Cover image for Surprised by prayer : the wonderful ways God answers
Surprised by prayer : the wonderful ways God answers
Barber, Karen, 1953-
Personal Author:
Paperback edition.
Publication Information:
Grand Rapids, Mich. : Revell, 2004.

Physical Description:
254 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
Originally published: Carmel, N.Y. : Guideposts, c2001 under the title Surprised by prayer : the joyous, unexpected ways God answers your needs.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BV220 .B37 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



You can be sure that God always answers our prayers, but those answers don't always come in the ways we expect. Filled with fascinating, real-life stories, Surprised by Prayer reveals the many surprising ways God responded to the prayers of ordinary people. Each chapter is sure to shake up your notions about what God's responses "should" look like as you discover what they do look like. No matter what your spiritual journey -- whether you've prayed for years or just a time or two -- this book will open your heart and mind to the surprising possibilities of prayer. Book jacket.

Author Notes

Karen Barber is a contributing editor to Guideposts magazine, Daily Guideposts devotional, and other publications. She and her family live in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Barber (contributing editor, Guideposts) begins by saying that this is not a book on how to pray but rather a collection of stories about people whose prayers were answered in various ways. While Barber is the sole author, she was in contact with each person whose experience is related. Many of these are miraculous, happy-ending accounts of people diagnosed with debilitating or terminal conditions who then made amazing recoveries-thanks to prayer-that their doctors cannot explain. In reality, people often pray for the physical healing of a loved one who dies anyway or for life improvements that do not occur despite one's fervent and heartfelt communication with God. Does this mean that the person's prayer wasn't answered or that perhaps there weren't enough prayers said? Barber doesn't propose that God plays favorites or is more impressed by large numbers, nor does she fall back on the old war horse, "Sometimes the answer is no." Instead, she suggests that God's answers to prayer are not always direct and often involve crises that can eventually lead to spiritual growth if we focus on the long term. Some readers may wish that Barber had delved more deeply into this aspect of prayer, but that is a subject for another book. This one offers a positive outlook on a topic that is often misunderstood and trivialized. Recommended for public libraries.-Mary Prokop, Savannah Country Day Sch., GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. 7
1. Surprised by Prayerp. 9
Should We Be Surprised?
Big and Dramatic Answers
Fragile Moments
Right before Our Eyes
Mysterious Circumstances
Merry Answers
Beginning to See God's Answers
Ready to Be Surprised
2. Surprised by Unlikely Meansp. 29
God's Astonishing Ways and Means
Meant for Each Other
Saved by an Owl Attack
Clipped to the Front Fence
A Cure for the Fear of Flying
The View from Rock Bottom
Living Out Unlikely Means
3. Surprised by Presencep. 59
God's Manifest Presence
In His Hands
The Leading Lamb and the Protecting Angel
The Watercolor Moment
Matchsticks against Wolves
Alive and Present while Dead
Living Out Presence
4. Surprised by a Wordp. 89
Words from on High
The Words beyond the Golden Doors
Striking Out at the Ball Field
Words at the End of the Rainbow
Help at the Tip of a Pen
Spoken into Existence
Living Out Words
5. Surprised by a Call to Prayp. 123
Like a Bolt of Lightning Leaving
The Power of the Call
Stopped during a Walk
Praying as God Chooses
Three February Prayers, One March Afternoon
Who Is the One?
"I Never Saw Her Face"
Living Out Prayer Calls
6. Surprised by a Partnershipp. 161
The Power of Partnerships
Drowning in Waves of Love
A Colt Named Spirit
Living Out Partnerships
7. Surprised by Scripturep. 193
A Living Book
A Scripture for Superman
The Case of the Missing Keys
Standing on the Promises
Curtain Call across the South China Sea
Living Out the Scriptures
8. Surprised by Powerp. 223
Special Delivery at the Mailbox
Petition as the Doorway to Faith
Life in Rocking-Horse Heaven
Transformed by One Hundred Answers to Prayer
Time to Ask
Surprised by an Opening Prayer