Through the years I have often wondered about prayer... what to pray for, and if it really matters. My prayers started off fairly simple in the early days, "Lord, if you take away this hangover, I promise to never drink Mai Tai cocktails again." Eventually I stopped being so self-centered, "Lord, please keep Cute Boyfriend safe on his motorcycle."
Time wore on and I began to pray more consistently for things I deemed important... someone’s health, marriage, salvation, or the outcome of a court battle. I wondered if those prayers made any difference. It was hard for me to have faith when the conversations seemed so one-sided. Even when things turned out the way I wanted, I still wondered, "Was it always meant to be this way or did my prayers influence the outcome?"
When I found out that the baby I was carrying had a massive heart defect, and that it might be an indication of Down syndrome, I wanted to pray the right prayers but had no clue what they were. Should I pray for a miracle... that the baby’s heart would be fixed in utero and that there would only be 46 chromosomes? Why not.
He answered "No" on both counts.
I prayed that she would eat, that she would heal, that she could go home... "No, no, no," He said. Everyone else prayed too; family, friends, church acquaintances, strangers... hundreds of people, all praying a prayer that, summed up, sounded like, "Let her live."
But after weeks and weeks, it was looking like we were going to get the ultimate "No". And this got me to wondering about my relationship with God. Isn’t He my best friend? Doesn’t He love me? Doesn’t He want only good for me? Let me tell you, if I had any other friend who had the power to save my daughter’s life with one breath of their attention, and they chose not to, well we wouldn’t be best friends anymore.
Did those prayers matter at all? Was she destined to die on some predetermined schedule?
When king Hezekiah was deathly ill, Isaiah told him that the Lord said he would not get better, that he would die. When Hezekiah heard this, he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, "Remember, O Lord, how I have always tried to be faithful to you and do what is pleasing in your sight." Then he broke down and wept bitterly. God tells Isaiah to go back to Hezekiah and say to him, "I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you... I will add fifteen years to your life..." 2KI 20:2-6
Well, Hezekiah’s prayer made a heck of a huge difference, now didn’t it. Hence, I kept on praying for her life. Somewhere around prayer #2847 on her behalf, I realized that I was missing something. You see, I was still mad at God for not performing the miracles He could have. And all those "nos" were starting to make me question my faith altogether. What would it mean for me and God if He let her die? Could I still trust Him, love Him, believe in Him?
Thus, prayer #2847, "God help me to accept your decision concerning my baby. Help me to forgive you if you take my daughter back. Help me to not let my broken heart stand in the way of our relationship. Help me to let go and let you, even though I can’t understand why."
"Yes," He said, "I’ll give you that." And, finally, I felt peace inside.
Reorganization Motivation to Lift Your Organizing Spirits - The following is a guest post on reorganization motivation from regular contributor, Rachel at Useful Beautiful Home. I’ve tried writing this post several...