My daughter and I were saying prayers at bedtime. She wasn’t feeling well so we asked God to help her feel better. Seconds later she informed me her belly still hurt followed by, “Maybe He didn’t hear us. Should we pray louder mom?”
I assured her we did not need to pray louder. Whether it’s, a shout, song, or whisper, God hears us every time we pray.
A few years ago I wouldn’t have said this. We had prayed nonstop for daddy to be healed. For the cancer to leave and stay gone. The weeks following his burial I felt more than sadness. I was angry. I was disappointed in God and told him on a regular basis. My feelings were hurt because I had seen Him answer the prayers of others, but didn’t answer mine.
My son Lincoln was born four months after my father died. So in addition to the normal sleep deprivation and exhaustion new mothers face, I found myself trying to sort through the blender of emotions grief brings. Those 3 a.m. feedings were beyond difficult. I would rock him, his head resting under my chin, and my tears would fall on his cheeks. I would talk to him about PawPaw and the great man he was. Then I would pray and ask for one thing:
I asked God to make Lincoln like my daddy.
Lincoln is witty and charming without even trying. His favorite place is anywhere outside and he loves creating. He steals the screwdriver out of the junk drawer on a weekly basis and is always trying to figure out how things work. Lincoln likes everybody, and everybody likes him.
If you knew my father, you know this means God heard my prayer.
It’s easy to only see unanswered prayers. This never ends well. Discouragement starts to take root, my attitude heads south and I turn into a rotten person. When this happens I try to remember all the times God has answered. I have to be intentional and consistent.
There are days I miss my daddy and my grief tries to turn into bitterness. Days I pray for big needs and things get worse. On those days, I grab Lincoln up in my arms. His deep brown eyes, full of curiosity and mischief. A gentle reminder…God heard me.