Why pray?

“But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”- David, 2Samuel 12:23

There aren’t many things more tragic than the death of a child.

We had adopted BabyGirl into our hearts. We prayed for this infant barely a day old and according to her Mom’s physicians, doomed to die upon her entrance into the world. She didn’t die right away, and this gave many reason to hope for a glimpse of the miraculous. We prayed boldly. Her parents- not necessarily believers grabbed hold of a prayer quilt that you (people of HoPE) gave to them, braced themselves and hoped against hope.

Ruth brought to us BabyGirl’s story when she asked us to pray for her coworker. This mom’s vast grief might abate over time, but we guess that for now must be made more intense because ,as Ruth shared, there were two other women at the office who were pregnant at the same time as she was. They each now hold in their arms a healthy baby girl with a big bow strapped to their bald head. Ruth showed me pictures of herself holding each one.

Snapshots of exuberant joy over new life in the backdrop of indescribable loss make us very aware of how fragile and mysterious life is.

How do we pray for a life to be spared in the backdrop of our mortality?

While David’s circumstances differ from this particular situation, the story of his loss in 2Samuel 12:14-31 does give us an insight about prayer itself: it humbles us, inviting us to follow God in the dark.

The fact that David washed his face, had dinner, went to console his wife and had sex with her, had more children is not a primer on how to grieve or not grieve . While we are not given much in regards to his interior life’s struggle at that moment of deep loss, David’s actions show his going on with his life, conveying acceptance with the way things turned out despite his most fervent prayers.

Why pray as a community of believers when there is no guarantee that we will always see the miracle we seek with our own eyes,right away? Why learn about prayer?

Becoming good at praying doesn’t prepare us for how to get yes answers from the Lord. Becoming good at praying prepares us to answer “yes,Lord”-no matter what, even when things don’t turn out the way we had wished. Prayer prepares us to “see” God,even beyond our tears.

“Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll,
that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead,or engraved in rock forever! I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed,yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” -Job,Book of Job 19:22-25.

2010: Lord, Teach Us How To Pray

December 30, 2009
Maria and her husband have wrapped Anne with loving prayers.

Anne’s face lit up when she saw the Christmas-themed quilt laid out for her during House of Prayer Experience. It was her first time participating in the prayer meeting, let alone up being in front of everyone. She was flanked by Dave and Maria. Just to think that a week ago they were total strangers, and now they were her new friends.

Anne had gone to the health food store and while she was browsing the merchandise, Maria came up beside her looking for a little gift, too. They struck up a conversation. Maria smiled as she remembered how they spoke until the store’s closing. Maria found out that Anne was going through chemo and radiation for breast cancer, and that this woman’s husband had been ill and that her son had recently been in an automobile accident. Maria felt compelled to tell this stranger about H.o.P.E.

A week later there they were together again. Dave is well today, but he himself had to go through cancer treatment a year ago. Although he wasn’t up to coming up to receive his quilt at the time of his illness, he showed up this time with a heart to support Anne.

Upon hearing of their encounter, a crowd also came up to stand by Anne and pray with her. Anne was overjoyed and whispered her gratitude to God and everyone.

The New Year has begun with a renewed commitment for corporate prayer. We repeat after the disciples who once asked Jesus, “Lord, Teach us how to pray” (Luke 11:1). Prayer leads us to be in tuned with divine appointments-wherever or whenever they may be. We ask for God to teach us how to pray and to help us connect to one another for His glory and to the One who is the true source of our peace in this New Year.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Pastor S.:)

Thank you very much for your prayerful support of House of Prayer Experience.

Thank you simply for your presence…on location or online, for facilitating with singing and music, for audio-visual- technical help, for your smiles and greeting at the table or within the sanctuary, for giving a word of encouragement in the parking lot, for inviting people you know, for sharing your joys and giving us the opportunity to pray for you and for believing that God’s House is meant to be a House of Prayer … for all people!

Abundance of blessings in this New Year, people of H.o.P.E!