This is the confidence we have
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. I John 5:14
As a 17-year volunteer with the American Cancer Society, I have had the privilege to pray with, and for, many people and their family members, fighting this vicious disease.
I have witnessed the miracle of a dire diagnosis become a celebration of healing and restoration.
I have prayed with parents whose children are racked with this disease; who lie in a hospital bed sick and confused. Not understanding why their parents allow the Doctors and Nurses to do things that hurt them and make them so sick. Their parents praying they have made the right decisions, all-the-while, begging God to let them bear the disease and all that goes with it.
I have prayed for those in their last hours as they slip from this life of sickness and pain into the arms of God fully healed and free of agony and sorrow.
And I have prayed for parents and family members who have had their very hearts torn from them as they release their child, parent, wife, daughter, son and family member from the grips of cancer.
Prayer Is as Involuntary and Essential as Breathing
Prayer is powerful. For me, prayer is as involuntary and essential as breathing.
Prayer is automatic. When I see an accident on the road or hear of some terrible incident in the news I pray.
I John 5:14 is a verse from the Bible that is so ingrained into who I am that I just know automatically that God hears my prayers. I also know that “He watches over His Word to perform it.” (Jeremiah 1:12) God is a god of action, He does what he says.
It is easy to get into the mindset that we shouldn’t pray for insignificant things. That prayer should be reserved for real problems or needs. After all, God is much too busy to concern Himself over our petty situations.
I had been in that frame of mind when God taught me that not only does he hear every prayer we pray, but he cares about everything that affects our lives.
The week had been filled with planning and preparing for meetings that were coming up. It seemed that I constantly had to pick up food or supplies for one activity or another.
One eventful day, I knew I would not have time after work to go home and change clothes before an important meeting. I dressed in the outfit I planned on wearing and hoped it would still look good 9 hours later. I picked out my favorite earrings to wear with this outfit. They were not expensive earrings; just ones that I had found at a local store. I liked them because of their color and how they matched with the outfit.
I made it through the day and went to pick up dinner for the meeting. While waiting for the order, a woman standing next to me commented on how lovely my earrings were. I smiled and thanked her, got my order, and left thinking nothing more of it.
At the meeting, one of the ladies commented on how much she liked my earrings. Again, I smiled, thanked her, and put it out of my mind.
It became apparent that my earring was gone.
When I got home that night, exhausted from the day, I changed into my comfy clothes. It was at that point I realized one of my earrings was missing. My first thought was, “Did I just wear one earring all day?”
After searching in my jewelry box, it became apparent that my earring was gone. My heart sank. I traced my steps in my mind wondering where I could have lost it. It was late, and I was too tired, to go back to my office or the restaurant to look for the earring so I just said a short prayer, “Lord, if you know where it is, please show it to me.”
Then I thought, “That is such a petty thing to ask of God, those earrings didn’t cost a lot, and it’s no big deal if you lost one. Get over yourself.”
The next day I looked everywhere I had been at work, office, restroom, meeting rooms. No sign of the earring. I called the restaurant to check, but no earring had been found. I sighed and concluded that my favorite pair of earrings were no more. But, maybe I could have a necklace made from the remaining one. That would have to suffice.
I was overwhelmed!
A few days later I walked into my kitchen. The light was shining through the window in such a way as to cast a golden glow across the floor. I saw something hiding behind one of the stools at the breakfast bar. I thought the dog had brought in a stick or something from the back yard as he often does, so I reached down to pick it up and toss it into the garbage. To my surprise, it was not a stick, but my other earring.
Now it had been several days since the earring went missing and I had reconciled to myself that it was gone, never to be seen again. But then I remembered what I had prayed, “Lord, if you know where it is, please show it to me.” And he just did.
I was overwhelmed! Not because of the earring in-of-itself, but because God heard my prayer and answered. I had chastised myself thinking it was petty to ask my Heavenly Father for something that seemed so selfish. But He LOVES me SO much, that He heard even this simple prayer and He answered.
I rejoice in the lesson that I learned that day. Prayer is not just a formal petition to the one who formed the earth and hung the stars and moon. The King of Kings, and Lord of Lords is our loving Father who knows our needs and wants, and hears even those whispers that no one else does. He loves us SO much that he will show us those things we’ve lost if we just ask.
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6;26
Just as He cares for the birds of the air, he cares even more for you and I. He wants us to know that He cares, even in the little things.