Every Prayer Matters
Yesterday afternoon I had a former student come over and make paper with me. Scot had texted asking what I was doing with my Saturday, and I invited him to do something new. Scot's not so much the arts and crafts type kid, but we had some good laughs and good conversation while trying out my new hobby. I had a lot of fun, and now I have a stack of paper to use for notes and thank you cards and some insight on how to do it better next time.
This morning at church, I got to be a part of the prayer ministry for the first time. Anne had asked me to pray about joining just when I got to America, and I had told her when I got back that I was interested in starting. Today I sat next to Jane and prayed alongside her and had a chance to share with her at the end how special this whole opportunity is for me.
Two years and two weeks ago, God started a wild journey with me relating to how I understand prayer. I felt a really strong urge from the Holy Spirit to ask the person sitting next to me watching a thunderstorm to pray for me to stand and dance in the rain - and I said no. I was convicted for three days until I finally did get that person to pray for me, and the experience was horrible - they told me God wasn't going to heal me until I learned enough about suffering and lamentation. Beginning that night, the Lord kept waking me up to pray for hours at a time for healing in that person's heart. I started reading book after book on prayer; I started praying hour after hour for lots of things.
A lot of the details of that prayer journey have been shared here publicly as I realized how God was working out growth in my life or sparking conversations with students or peers about how God speaks to us, loves us, heals us, or grows us. I've read over sixty books on prayer as I've tried to be faithful to God's call to pray for this person daily. This isn't someone I interact with regularly, so I have no evidence of what God is doing in their heart, but I saw so clearly this morning how ready and natural I felt participating in prayer ministry because of what I've learned over the past two years.
Relating all of that to Jane after the service, she identified the thread of faithfulness that God has developed in me. I am so sure that despite not seeing the answers I expected, every prayer has mattered over the past two years. This all started with a request related to my physical healing, and I still am using a wheelchair and dealing with annoying complications from nerve damage, but I'm still asking every reader to join with me in prayers for healing - for my body and the hearts of those hurting around us. I crave every prayer I can get because I know how much it matters, but I also know the Holy Spirit is likely speaking to you about an individual who is hurting that you are being prompted to pray for. Take a second to lift us up on purpose - me and someone close to you - because your prayers make a difference whether you immediately see it or not.