Friday, July 09, 2010

Power

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Let me be honest for a minute. If you would have asked me a year ago about the "power of prayer," you would have gotten some luke-warm response from me. Yes, I KNOW it's important. I know God tells us to do it. And of course I have done it many, many, many times for those I love and those I barely know because, well, that's what you do when something bad happens. You pray for someone. (Or you at least offer to pray.)

For me, prayer had always been one of those "I need to do more" things, and like most people, it was often a clear reflection my relationship with God. It definitely needed some help. I meant to pray more -- to actually follow through on my promises to people -- but sometimes I just plain forgot, got too busy...or fell asleep.

And even when I did pray, did I truly believe my prayers were making a difference? I mean God is God, and He is going to do what He is going to do. Was I just getting another jewel in my crown because I remembered to do it, or was I actually having some sort of impact on the lives I was praying for? I honestly don't know what I thought. In fact, I never really thought that much about it all.

Now, however, I will boldly tell you that there is absolute power in prayer. I know it because I have felt it pulse through my heart. I have felt it zap away tears and energize a broken spirit. I have seen it literally move legs and ignite hope like never before. Trust me, there is power in prayer.

Ever since we found out about Brooklyn's condition, I have been amazed at the amount of prayer and support we've received. I'll never forget an email Jeff got from a woman we didn't even know after I sent out our first prayer request email. Not only did this complete stranger offer us love and encouragement (and prayer), a simple scroll down showed that she had received our email after 3 forwards. Jeff and I were in total awe.

The cards, the letters, the emails, the blog and FB comments...each one has meant more than you know. And when you say you are praying for our baby, I believe you and I am truly and eternally grateful. Prayer is literally all we can offer our baby right now, so we have no problem asking for it. Pride has no place in your life when your child's health is concerned. We will do whatever it takes for her.

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Soooooo...this is all leading up to two absolutely amazing prayer experiences I had in the last 2 weeks. Today I'll tell you about the first one.

Two Sundays ago, my sister-in-law and mother-in-law threw me a prayer shower. The invite list only included close family and a few church friends. I honestly had no idea what a "prayer shower" was and although I was so very thankful for the gesture, I was a little nervous about being the center of attention. I mean it's one thing when people are coming to rub your belly and say congrats, but it's completely different when people are coming to rub your belly with tears in their eyes and have no idea what to say. But it wasn't like that at all. It was A M A Z I N G.

After a beautiful lunch, my sister-in-law asked everyone to sit in a circle of chairs. She had everyone bring words of encouragement (bible verses, sayings, prayers, etc.) they prepared on a card that she put in a keepsake book. She invited people to read their card, to pray out loud if they felt led, or to just share their heart. There was no pressure and we didn't go around the circle. People just prayed and shared if they felt comfortable, and I have never been so touched in my entire life. There were tears, yes, but not because we were sad. It was just emotional and touching and
P O W E R F U L.

There is no doubt that God was in that room with us, and I felt absolutely blessed that I got to be the Mommy of such a little angel. A precious life that had managed to bring all of these people together to talk to God before she was even born. Bring all of us closer to Him...and to each other. One little life, so many prayers. SO MUCH POWER.

After we were finished, I stood in the center of the room, and everyone laid hands on my belly or just stood around me. My sister-in-law asked everyone to pray one very specific silent prayer in their hearts for Brooklyn, for me, or for our family. It didn't take long before those prayers were no longer silent and we were once again praising and asking and trusting. My heart was lifted, my love tank "filled," and my doubts and fears eased. Total and complete peace washed over me. Again and again and again.

Did I deserve all of this? No. But I will take it. All of it. For my baby and for His glory.

This was no ordinary shower. There was no registry, no pictures, no Baby Bingo, no pink safety pins to steal from your neighbor. There was no huge guest list (although we had enough dessert to feed hundreds!) and no obligatory "I have to go." I truly believe that those who were meant to be there were there, and God used them in a very powerful way. Everyone should have one of these. Seriously.

There were a few small thoughtful gifts, but most were opened after I got home. Nothing about this shower was superficial or worldly. This was about all about God.

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I will forever treasure this experience, the keepsake book that will surely get me through the toughest of days, and every word that was spoken for my daughter, my family, and for me. And for those words that were unspoken, I will trust those to God. I know He will use them in an amazing way.

There is power in prayer. Not only because of how absolutely empowered I was after this experience, but because what happened in the days following. And it wasn't what you think.

Not that I'm trying to keep you hanging, but I realize that this post is getting long enough, and I have even more to say about experience #2. I will tell you that Brooklyn's condition appears to be the same, but I will also tell you that there a lot more hope around here lately. Keep praying.

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4 comments:

Katie at A List Maker's Life said...

Lisa,
Thank you so much for sharing this post. I have been so anxious to hear about your experiences with the power of prayer and was up again in the night with Brooklyn and Gabe wrapped up in my prayers. I too have a similar story to tell about how my prayer life has changed through this whole experience because I finally really believe that I can make a difference with the words, thoughts, and hopes that I am offering to Him. I LOVE the idea of your prayer shower. My mom and I were just talking about how God works so that His glory may be revealed. I have to think that if we aren't opening ourselves up to others, to be willing to let them pray with and experience this journey with us, we are limiting the reach God's impact can have on those around us through our babies situation. Just a thought (although, I have to admit when we tossed around the idea of a prayer service with friends I also felt squimish about the attention I felt like that would draw to me).
Anyway... I probably should have emailed this to you instead now that I have taken up tons of space in your comments. But, thanks! for sharing your heart, for sharing your struggles, for sharing Brooklyn's story, and for sharing this experience with me.
Katie

Stephanie said...

I think your blog deserves to win an award: Most Likely to Give Stephanie Goosebumps Every Time She Reads It. ;)

Thanks for being so challenging and encouraging - at the same time!

Also - that hope figurine is beautiful.

stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

Jessica said...

I found your blog when Stephanie (Metropolitan Mama) tweeted about you. I've read your story and I just want you to know I'm praying for you too :)

Anonymous said...

Lisa: I am amazed daily by God's work and beauty in this world. You and your family are another one of His magnificent creations. Thank you for keeping us posted .... your stories are always awesome. We will be saying our bedtime prayers for Brooklyn Hope tonight. Jackie (the one that works with your mama)