I believe that God hears our prayers. I believe that He also answers the cries of our hearts when we go earnestly to Him. I believe that it is when we have the courage to pray the best prayers that we truly see God’s power unfold in our lives.
Most days contain some type of discomfort. The longer you are on this earth, whether it is the loss of a child or a downright stressful day, the discomforts seem to keep coming. Sure, they come in varying types and depths (and thank God for that), but in even the most joyous times and days pain seems not too far off.
When I was younger this was a source of great fear for me. “God, you ask me to trust you…but how can I when impending dooms of all sorts seem to linger around?” In my prayers I would beg and plead for God to just keep…these…things…far…from…me!
One day the impending doom came. “I am sorry to tell you, your baby is not compatible with life.”
Where my prayers not answered? Did God not hear me when I begged and pleaded? He heard me alright, but it seems I had been praying conflicting prayers.
While my body was busy crying out out for sparing of pain and suffering, my Spirit was busy praying a far different prayer. On August 18, 2013, on the day I found out I was pregnant with Gideon, I wrote down this verse and prayed this prayer:
Psalm 121:7-8 “The Lord will keep you from all harm, he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going. Both now and forevermore.”
“How quickly I doubt in this promise. Though I am bruised I am not crushed, for you are always with me. Today is a special day…a positive pregnancy test! I am so grateful, excited, overjoyed, thankful and more thankful! I praise you Lord for this life and praise you for the peace and trust I have in you. I can rest knowing that this verse is true, that you are good and that nothing happens in our lives that is not by your knowing. Dear God, thank you! Protect this little life, even now, a child of yours…”
Three months before Gideon’s fatal diagnosis, my Spirit as if knowing, prayed these prayers of trust in God’s hand and knowledge and plan. Its as if my Spirit prayed what was needed, what my body, mind and fears might not have had the courage to pray. A prayer of pre-emptive trust, not dependant upon circumstance or the length of the life of my child, dependant only upon the promise that God watches out for our comings and goings.
And what of the part of the verse that says the Lord will keep us from harm? What of that for the mother of a child whose life would last but an hour and a half?
There is no harm in this life that can compare to the eternity we have safely in the arms of God. Even death cannot destroy that. And I will relish fully in every harmless moment I have for all eternity with my baby boy. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6:18-20
In these days I pray every day for the courage not to ask all the things I so badly want to spend my time begging for. Please God…
…no more child loss…
…no cancer ever…
…no more pain for mommies losing babies…
…let us keep our home…job…comfort…
…keep my children safe…happy…secure…healthy…
My heart beats to pray these things because God implanted and created in me a love for others that permeates every minute of every day. But he also created in me a love for Him, and in my limited time of prayer each day…may He give me the courage to focus there.
That God would be firmly in the lives of my children, moment to moment, day by day surrounding them with every angel needed for the situations they find themselves in. For the wisdom to raise them well and for their lives to be dedicated to the things of heaven instead of the things of earth.
That in all my calculations I would resist the time and temptation to pray for things to go my way but instead pray boldly for them to His way (even when His way includes the sometimes scary and unknown). Because I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there are deep, great, powerful things in His plans. Gideon’s life was living proof of that truth.
I remind myself of these things because as life teeters on, with both the happy and the sad, I desire to remember to always to have the courage to pray the words of Jesus…
Not my will, but thine be done.