“Pray for us?” She asked so expectantly, detailing a little bit of what was going on in their lives. She said she asked because she knew I would.
And she was right, but I still felt a little bit miffed. This was like the third person in just as many days who had done this. Didn’t they understand that my head hurt? Did they not know what was going on in my own life?
Yes, God gave me a heart for others, and yes I believe in the power of prayer, but if you look around, my prayers don’t seem to be very effective lately.
My husband needs back surgery and we got the runaround and ultimately denial by workers comp. The injury happened in October, the surgery is expected later this month. I have been having debilitating migraines for six months and we still didn’t have any answers.
We were in pain, stressed beyond measure, and clinging to Jesus for dear life, but sure, I’d pray for her while I was there.
Sadly, that was my sarcasm-filled attitude one morning last month before I lifted up a friend in prayer. It wasn’t that I didn’t love my friend, I did. And quite frankly there is no excuse for my sinful attitude, but my head hurt and I was cranky and in all my humanness it came out in all its ugliness… Just as it had on the two or three other unsuspecting Christian sisters who had asked for prayer earlier that weekend who never even knew how bitter I was.
My attitude was sinfully wrong. I have humbled myself before God and repented of my sin, but what changed my heart?
The Unexpected Power of Prayer
Because I do love my friend and I do believe in the power of prayer, I went ahead and began to pray for her request. Just a humble prayer, bringing her words before Jesus. But God didn’t leave it there, because prayer is a two-way street.
What started out as a meek, half-hearted, obligatory prayer, became so much more.
The more I prayed, the more passionate I became.
God moved in my heart, first for my friend, and then for myself. He broke my heart for her, and then for how bitter I was about her situation.
It was so unlike me, unlike anything I have ever been it caught me off guard. How long had I been letting my pain push out the love of Jesus?
When I was finished praying, everything was still the same as before. My head still hurt, my husband still needed surgery, our bills were still piling up, but God had changed my heart.
I felt renewed and refreshed in a way I hadn’t for weeks.
Even though I was clinging to Jesus there was something about truly pouring my heart out for someone else that refilled me like nothing else had.
And for the record, God did answer my prayers for my friend. He gave her just what we asked for in prayer. I know that sometimes His answer is no, but sometimes His answer is yes. I needed that reminder.
How Has God Used Prayer In Your Life Lately?
We would love to hear from you. Has God ever used prayer in your life unexpectedly? Have you ever needed a reminder that while sometimes His answer is no, sometimes His answer is yes? Share your stories in the comments below!
This is an edited excerpt from Heather’s anthology, Candid Conversations. (Or more like the rough draft of one of the chapters.) While each story in the anthology shares a unique perspective, the prevailing theme is that we all struggle, but there is hope to be found in Jesus. Click here to learn more.
(Reminder: We use Amazon affiliate links)