One of the greatest lessons God has been teaching Chelsea and I during this experience has been the power of prayer. Not only the power of personal prayer, but also the power of communal prayer.
Story after story have poured in to our family via blog comments, emails, text messages or phone calls from people sharing how God has been answering their prayers for Davy girl. Some of the craziest stories we have heard have been when others let us know that God has woken them up in the middle of the night to pray for Davy, only to learn later that it was the exact time that something major was happening! It is always humbling to know others have been laboring alongside of you in intercession.
As I’ve reflected on the abundant quantity of answered prayers over the last 52 days I’ve been asking the question, “What happens when we pray?”
Now, first off, I know there are A LOT more than four things that happen when we pray. We’re talking about the means of communication between humanity and the Creator of the universe. So, yes, I would venture to say it’s safe to believe there are at least a few more than four things that happen when you and I pray. However, these are the four things that have been impressed upon me during this season of life.
1. God Hears You
I know this may seem rote or simplistic, yet so often many of us doubt whether God cares enough to listen to our prayers. Yet, God has given me a glimpse of His fatherly heart during this time and His longing for us to communicate to Him. If you are in Christ, you can be assured that God is listening to your prayers (John 9:31) and not just listening to you, but bending his ear to you the same way He bent His ear to Jesus (Rom. 8:17). Knowing this should give us confidence that God is not passively picking and choosing which prayers to listen to, but that He is always attentive and desires to hear the prayers of His children.
2. You are Strengthened
In Ephesians 6 Paul describes putting on the full armor of God. However, there is something peculiar about the focus on prayer in verses 10-20. The ESV commentary on this passage states, “because Christians cannot stand on their own against superhuman powers, they must rely upon the strength of the Lord’s own might, which he supplies chiefly through prayer.” (emphasis mine). They go on to say that prayer is the “Christian’s most powerful resource”. We grow stronger in the Lord the more rooted we become in prayer. As we pray, utilizing our most powerful resource, we become strengthened in the Lord!
3. You Strengthen Others
Repeatedly in the Scriptures you see Paul ask for prayer that he might be strengthened in his mission (Rom. 15:30, Eph. 6:19-20, Col. 4:3, 1 Thes. 5:25). Paul believed that when other believers prayed for him, he would be strengthened through their prayers. I can speak to this this truth from an experiential standpoint because Chelsea and I have felt it. There are moments I feel as if I wouldn’t make it if I didn’t have the prayers of my community.
4. God Answers
Lastly, there is no doubt in my mind that God answers prayer. I’ve seen it with my own eyes when I look at my beautiful daughter. Now, to insert a quick disclaimer, it may not always be the answer we want, or in the time frame we want it answered, but God will answer your prayers (John 16:23). Not only will He answer your prayers, but He’ll do it in the posture of a father to a child, not simply as a Creator to its creation (Matt. 7:11).
Elizabeth Eliot said of prayer that it, “lays hold of God’s plan and becomes the link between His will and its accomplishment on earth. Amazing things happen, and we are given the privilege of being the channels of the Holy Spirit’s prayer.” Charles Spurgeon, the great British preacher, reminds us as well that, “prayer can never be in excess”.
So when we pray, let’s lay hold of God’s plan and believe that the fountain of prayer can never be dried up. Finally, let us believe with unwavering faith that when we pray God hears us, we are strengthened, we strengthen others and that God will answer.
Updates and Prayer Requests
Davy has had a great last few days. She is breathing well with the help of the breathing tube and the oxygen support is extremely low, which means Davy is doing well on it! The feeds have been improving and she continues to get stronger daily. Thank you all for the continued prayers for our little girl.
- Stomach – Continue to pray for Davy’s stomach. Right now they are using an NG tube to bypass her stomach to help her with the feeds. Pray that her stomach would start to function properly.
- Feeding Tube – Pray that the doctors would be able to find a better feeding tube for Davy until her stomach starts working. They one they have in now they feel is a little big, but the one smaller is to small. Pray that they would be able to special order one specifically for her.
- Lungs – Pray for Davy’s continued strengthening of her lungs. Hopefully she will be extubated sooner than later and we would love for her lungs to be strong enough to support her off the ventilator.
2 thoughts on “4 Things That Happen When You Pray”
My name is Jan Nolen. I am Phillip Drake’s mother. Phillip visited me here in Roanoke, Va. over the Labor Day holiday and shared your story. Since then, I have been following your blog and tweets and even though I have never met you, I feel like I know you and your precious Davy girl. Just want you to know that I have been praying and continue to pray for you, Chelsea and Davy. Love and prays from rural Virginia.
Jan thanks so much for sharing in this journey alongside of us from Virginia. Grateful for your encouragement and prayers!