Hundreds of people were crowding into the dining room for lunch at the ladies conference that I was attending. The tables, each seating about fourteen, were quickly filling up. The seventh person to come to my table was an attractive woman in her early 50’s, who looked as if she could conquer the world. She asked if she could sit next to me. When I nodded in affirmation, she quickly took a seat, and as she did I noticed that her wrist had been injured. When our meals finally arrived I watched her hesitate a bit before picking up her utensils. She took the knife loosely in her good hand and the fork in the other, but looked unsure about her ability to complete the task. Her first attempts failed miserably, but she kept trying until she managed to slice off one small bite. She put the utensils down, switched the fork to her good hand and put the little morsel in her mouth. I watched her face contort as she began to work on a second piece. I couldn’t bear to watch her struggle any more, so I asked if could help.
In spite of her apparent embarrassment she quickly accepted. As I cut up her meal into bite-sized pieces we began to talk. She told me how she’d broken her wrist and how frustrated she was with the way her injury had limited her ability to do the most menial of tasks. She complained that the break was mending much slower than she’d expected, and couldn’t understand why. So I asked her if she’d prayed for healing. She stared blankly at me for a minute. Then, with a bewildered look on her face she said, “You know, it had never occurred to me to pray for myself. I go to church. I believe in God and I often pray for other people. But praying for my own healing has never crossed my mind.” Her voice was filled with such a deep sadness that I knew that she was losing hope.
So I asked if she would mind if I prayed with her. She reached over her plate and grabbed my hand without hesitation and bowed her head to pray. In the midst of the commotion we talked to God together, and asked Him to relieve her of pain and to heal her. She squeezed my hand as tears of relief ran down her cheeks. Before leaving the table at the end of the meal, my prayer partner hugged me, turned around, and walked away with renewed hope in her eyes. I have never seen her again.
Sadly, this sweet woman is not the only one who is guilty of overlooking the obvious. Prayer should be a Christian’s first line of defense during times of trouble and should come as naturally, and as often, as breathing. Curiously, it is often the last measure taken. Why is that? Could it be that there is a misconception about what prayer is? Do people think that there is a particular method involved when approaching God in prayer? Or, like her, do we think ourselves selfish if we pray for what we need? Scripture tells us that ‘we don’t get because we don’t ask’. But when we do, let’s remember to speak to God from the depths of our hearts, not only from our mouths and trust that whatever He chooses to do for us is best.
We are so accustomed to fighting our physical problems with a physical solution that we tend to overlook the most effective weapon we have at our disposal. Prayer. Instead of turning to God for help and guidance we run to people or struggle to overcome our ordeals alone. Some things are beyond the scope of our human capabilities and out of our control. For God…nothing is impossible.
So, whenever we are attacked by physical problems or begin to fret and worry about things that we can’t figure out, let’s focus on God’s ability to do what we can’t. Let’s thank Him for resolving our situation before we see it happen. It is easy to thank God when things are going right. Faith is not just a matter of believing in God. Faith is believing in what we hope for…even when all the cards are stacked up against it ever happening.
Christian’s have a direct line to God through Christ. The same way we share our concerns, joys and sorrows with those we love, we can share these things with God. There is no method to the way we talk to our loved ones. Why should it be any different with God? He wants to get involved in our lives–but He won’t if we don’t want Him to.
Martin Luther once said “Pray, and let God worry. Good advice.