“Brenda I don’t think we are going to be able to come to David’s Refuge this weekend. I have tried everyone I know to cover a hole in our childcare.”
It was a cry of desperation. Everything was set except for a four hour hole. It looked hopeless. Brenda said, “We will pray for you.”
So we stopped what we were doing and we prayed in the kitchen. We prayed specifically for one thing: “Father, please have someone call Debbie out of the blue and ask her specifically is there anything I can do to help you.” Thirty minutes later we get a phone call from Debbie. She said, “You will never guess what happened! A friend of mine called me about something unrelated to our upcoming weekend and at the end of our discussion she asked, ‘Is there anything I can do to help you?’” Luck? Fate? Answered prayer? I am a believer in the power of prayer.
So what can we learn from this story? Here are a few lessons I learned:
- Prayer is not a sign of weakness. Prayer is a conscious choice of admitting we can’t do it alone. It is an act of vulnerability that connects us to God and others. It puts us in a position of strength, not weakness. One of the greatest and damaging lies we can believe is that we can do it on our own. Prayer dispels that lie and frees us to lean on someone else when it seems unbearable or impossible.
- Don’t be afraid to let others know of your need. When you share a need with someone else they can join you in praying with you and for you. I have discovered that often when I am in the midst of a trial it is difficult to pray. Sharing your need allows someone else to pray for you and your need. They get to storm the gates of heaven on your behalf. If you are too tired or broken or your faith has been stretched too thin let someone else pray for you.
- Learn to be a gracious receiver! God most often answers prayer through other people. When someone offers you support or help accept it. It is a gift, it is an answer to your prayers. Don’t be like the guy in this story: A man is sitting on his porch as flood waters rise. A woman floats by in a boat, asking if the man needs help. “No, thank you,” says the man, “I’m trusting in the Lord.” The waters rise higher, sending the man upstairs. A raft full of people floats by his second story window. “Get in,” they say, “there’s plenty of room.” “No thanks,” says the man, “I’m trusting in the Lord.” The flood waters keep rising, pushing the man up to the roof. A helicopter swoops in, lowering its ladder for the man. “Thanks anyway,” shouts the man, “I’m trusting in the Lord.” Finally, the man is swept away in the torrent and drowns. At the gates of Heaven, the man asks God, “Why didn’t you save me?” “What do you mean?” replies God, “I sent two boats and a helicopter.”
- Don’t ever stop believing in the impossible. Prayer is a step of faith that acknowledges that miracles are still possible.
If you have wondered how you can pray for families who have children with special needs the following acrostic will help you.
P: Patience and Peace
C: Courage (to face what we have to face, and make the hard decisions)
I: Intimate friends (who will come along beside us, and help us along our journey; also friends for our children)
A: Ability (teaching skills for the parents and increased accomplishments for our children)
L: Love (of course! from parents towards sometimes difficult children, and from classmates towards our children, and that our children would also learn to love)
If there is anything we can pray for you please let us know.