Thursday was a sad day for me.
Not only did I find out that one of my teen students had a miscarriage (mind you, we didn’t know that she was pregnant), but one of my niece’s classmates won her battle against Leukemia and transitioned home to Glory. I want to pause here and identify why I say that she “won her battle.” The Christian in me wholly believes that when we die, we have the victory because we are reunited with our Lord and Abba. I don’t consider that a loss for that person, but instead a win. Yes, we mourn for a season or a lifetime, but our deceased loved one has been set free.
She won her battle.
I didn’t come here today to talk about what you may think. I came here today because of something that my best friend said to me as I sat in a mountain of guilt. Walk and pray with me, family.
A few months ago both my mother and my niece brought Keziah to me to bring to the church in prayer. She was in the battle and undergoing chemo so she and her family were seeking prayer. I brought her name and situation to our Intercessory Prayer Ministry and before our church. After no longer hearing her name mentioned on the prayer list, my mother asked, “why don’t you call her name anymore? She didn’t just need one prayer, she needs ongoing prayer.” I offered what I now recognize as an excuse and tried to keep her in my thoughts. When I got the news that she had passed, I felt like it was my fault. I felt like the only reason she died was because I did not pray enough or hard enough for her. I felt the weight of a mountain of guilt as I questioned what I could have done better or differently. There are so many families in my immediate circle who are in mourning and if I had just prayed like my grandmother used to, maybe their loved ones would still be alive. Maybe… just maybe.
I carried that weight for two days before I finally broached my best friend with the subject. That’s when she, in her God-given wisdom, said something that will forever resonate in my heart.
We pray in God’s will.
Five simple words yet their truth sting in a reality that I can’t even begin to express. My best friend had to remind me that when we pray, we are not asking God to do what we want, but we are bringing our petitions in faith, understanding that His will will be done. I get it. It can seem like we are praying against a future that has already been decided but that is not the true case. I can think of countless times in the Bible when the outcome of a situation changed because of the faithful prayers of believers (cue Esther, Job, David, Solomon, Hannah, Lazarus, Sarah, and so many others). Prayer indeed changes things. I know that. My heart knows that. Yet in that moment, I allowed guilt to flood me.
As we continue in this Motivational month of March, I want to encourage you to do one thing- pray without ceasing. Life may not turn out exactly how we pray (because He is our Lord and Savior, not a magician or a genie), but we can rest in the fact that God hears us and He is answering our prayers, even if it doesn’t seem like it to us. Pray in faith, Beloved, and pray without ceasing.
Our Father, Who art in Heaven; hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth, as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day, our daily bread
And forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,
For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
That is the Motivation in Prayer.