Where Prayer Comes In

It was a scene I couldn’t have imagined just twenty-four hours earlier: my sisters, their husbands, my husband, and I all flat on our faces before the Lord crying out for the life of our mom in a rental cabin deep in the woods of Maine in the 2AM darkness. It was a shattering conclusion to what had been a wonderful family vacation.

An hour earlier, my sweet mom had fallen down a steep flight of stairs, and unbeknownst to us, had broken her neck in two critical, potentially lethal, places. After what felt like an eternity, the ambulance had found its way to us, and my parents were headed to the hospital. As children, our sense of fear was profound. Our loss of control was a given. All we could do was pray.

All we could do was pray.

Not every day presents us with the stark reality of our lack of control like that day did for me, but it’s true. Life, in so many ways, is out of our hands. But here’s another, more beautiful, reality: nothing escapes God’s loving gaze or slips between His fingers. And that’s where prayer comes in. It’s a way of acknowledging His perfect loving kindness and releasing our white-knuckle grip from the steering wheel of our lives. (Pro tip: You’re not steering, anyway.)

A question I often ask myself is: what’s mine to carry, what’s another person’s to carry, and what’s God’s to carry? So many things fall into that third category, and it’s there that I remind myself of the deep goodness of God and surrender my people and my circumstances to Him in faith. Prayer draws me to the source of perfect love, God Himself, and my soul finds rest in Him alone.

Truly, my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.  -Psalm 62:1

It gives me deep joy and thankfulness to let you know that my mom is healthy and whole nearly 24 years after that accident, seeing seven more grandchildren added to our family, enjoying the life God’s given her, and continuing to disciple others. Not every story ends like this one, but every story surrendered to God will be replete with His love. It’s the only kind of story He can tell.

Julie Eesley