Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Blessing of Prayer

If you have ever had others pray for you, you probably have known the comfort and peace it brings to know that others are with you, lifting your deepest desires to the throne of God.

But I am finding that equally amazing is the blessing of praying for others.

I shared at a previous time here in my blog about how, shortly after Chloe was born, I often struggled with feeling like I didn't really have much to "offer" anyone (at least anyone outside the four walls of my home). I was mostly limited to taking care of my children, especially my baby, and managing the house as best I could. And many days I felt like I was hardly doing that very well.

And then God showed me that I could have a valuable ministry within my own home - one that no one else even had to know about. That was the ministry of prayer. So at the time, I would spend my extra moments (usually while I was nursing Chloe, to be honest) to just pray for whomever and whatever was on my mind that day.

So, I especially began praying for a few women in my small group. I haven't mentioned it here for quite a while, but Chad and I lead a small group in our church. We are a group of 6 couples who meet weekly for Bible study, prayer, fellowship, fun, and basically to encourage each other in our lives as followers of Christ. We have been meeting for ... wow, I think about 4 years now. So we have all been through a number of ups and downs together and have grown to really care deeply for each other.

Anyhow, a few women in our group had been praying for babies, and in my own prayer time, I began praying for them - that God would bless them with more children ... but also that He would give them peace no matter what the outcome.

One friend had 2 children, but then had 2 unexplained miscarriages.

One friend had 1 child, but then was just not getting pregnant again after trying for many months.

One friend had no children, is approaching her late 30's, finally got pregnant after trying for quite awhile, and then had a devastating miscarriage.

(I also have a few other friends aside from our group who I have been praying for re: pregnancy as well. I don't know ... having been in a place where I deeply desired a child, I just really know the pain of wanting a child so, so badly.)

So back to the blessing of praying FOR someone?

I want you to go to this link:

Isn't it amazing???  Every. single. one. of these women had some difficulties getting pregnant, and now each one has a baby or is about to have one!  Praise the Lord!

So something I've been learning in all this? I am coming to learn that much of the beauty of prayer is that it forces us to step outside of our own little world and all the little "stuff" of our day, and focus on something larger. Much of prayer, honestly, seems to be a mystery.  But through it we begin to realize that God is big, and we are small. To grasp that He can do anything, and "apart from Him, we can do nothing." To see the beauty of His holiness, and the depravity of our deepest thoughts and motivations. To hear His voice, and silence the world at large. To understand that He cares about all that we bring to Him, and that nothing is too small. To realize that He knows all ... and we know very little.

But for me, it also involves realizing that sometimes the best thing you can do for a friend is to pray for them. I can't help anyone get pregnant. But I can pray about it. And if God, in His wisdom, chooses to give that person a child -- then I get to rejoice right along with them in our answered prayers.

Just so this all doesn't sound too pollyanna - I have many friends who I pray for that are still living in the land of unanswered prayer. I am happy to see some of my friends expecting babies. But I also have a number of friends who are still hoping for a child (or dealing with illness, or struggling in a difficult situation). It is a hard place to be - in a place of waiting and hoping. I have been there. We have probably all been there in some way. And, sometimes - though it is a mystery to us -we never see our prayers "answered"... but for me, this is where FAITH comes in. Faith that God has a plan for us that is so much better than one we could have picked out ourselves. It is in that truth that we can all have hope... even in the worst of circumstances.

But for now - I am rejoicing with these dear, dear friends of mine .... and loving holding all the babies.

1 comment:

Mary Anne said...

I love this. I too am a stay-at-home mom who has felt called to pray for others as my ministry!

A couple of favorite Scriptures came to mind as I read your post. Thought I'd share:

"Faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for and conviction about things we do not see." Hebrews 11:1

"But if we hope for what we do not see we wait with endurance." Romans 8:25