“Have you ever wondered how many of these prayers God has answered?” I asked, thumbing through the notebook I’d kept for years.
“Hasn’t it been amazing to watch God work in our families?” my friend replied.
“What’s your favorite answered prayer?” I asked.
“Hmmm . . . my son’s recovery from the methamphetamine addiction. No wait! The ordeal of Ashley—or . . . I can’t. There are too many. What about you?”
“My grandchildren are the best. With five years of prayer under our belts it’s hard to choose, but two of God’s greatest answers are my daughters-in-law. They’re a perfect fit in our family,” I said.
In a Family Way
Prayer has changed our families. On Monday afternoons, you will find my friend and me cozied up on a couch with a cup of tea, a Bible and our prayer journals. We have been awestruck by the answered prayers, even some downright miracles.
Our weekly prayer sessions began out of desperation. We each had two sons and one daughter. All six children needed divine intervention in some area of their lives. Between the two families we have battled:
Desperation stalked my friend and me. Our strength diminished with each new crisis that our children faced. Finally, we realized our kids’ lives required divine intervention. We decided to pray together. We needed each other for encouragement, accountability and a reality check.
For myself, I find that concerns over my children magnify when I brood over them. Worry threatens to consume rational thoughts. I cast guilt upon my parenting skills and myself. My prayers experience paralysis. It seems as if my words fall like rocks into puddles instead of floating towards heaven’s throne. It feels as if God is ignoring me.
Find a Prayer-Friend
However, when I get together with my prayer-friend, I experience an uplift of faith; I know that God is hearing our entreaties. My friend gives me a reality check, keeping my feelings from overruling my faith. It is easier for me to believe His words: “They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the LORD, they and their descendants with them. Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:23-24)
God answers prayer. Over the years, we have experienced miracles that could have come only through the hand of God. One son was delivered from a methamphetamine addiction and is now a gainfully employed homeowner. A rebellious, strong-willed daughter now displays compassion and understanding as she prepares to marry a godly man. Another son launched a successful career after years of floundering in indecision. The answers astound us. We have experienced the reality of Christ’s words, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20).
Do you want to be more consistent in prayer for your family? Would you like to squelch the guilt that mocks you during prayer? Do you need a fresh vision for prayers that seem delayed? If you answered yes, then I recommend a prayer-friend. Ask God to direct you to a friend with whom you can pray regularly for your children, your husband or any other needs you have in your life.
It’s important that you set guidelines for your prayer appointments. This is not the time to chitchat and catch up on the week’s events. Delegate the time to prayer. Share briefly the prayer requests, then pray. Record and date your prayers, so that you both have a personal record of the prayers and the praises for how God answers. And don’t allow discouragement to creep in and keep you from your prayer appointment - consider it a divine appointment.
Not all of our prayers have been answered yet. Two of our children still walk in the darkness of immorality. They refuse to be part of our family. We rarely hear from them, but God hears from us. Although some prayers seem to go unheard, we wait and trust. A divine delay doesn’t deter us. We pray regardless of outward appearances because we have already witnessed the answers to so many other prayers concerning our children. We know He loves our children more than we do, and He is more patient than we are. The Bible says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). He is patient with everyone and every situation. We’re the ones who become impatient and discouraged.
Regardless of whether God answers quickly or slowly, my prayer-friend and I will continue to meet, to pray and to wait. And we will rejoice and praise our Father in heaven for His divine intervention in our children’s lives. God hears our prayers. He hears yours, too. God hears our desperate prayers, and because He cares, He answers.