I arrived at a spring solstice drumming event, and I didn't know anyone. I stood around for awhile and feeling a bit awkward I decided to go outside by the fire. There was a man standing there, tending the fire. We stood there silently for awhile. I wondered if I should go back inside, make a move, escape. It felt uncomfortable to stand silent with someone I didn't know. Then I realized, this moment was exactly what I had been praying for. Just being with people. Not having to talk or do anything or explain. Just dwelling together outside in nature.
If I had let fear take over, and left the scene, I would have missed the answer to my prayer.
Some time goes by and the fire tender asks a question. I answer. Some more time goes by, and I ask a question and he answers. Then we don't talk. We are interested in the fire, in connecting with nature, in being, in dwelling, not planning or fulfilling an agenda.
Standing in the awkward silence made me realize my prayer was being answered. But I had to be willing to navigate the initial uncomfortable feelings.
The answer to our prayers may not always come with bells and whistles and riding on a white stallion. The answers may arrive awkwardly at first, because we don't recognize what we have been missing.
Once I realized that I was standing in the midst of answered prayer, I relaxed into the slow evening of drumming and enjoying the fire, and the night fulfilled something deep inside of me.
Let's pay attention and receive our answered prayers. Think of some things you are praying for and ask yourself if, in fact, they have already been answered and just need your acknowledgement. Prayers are always being answered.