“Be careful what you pray for – you just might get it!”

Years ago, as a new believer I didn’t understand that word of caution. Today, as a seasoned saint…and a mother, it makes perfect sense to me.

In the margin of my Bible is this prayer for my daughters I recorded in 1987, when they were 7- and 9- years old: “Lord, Give me the grace to hope for more than success for Aimee and Molly. I pray that they would live lives set apart for you.”

I prayed that after reading the account of Samuel’s mother Hannah as she dedicated him to the Lord: “I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD” (1 Samuel 1:27, 28 NIV).

I am still praying for the grace it takes to let my children follow God as they feel Him lead. Nearly 7 years ago Aimee and Andy left their jobs (social worker, elementary teacher) in Grand Rapids, MI and moved to Toledo, OH without a job in hand. Aimee worked at a store in the mall; Andy did substitute teaching during the school year, and worked at Lowe’s during summer months. A year and a half later, they were both on staff at Cedar Creek Church in Perrysburg, OH. They did not set out to be in ministry, but it was obvious that God had a plan all along…Who knew?

Since graduating from Cornerstone University in 1992, Molly’s path has taken her across the country and back again. She has been on staff with Youth For Christ in Miami, FL, worked at a youth camp in California, and recruited college students to lead summer mission trips for YouthWorks in Minneapolis, MN. For the past 4 summers she was Area Director for YouthWorks in New York City, Michigan, New Hampshire/Maine/upstate New York, and Mississippi/Louisiana/Alabama. She recently returned from a 40-day mission trip called “Kingdom Dreams Tour.” In between these times of formal ministry, she volunteered to mentor young women in Youth for Christ while earning a paycheck washing windows for a maintenance company, making sandwiches at Panera, and selling tickets at a movie theater.

Molly recently earned a Master of Science in Entertainment from Full Sail University. In a recent blog post she spells out her passion: “My main passion apart from loving the Lord full-time is to see the entertainment industry/ Hollywood rocked with the realization of the love of Jesus. God has put a burning within my heart to, first of all, PRAY for Hollywood, and second of all, work IN Hollywood (or the entertainment industry in general). My dream is to create media that is thought provoking, pure in heart, and does a great job pointing to Jesus in a way that those who don’t follow Him can relate. Another dream is to be a part of relational ministry in Hollywood offering support to those caught in the trappings of the industry.” Read more of her vision @

Molly is currently enroute to Toledo, OH to spend the summer with Aimee and her family. She is trusting God to provide a job for the summer; then she’ll head to Kansas City, MO for additional media and ministry training through the International House of Prayer’s (IHOP) media school. Molly is fearless in her faith and focused on her commitment to follow Jesus wherever He leads.

Both Aimee and Molly claimed Jeremiah 29:11 at the time of their high school graduations: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I believe God’s plans for them are good. I prayed for more than success for my daughters. I prayed they would live lives set apart for the Lord. God answered that prayer – and I am blessed!  As I pray for God’s leading in Aimee and Molly’s lives, I continue to pray for grace to release them and trust them to God’s care.

I have learned that it is not always easy to get what you pray for…

P.S. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in truth” (3 John, v.5).



  1. Jane
    May 10, 2012

    Kathy I love your heart here and just applaud the prayer you lifted up long ago. I’ve thought about this in my own life when a family friend who cautioned the same thing (be careful what you pray for) when retelling the story of praying for her then-unbelieving husband. She said to God–“WHATEVER it takes, God.” God answered by allowing MS and an early death for that man, *but he came to Christ in the midst of it all.*

    Are we all really ready for that kind of suffering? I hope so! But as a mother…I don’t know! May the Lord find me faithful!

  2. Kathy Fortney
    Jun 12, 2012

    As I read this I am taken back to the day we spent in the hospital as Aimee and Andy were busy with the birth of our first granddaughter, Gracie. Before she was even born I prayed for her salvation and a life that would bring glory to our Father. I am so thankful that God has joined our two families together. I pray that each of our children and grandchildren will follow God’s plan for their lives. I thank God that He has allowed us to be partners in “grandparenting” them.
    Again I thank you for this blog and for your insight.

  3. Shelly Burke
    Sep 15, 2012

    My prayers for my husband to grow in faith and for God to strengthen our marriage were certainly not answered as I expected, as I found out he had been unfaithful and realized, after much prayer and talking with my pastor, that he had emotionally abandoned me long ago. I still do not understand how/why this happened…but God has clearly been present in my transition and moving to a new town.

    My other prayer is that the Christian newspaper I publish will reach many, many more people and that I could bring in enough income to write full-time. My intention was to devote all of my time to the paper after our kids were in college. I’m getting to do that, at least for now…I just didn’t think it would be in a new home and without my husband.

    I know there is a purpose to what has happened…I have peace that I simply could not have if I didn’t know God is in charge and although His answer is certainly very different than what I had in mind, I know that He is in charge and that ultimately, His plan is much better than mind.

    Thank you for the reminder that it’s not always easy to get what we pray for! And thanks for sharing your talent as a writer, through your blog and other websites. I “found” you through your article “My Worries About Money” (and I sure can relate to those feelings–and God’s always-faithful provision– as well!) at “Today’s Christian Woman.”

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