Prayer is an attitude of the heart. It is trust. It is knowing who God is and understanding the attributes of a loving Father. Sometimes what I want isn’t good for me. Sometimes another’s actions cause me harm. Sometimes evil just happens without any apparent cause. But in all things I develop strength, peace, and joy through knowing that my Father in heaven loves me and wants what is best for me. When I trust Him, I can face any circumstance, because I am not focused on the here and now, but on Him. When my son was sick and the pediatrician’s face fell, he took my hand and said, “you know why we are running these tests, don’t you?” then I knew that I should be terrified. I had nowhere to turn but prayer. I cried out in my heart, “Jesus, help me.” Help me carry on. Help me get through this day. Help me care for my child. “I trust you, just Help, please Lord.” And as I looked inward, to my heart and the knowing Father who dwells with me at the deepest level, I was flooded with peace of heart and mind. He poured out His peace and I was calm. I know it is supernatural when it is good and doesn’t make sense. Peace in the face of great uncertainty about my child’s health was not my natural response. It was supernatural. It was good.
God does not need my prayers. But through prayer, I am able to participate in the treasure that He desires to give me. I know He desires good for me. He has walked beside me for years and whispered in my heart, “I love you. I want what’s best for you and your children.” But above all I know that He desires peace and joy in my heart despite my circumstances. A sick child. The debilitating fear. How do I put one foot in front of the other? But slowly, as I have nothing but God, when I turn to Him in prayer He shows up and teaches me about love. There might always be a deeper sadness or a greater pain. Even death cannot snatch me or those He loves out of His hand. This life is fleeting, but in it, I know that He desires to heal and to save. Praying through is my only option; I know nothing else to do. And then healing comes. First peace, then joy, and then healing. My child is fine. The virus must run its course. And the Lord does the healing.
I love my son. I want what is best for him. I want health and abundance in life for him. But above all I want him to know that he is loved. My heavenly Father treats me that way. He’s given me that glimpse of his love for me, His child. It’s only a glimpse and not fully developed, as in a mirror or shadow. But my love for my child feels enormous, searing, painful at times. And I get a small taste of how my heavenly Father feels about me. Prayer is my opportunity to get to know my God. He desires my good, but more importantly He desires for me to know Him as He knows me. And He loves me.