Friday, October 29, 2010

The Necessary Element of Prayer

Monday night of this week, Darin Hufford’s daughter Emma was rushed to the hospital after she fell off the monkey bars onto her back. She broke her arm in two places and there was concern that she might also have spinal injuries. It was stressful for the family as they waited. The doctors finally decided to do an MRI but she reacted badly to the medicine they gave her so the MRI had to be cancelled. Darin later reported that she was fine and was being released.
While I waited, all I could think of was sweet little Emma lying on a hospital bed with possible major injuries. What was going on with my friends was difficult for me since I was so far away plus I had just seen them the week before. (To read my post regarding the wonderful weekend I spent with Darin and his family, follow this link.)

On this journey that I’m on, I’ve struggled with knowing what prayer should look like. As I worried about Emma and her family, I thought about putting this need on a prayer list. Instead, I ended up asking only one friend to pray. When the good report came that Emma was fine and that she was home, I told my friend, Linda, and the joy and relief on her face was obvious. I told her that I knew she would pray and it was obvious to me that she had.

I thought about why she was the only one I had asked to pray even though there were other friends I could have asked and the answer that came to me was love. I knew that even though she didn’t know Darin or Emma, she knew me and loved me. Because she loved me, I was confident that she would care about and pray for what was important to me.

We hear so much about faith being the secret to effective prayer. Although faith is important, there’s another element that I believe is just as important and maybe even more important than faith and that element is love. Without love, we won’t pray and, if we do pray, it’ll be a half hearted prayer that we do to get over our feelings of guilt and then we quickly forget to pray again. The bottom line is we don’t pray because we don’t love.

Love will compel us to pray and to continue to pray even when we don’t see the results we want. We can’t work up love but, as we’re set free by God’s love and acceptance, love will become who we are.

As I look at this friend who prayed for Emma, I see love personified in her. Linda is love and, even though she struggles with issues in her own life, she doesn’t hesitate to talk to our Daddy because love compels her.


Amy said...

So so true, Aida! I cannot tell you how grateful that I am that Emma is ok! Her back is going to be ok, and she walked away without MAJOR injuries.. the injuries that the dr.'s were saying could possibly be.
Prayer is one of this areas...especially when it comes to healing that I feel so blind in..but I do ask. Jesus did say, " Ask." And I wonder if sometimes the best prayer we can pray is the simple whisper or utterance of a person's name. God knows the rest.
Loved this post.. just started following your blog! Thankyou so much for your heart and for sharing!

Aida said...

Amy, like you, I was so thankful when I heard that Emma was okay. It seemed like a long wait but I’m glad the report was good.

I’ve always struggled with prayer even while I was active in the institution. I could do a good job pretending that I was praying with authority but it usually didn’t seem real. I tried prayer lists and every possible way I could think of to pray with faith but it all just seemed phony. Now, I don’t try to pray for everything but I feel like my prayers are more real and when I need to pray for someone like the Hufford family who I dearly love, prayer is no effort even if I don’t know what to pray. I’ve come to believe that God prays through my thoughts for them since he and I are one.

I love your idea of prayer being as simple as a “whisper or utterance of a person's name.” You’re right God knows the rest and I believe all we have to do is enter into his love and compassion for them. I’m really beginning to think that prayer is more simple than we’ve been led to believe. I also believe it’s a journey and we’ll enter into deeper aspects of prayer as we grow in love.

I’m so glad you’re enjoying my blog. Thanks for commenting. It really helps me to hear others’ thoughts because you fill in so much of what I sometimes miss.