July 2006 – He was gone longer than usual.
30 minute power walks 5 times a week were normal. They had been for 26 years. But this time he came home out of breath. The exhaustion lasted and doctor visits began.
Weeks led to months. Exhaustion led to fluid retention, tests, and more tests. But no answers.
It took more eight months for a diagnosis and more than a year before doctors determined the only treatment that could save his life was surgery that could end it.
The Sunday before surgery our Senior Pastor invited laying on of hands as he prayed, “Father, spare his life.” We all prayed and prayed.
When they took Rev back to surgery I didn’t know if I would see him again this side of heaven.
December 2007 – Just three months later…
My mom fell down the stairs at a theater breaking her hip, wrist, and neck.
And we prayed and prayed.
February 2008 – Two months later…
[Tweet “Our friends started calling us a “high-maintenance prayer family.””]
After our grandson insisted on entering the world four months early and weighing only 1 lb. 9 oz. we found ourselves on our knees again.
And we prayed and prayed.
Fast forward 7 years to February 2015
Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Philippians 1:3
Mom went to her heavenly home in January 2008
and I still miss her every day.
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled.
Trust in God, and trust also in me.
There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.
If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going
to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready,
I will come and get you,
so that you will always be with me where I am.” John 14:1–3
Our miracle, Joshua, will be 7 years old this month.
And he’s doing great!
Give thanks to Him who alone does mighty miracles.
His faithful love endures forever. Psalm 136:4
These are our stories.
Stories lived in intense prayer. Crying out. Pleading. Surrendering.
They aren’t our only prayer stories. There are many others.
But these stand out.
Miracles. Joy and celebration.
Grief. Comfort and hope.
Life. Lived in prayer.
“Prayer is as natural an expression of faith as breathing is of life.” ~Jonathan Edwards
Prayer is time in God’s presence.
“The goal of prayer is to live all of my life and speak all of my words in the joyful awareness of the presence of God.” ~John Ortberg
“Prayer is talking with God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart.” ~Josh McDowell
“Teach me to let go, dear God, and pray undisturbed until my heart is filled with inner peace and I learn to know your will.” ~Helen Steiner Rice
“Praying in faith is not an inner conviction that God will act according to our desires if only we believe hard enough. It involves believing that God will always respond to our prayers in accord with His nature, His purposes, and His promises.” ~Alvin VanderGriend
Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. Romans 12:12
Depending on the version you read, the Bible uses some form of the word “pray” between 315 and 525 times. It seems spending time with people who approach Him in faith and hope through prayer is important to God.
May you and I be among those who approach Him in faith, with hope . . . in prayer.
“Grant that I may not pray alone with the mouth; help me that I may pray from the depths of my heart.” ~Martin Luther