Sunday, May 17, 2009

Prayer #2847

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.


Anonymous said...

I prayed, like I've never prayed before, I cried like I've never cried before. Bitter tears, tears that still come down like a pouring summer rain whenever I think about all the things that happened to our little girl. I SCREAMED at God. Will I ever forgive him????? The pain is soooo raw, still. God please help me to be able to forgive you and please God, PLEASE forgive me. No more sins of the father for my little girl.

TUC Crying father.

Billy Coffey said...

This...this shook me.

I once asked the wisest person I knew what the purpose of prayer was.

He said, "Not to make God more like you, but to make you more like God."

That's what He's done with you, my friend.

Monica said...

This touched me also, and I LOVE what Billy Coffey has commented. He hit the nail right on the head! Peace to you and your family~

Jennifer @ said...

Bless you, dear one, bless you for your testimony here. Bless you for your faithfulness ... and for sharing it.

L.L. Barkat said...

TUC Daddy, you've brought me to tears... I can't say anything more than that...

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful family!. You are very lucky to have each other. Love your post :)

Many Blessings to you ~

Jo Ashline said...

What a gorgeous and bittersweet post; i have learned something this morning...your prayer is powerful, selfless, beautiful, heart wrenching, sobering. I pray for your family and for peace in your lives.

MaggieMae said...

WOW! I love the honesty in your writing. So right on. Thanks for stopping by my place. I look forward to reading more from you.

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