To Pray or Not to pray
By Betty J. Dalrymple
The three of us huddle beside the recently covered grave, tears freezing on our cheeks.
“You know what, Mom?” my older daughter asked. “I don’t know if I believe in the power of prayer anymore. I mean, weren’t all those prayers just a waste of time?”
“Wow, do I understand that feeling,” my younger daughter agreed. “Hundreds of people were praying for Dad and he still died, I sometimes wonder, ‘Didn’t God hear all of our prayers?’”
Like a zombie, I stood there in shock and whispered, “At any given time, I often feel the same way.” The I asked the question that haunted me night and day, “How could this have happened? I felt sure our prayers would be answered and your father’s cancer would go into remission.”
As those days of shock and sadness dragged on, I often returned to that cold January morning’s conversation. But how could I give up my belief in the power of prayer? After all, prayer was a priority in my life. My husband, Richard, and I always taught our children to pray. As an adult, I studied books on prayer, and when I read the story of the battle between Israel and Amalek in Exodus, I became fascinated with intercessory prayer. I learned that it was not only the fighters on the field of battle, but also the intercessors on the mountain that made a difference. I didn’t want to bury my prayer life in that grave with Richard, but doubt became a monster that crept in during the night and chided, “Remember how hard you prayed and how sure you were that God would answer?”
Then I’d remember how I tried every possible way of praying. Maybe if I had said the right words in the right way that would help. Perhaps if I prayed on my knees, or visited the prayer room at church, that would make a difference.
Even if the doctors said there was no hope, I would not believe them. I could not imagine life without Richard and I knew God understood and would not let him die. I would not accept their prognosis because I believed in the power of prayer. I knew like those Israelites, our many prayers would help us win the battle for extra time together. The internal argument continued because I knew in my heart I could not live without God in my life and that meant including prayer in my daily schedule.
One morning as I wrestled with the prayer question, the phone rang and my friend asked, “Would you please pray for me? I just found out my breast cancer has returned.”
I put aside my questions, stuffed my doubts, and said, “Of course I will.”
I rejoined our prayer ministry team, prayer for my family, friends, and many others. But something was missing. I had trouble focusing during prayer time, both at worship services and during my personal times of refection.
As the cold winter days turned to springtime, my daughters and I continued visiting the gravesite. “How do you two feel about the power of prayer now?” I asked on morning. Read the rest of this entry »
Archive for the ‘Trust’ Category
Posted by happypizza on August 13, 2008
…One day a man bought a stallion, and all of his friends said, “That’s good.” The next day the stallion ran away, and all of his friends said, “That’s bad.” Two weeks later the stallion returned with a herd of mares. His friends said, “That’s good.” The next day his son broke his shoulder when the stallion threw him off. The friends said, “That’s bad.” The next month war broke out. Because the boy was injured, he could not go to war. The friends said, “That’s good.”
̒̒̒̒ ̒ all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. ̓̓ ̓̓
Posted in fairness, God is fair, God's love, hope, hopeful, hopeless, life is fair, optimism, positive, Romans 8:28, setback, suffering, Thank God, thankful, Trust, Trusting | Tagged: bad, God, God's love, God's plan, good, hopeful, hopless, Romans 8:28, setback, Thank God, That's bad, That's good, That's good That's bad, Trust, Trusting | Leave a Comment »
Posted by happypizza on July 22, 2008
Happypizza: I first read this story (below) many years ago. Since then I’ve often been reminded of it especially during tough times–always thought it had a very unique “life lesson”. Sometimes I’ve found I just have to let go, and let God have His way in life….not matter how terrifying it may seem at first. As in the story below….you might be in for a surprise!
Trust Him….He will hold you up!
A story is told of a man who slid down a rope into a well. He supposed the rope to be of ample length, but to his dismay when he reached the end of it he could not touch the bottom of the well with his feet. He tried to climb back up the rope but could not. In vain he gripped, struggled and clawed at the rope hoping to get back to the top but a mixture of moisture, grease and his sweaty palms made the task all but impossible. Desperate, fearful and terrified he held on for dear life. He dared not let go knowing full well he would be dashed to pieces at the bottom. Eventually he reached his limit and could hold on no more. His strength and every bit of energy he had within him was gone. He finally gave in and let the rope slip from his grasp. He fell-just three inches!
Posted in depth, despair, God, happy pizza, holding on, hope, Trust, Trusting | Tagged: despair, desperation, God, He will hold you up, holding on, hope, in the depths, Trust, Trusting | Leave a Comment »
Posted by happypizza on May 20, 2008
Happypizza: My deepest and sincerest prayers and condolences go out to all those who lost loved ones and/or suffered harm, injury or any kind of loss during the recent cyclone in Myanmar and/or earthquake in China.
I’ve been following the news of the two recent natural (or as some say “unnatural”) disasters in both Burma and China, which tragically resulted in the loss of an untold thousands of lives. It is so sad and sobering to watch as the full scope of the desolation unfolds before our eyes.
It’s real to me as I’ve been to Burma and have friends in both China and Burma—who thankfully are safe.
I will not get into the politics of the disaster, especially considering the one in Burma where the horror of the disaster is compounded by the political situation, but I do want to write about the perceived “God factor” of these events or “acts of God” as natural disasters are often referred too. Especially the question: How could and why does God allow these things to happen?
It seems that natural disasters naturally cause many to lose hope and faith in God and I don’t want to judge why, having never personally experience a disaster and/or lost loved ones tragically and unexpectedly. However, when I hear the news of some major calamity I find it can strangely enough, strengthens my faith and hope in God!
You might wonder how I find a natural disaster to be faith-building? Well, first off it’s helpful to start with a belief in a God or Creating force of Love and a belief in an afterlife of love. This life is definitely (and I want to emphasize this point) definitely not the end!!! The more we hear from people who have died and come back, claiming to have had a Near Death Experiences, the more we learn of the true beauty and scope of love and life after this earthly existence. No pain, no fear, and overwhelming unconditional love and light, especially if one tried to live in love here in this life.
I believe that death for the loving is not something to dread and fear. This physical life/existence is not the final story and we can look forward to an eternal life/existence beyond this life! So I feel no matter how tragic the circumstances are in our current physical reality, those who who have passed on to the next are in a better place. In the loving hands of their Creator and what better place can you be then that? I know my thoughts are simplistic and a huge disaster is a lot more complicated then any one person can fully understand. Each persons life, experiences and circumstance are also different. There is often great horror, pain and difficulties faced by the ones left behind and this is something I don’t fully understand or have an explanation for. But when I hear about a huge amount of people suddenly losing there lives in a natural calamity, I often wonder if they’re better off. Especially in cases where the people lived in extreme poverty, difficult conditions and pain. Maybe it was the Creator’s mercy?
For a compilation on comfort read here:
One addition–not long after I watched a report of both the disasters on the international news, I came across and listened to a old song titled “Can You Tell Me Why Disasters” written and sung by “Zac Lightman”. Below are the lyrics. I think the song’s message is as hauntingly applicable for today as it was when it was written over 20 years ago.
Here are the lyrics:
Can You Tell Me Why Disasters?
Why do the innocent seem to fall for no reason?
They say the good die young,
While the guilty go along
You must believe in Love
to truly understand.
It is the same question down through the ages,
If God is love how could he let this be?
How could he allow the poor to suffer
and then let the guilty go free?
Although death is not a curse for the loving,
it’s a gateway from suffering and pain.
It’s the mercy of God to end their sorrow
and a chance to start over again
Can you tell me why, why, why disasters?
Why do the innocent seem to fall for no reason?
They say the good die young
while the guilty go along
You must believe in Love
to truly understand
Lyrics by Zac Waxman
Please continue to keep the victims of these disasters in your prayers. Pray that help, relief and supplies will get to those who need it desperately and that those who survived will be taken care of and comforted. Please also pray for the commendable and laudable efforts of all those involved in the relief and rehabilitation work–for their strength, courage, skill, and protection while they are helping those who were affected.
Posted in despair, devestating, God, God is fair, God mistake, happy pizza, heartbreak, heaven, hope, hopeful, hopeless, Jesus, Jesus Love, love, positive, sad, sadness, Storm, Storms of life, Trust | Tagged: acts of God, afterlife, Burma, China, cyclone, Disasters, earthquake, faith and hope, God, hope in God, Jesus, loss of life, mourn, Myanmar, Natural Disaster, tragedy, tragic, Unatural Disasters, Why Disasters?, Why God? | 8 Comments »
Posted by happypizza on November 28, 2007