Fingerprints and triangles. An odd title, I know.
What does it mean to see the fingerprints of God in our daily lives? Not just the “obvious” things like sunshine and daily bread and our every breath (which assuredly are marked with His fingerprints too). But the specific, personal, above-and-beyond things?
Along with that, what does it mean to pray to our God who knows all things, including the hearts of those for whom we pray? What does it look like to have direct access to Him, to pray and then act in specific ways that we couldn’t otherwise? (I call it a triangle, because it’s 3-way communication.)
I won’t pretend to understand it all. But I am learning that when we look for God, we find Him. When we look to see His fingerprints – they are there. When we pray, He hears and answers.
It’s not some mystical thing, and it’s not hearing an audible voice or anything like that. It’s not manipulating God. Rather, it’s walking with a God who knows us, and who wants to be known by us. He hears and answers, He cares, and He is faithful.
So what does that look like? Well, here are some of the ways I have glimpsed it in my own life:
- Praying during my lunch hour and asking to see God’s tangible comfort and care on something, and having someone who had no idea what was going on text me something that encouraged me in a very specific way that she couldn’t have guessed.
- Asking God for confirmation on a hard step of obedience I thought He was asking me to take, and having it confirmed in multiple ways by things like a client appointment at my PRC and an unexpected interaction with a friend.
- Telling God that I needed a safe person to talk to about something, but not knowing quite who and when, and having a friend “just happen” to get delayed leaving a ministry thing together, and ask the right question that opened the floodgates.
- Wondering aloud to God what the status of a particular friendship was, and what could He tell me about it, and what was my responsibility in it, and having a song come up in the “suggested for you” playlist that whispered to me of what God might be up to with it and what I should do.
It’s not always specific answers to specific prayers (although often it is, because God and I carry on a constant conversation and I have learned to get specific and be honest). Sometimes it looks like:
- Having a podcast recommended by a blogger I follow, that spoke directly to an underlying issue I hadn’t even realized I was dealing with.
- Being given a book by a friend, a book I wasn’t looking for but needed, as it turned out.
- Hearing a sermon that challenged me in all the best ways.
- Getting assigned a task with someone I wouldn’t have gotten to know any other way – and an unexpected friendship blossoming from it.
And it’s not always a “triangle” that someone else has pressed into by praying and hearing the Holy Spirit, thus doing something like texting me what I needed but that they had no clue about. Sometimes I am the one asking God for insight in connection with a particular person:
- Praying through a counseling appointment at my PRC and being given a sudden insight or idea of a question to ask, that turns out to be exactly what was needed for the the situation.
- Being woken up at night with a burden to pray for a particular person, and praying until the burden lifts, and then later hearing from that person and finding out why you were praying at that particular time.
- Knowing that someone is struggling and praying for them, but not knowing the source of the struggle, and then having a set of specific things to say to them that aren’t “logical” and yet are exactly what they needed to hear.
I could go on, but I would prefer that you filled this in with examples from your own life. Where have you seen God’s fingerprints and triangles? It’s worth remembering.
Also, as a clarification, it’s not about the specific answer or “getting my way” or having the “right thing to say” or anything like that. It’s about knowing God, knowing who He really is.
It all reveals a God who is very personal, who cares about even the smallest details in our lives and in the lives of others, and who is calling us into an ever deeper relationship with Himself.
One of my favorite quotes, that I have found to be true, is:
“Those who leave everything in God’s hands will eventually see God’s hands in everything.”
Prayer is, in many ways, entrusting everything into God’s hands. It’s making our requests and then trusting Him to answer. It’s recognizing that we need Him, and asking for His strength to be made perfect in our weakness. It is surrendering our will and asking for His to be done.
And then, we see His hands in all of it.
We see His fingerprints and triangles. We see how His answers (whatever they may be) reveal Him to be a God who is sovereign and good. We see His love, and we get to show His love to others.
We behold Him, and we become like Him. We look to Him, and He makes us radiant.
Oh, friends. Let’s keep praying. Let’s keep looking for fingerprints and triangles. It’s so delightful to be His children, isn’t it?