Prayer. It used to be something I did out of obligation. A bunch of well scripted phrases said everynight before falling asleep. A last ditch effort when all my plans fell through. “I’ll be praying for you!” I’d say to someone but after a few minutes, I’d walk away and forget all about them. Pretty pathetic, right? Especially since I’d been a Christian for many years and had grown up being taught to pray. I seemed destined for a lukewarm prayery life, but God had other plans for me.
It all started four years ago. A series of events led me to undoubtedly the darkest time in my life. I was suicidal and felt as though every ounce of life had been sucked out me. I was broken. One day Nancy Verwey called me and told me God was wanting me to stand up and fight. She said I needed to pray and cry out to God and lean on him for my strength. This seemed nearly impossible but what other choice did I have. So, I began to pray, sometimes for hours on my face crying out to God. And something beautiful began to happen. I started getting stronger and the sadness and fear that was crippling me began to dissipate. I kept on praying, gaining strength. But God had even more in store for me.
I started walking my boys to school every morning and one day I decided to start praying for them during my walk back home. Then, I started praying for family, friends, my church. The list kept growing. I would invite God and His holy spirit into my day each morning and ask that His will be done. I saw God work in my kids lives, my church, my relationships. But He still wasn’t done.
My husband was given a large business contract that required him to be out of town for several weeks. I felt the Lord telling me to put my own needs aside and be a support for Bryon during this time. I began to pray and in my faithfulness and obedience to Him, my marriage blossomed. But wait….there’s more.
About a year ago I was really struggling with feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. I would compare myself to others wishing I could be anyone but me. I told my mom how I was feeling and she encouraged me to pray and ask God to help me be more comfortable in my own skin. Once again, I took my need to Him, he heard my prayer and a wonderful transformation began. My self confidence continues to grow everyday and I am relishing just being “me”.
I could keep going but I think you get the point. Prayer is empowering. It gives you a sense of hope in an otherwise hopeless situation. It restores lives, brings light into darkness, and allows us intimacy with our holy father. I am living, breathing proof of that. Oh, and if I tell you I will pray for you, I actually will. 🙂
Written by Joanna McCoy