The Power of Prayer
Today is National Day of Prayer so I’m backing up in time in this series to when I was in the hospital and very depressed about my circumstances.
The days began to drag by. Each day melted into the next, the only thing breaking it up were random and regular visitors of family and friends. It truly was a blessing. My dear old friends from college/sorority would sneak me in fast food, Chinese, Thai, Indian - whatever my craving was - because the hospital food was so awful. (Having been a flight attendant for seven years, I knew what awful food tasted like, but this was unbelievably worse!) Ladies from church would come to pray with me. Some would bring encouraging devotional books, or the current bible study we were working on in our Women’s Bible Study Group. One woman, while visiting, was listening to me lament over my situation and she heard the worry and anxiety in my voice.
”Have you talked to God about it?” She inquired.
”What do you mean?” I asked. ”I mean, I pray…”
”Yes, but how do you pray?” She pressed. “God isn’t a genie in a bottle who grants all our wishes when we ask. We need to seek His will and pray accordingly.”
She got up from the chair she was sitting in across the room and came over to me. She handed me a little book. It was Lord, Teach Me to Pray: In 28 Days, by Kay Arthur.
”This will help you learn how God wants you to communicate with Him. I hope you find encouragement in it.” she said gently.
I looked up at her and nodded. She knew I was a fairly new Christian and was still learning about who God is and who I am as His child, after spending the better part of my life being raised in the Catholic Church, and only knowing how to pray rote prayers, but never having a real relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
”May I pray for you now?” she asked tenderly.
I nodded and bowed my head, overwhelmed with emotion - confusion over the immense unconditional love this woman who I hardly knew was displaying for me and conviction for not seeking God in my heartache, worry, and depression.
I don’t quite know what she said in her prayer because I was praying my own prayer while she spoke over me:
God, I want to know You more. There is so much I don’t understand about having a relationship with You. I am grateful I can come before You now and speak plainly to You, and that You know all my hurts and needs already. Please help me to sort it all out, and I thank You for this woman you’ve brought to me today. Amen.
I worked through the little book off and on for a couple of weeks. I don’t believe I ever finished it, but truths from it stayed with me over the years. Although I don’t remember that sweet woman’s name, I am grateful for the Lord bringing her to me, “for such a time as was this.“
*The little bear in the picture was brought to Paxton by a visitor. It was during the time in the late ‘90’s/early 2000’s when everyone was collecting the TY Beanie Babies. Each Beanie Baby had a name and a little quote or poem on their tag. This bear’s name was “Hope,” and the poem on her tag read,
”Every night when it’s time for bed
Fold your hands and bow your head
An angelic face, a heart that’s true
You have a friend to pray with you!”