There is no doubt in our minds that Abigail would not have survived her initial injury if it had not been for the prayers of thousands of people around the world, most of whom we’ve never met. It is impossible to overstate the power in the prayer of faith.
There were times when we very weary or discouraged, to the point where we could not even pray. This is a very dark place to be, yet especially at those times we were carried by the prayers of others. If you are the one going through a challenging situation, do not be afraid to reach out and ask for prayer. You may feel awkward or self-conscious doing this, but in reality you are offering a blessing to others – the blessing of being involved in God’s work and miracles. Prayforabby.com is the result of a 2 minute hallway conversation I had with Michelle Lutjen on Abbie’s 3rd day in the PICU. It began as an attempt just to keep our mainland family and friends updated about Abbie’s constantly changing condition. The site quickly became a floodgate through which prayers of many poured through and saved Abbie’s life.
If you are watching someone you care about go through a challenging situation, organize prayer chains, prayer vigils, set up a website or just spread the word (with their permission). The comfort it brings to know others are praying is immense, and beyond that…prayer changes everything.
Although he wasn’t speaking of prayer, Winston Churchill’s words often come to my mind, “Never, never, never quit.” Some answers come quickly, and others tarry, but not one prayer is ever wasted. I am amazed at what God has done in me as I have persisted in prayer and refused to be turned away without the promises to which Abbie is an heir.
E.M Bounds is one of my favorite writers on prayer. Here a just are couple quotes from his book, On Prayer.
“The flame is not mental vehemence nor fleshly energy. It is divine fire in the soul, intense, dross-consuming – the very essence of the Spirit of God…There is no incense without fire; no prayer without the flame.”
“We have need, too, to give thought to that mysterious fact of prayer – the certainty that there will be delays, denials, and seeming failures, in connection with its exercise. We are to prepare for them, brook for them, and cease not in our urgent praying. Like a brave soldier, who, as the conflict grows more stern, exhibits a superior courage than in the earlier stages of the battle; so does the praying Christian, when delay and denial face him, increase his earnest asking, and ceases not until prayer prevail.”
Some verses about prayers that have encouraged me are:
John 15:7 – Jesus said, “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you.”
Mark 11:24 – Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
James 5:16 – The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
Psalm 34:17 – The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; and He delivers them from all their troubles.
Psalm 55:16-17 – I call to God, and the LORD hears me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress and He hears my voice.
Matthew 7:7-8 – Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Isaiah 65:24 – “Before [my people] call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear,” says the Lord.