“. . . God has made me a byword to everyone . . .” Job 17:6
I love to pray. When one of my sisters in the Lord needs prayer or when I hear of someone that I don’t even know who needs prayer, I delight in praying for them. I enjoy seeking God’s heart on a person’s behalf and at times what I pray surprises me as I pray it.
Since Becky died I’ve experienced hesitation at times about praying for others – especially those who are in a life and death struggle for a child or other loved one. It isn’t anything that anyone else has put upon me, it is my own inner sense of being the mother whose child died in the face of lifted prayers. I’m living proof that God’s answer to prayer isn’t always the answer that we desperately want. I also know that I can’t pray the demanding, bold prayers for life and health and blessing that I’ve often heard others pray. Oh, I can and do ask for complete healing and life, but in the same breath I pray that the parents of the struggling child are given an “Abraham” heart – that they are willing and able to openhandedly give their child to God and wait on Him for the outcome of that complete trust. Sometimes death is the answer.
I pray for God to manifest Himself in the midst of each situation. I pray for His glory and for His perfect character to be more revealed to both the parents and ailing child and to those with whom they interact because of the sickness. I pray that these parents will be enabled to ‘trust in the Lord and do good, to dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture’ and to ‘fret not as it leads only to evil.’ I suspect that these are not the prayers that most of us want to hear.
But I’ve also gained confidence in praying. Becky’s death has shown me that God is enough even in a worst case scenario. I know that I can let go of my strangle-hold on life-as-I-think-it-should-be and trust Him to do much more than just get me through life-as-it-is. This same God that has proven Himself to me is waiting to hear and answer prayers for others facing a worst case scenario.
Job’s name became a byword for grief, suffering, and trials. I pray that ‘for God’s glory’ will become the byword in all situations for all who know Jesus.
“With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of His calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12