. NOT that your poetry wasn’t great months ago! But your latest is so polished and gripping. I am loving it!
      How are book sales?
      I am so proud when I talk about you, I say my author friend! 😉

      1. Di you are over-rating me but I love you for it. Thanks for the confidence. I think I am digging a little deeper into myself lately with circumstances that have been surrounding me. Sadly, some not so pleasant but it helps to be able to write. xoxo You inspire me my dear friend! ((hugs back at ya))!

          1. Will do and funny you should say that, I was thinking about you today when I was pondering writing about things I don’t usually share. I shall send you some mail. xoxo

    1. Diane,
      You are right, it is so encouraging actually seeing unfolded paper after unfolded paper of how faithful our Father truly is! Thank you for taking your time here to read! It means so much!
      Funny, I came on here to write a little more negative poem or post and finding you guys and having to reply to such positve comments has totally turned my mood! God is sooo good blessing me with you all!
      Thank you for being a blessing.

  9. It is beautiful when we come across prayers that have unfolded. I’ve read some of my past journal entries and it’s always good to see what God has brought you through and answered. Thanks for stopping by my blog and your kind comments.

    1. Alecia,
      Thank you for reading and commenting and affirming my message! I love it! I hope we keep crossing paths! I am blessed that you take the time to read my words! Thank you again!

    1. Kate,
      Thank you for reading.
      You got my point! The trick is to wait a few years after it is all full and then it is amazing how spot on God truly is!!!! And I don’t mean that casually. He is the MASTER of Answering prayers! Waiting and looking back makes it very clear to see just how faithful HE is!

      By the way I love your blog!

        1. I know it is exciting.
          I am afraid I would have peeked before the 3 years was up if I hadn’t kind of lost it for a while, packed away in a box! 😉

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