Behind our property is 5 acres destined to become a neighborhood park. Most trees will remain with open space limited. We’ve noticed an ugly, dying tree behind our back fence. Each year it looks worse and worse. With all the snow this past winter, it appears to be on its last legs, with a lean toward our home in evidence. Timber!
To the city I call. Out comes a water department man. Water? Messages get mixed up. Another phone call. Another city worker arrives. I’m away but my wife speaks with him. Late in their conversation, he shares that the next day they’ll take their two year old son to Seattle’s Children’s Hospital for special care.
Sue tells him we’ll pray. When he phones about the removal of that tree, I mention that we’re praying. He says that we can monitor progress on a certain website. We do and for months and months now we get to read, weep, laugh, worry and pray as this family navigates life and death for their little boy.
We discover that this couple loves Jesus. They praise Him, beg Him, look to Him for help and healing. An ugly, dying tree is used by God to bring us onto their prayer team. What a joy to know that He has His own praying when the time is right and the need is great. I haven’t a clue how many have prayed for me over the years, over my life’s disasters. And those I’ve prayed for who likewise hadn’t a clue.
That’s the fun of prayer–when God calls us to lift up someone we barely know. Whether it’s a family with a child whose life hangs in the balances. Or political leaders of varied stripes. Or that troubled neighbor who rarely opens up.
Pray. Pray hard. Wrestle in prayer like Epaphras in Colossians 4. Keep wrestling. Don’t let go. Don’t give up. Keep on keeping on. Pray it through.
Okay, I admit it. I get discouraged. Only me? When will God answer my prayers? Seems like this side of never. Maybe on February 31st? I should live so long.
Still I go to the Lord. Refusing to be pinned down by Satan. Not giving the enemy the upper hand. Tie him up. Give the deceiver a diving elbow drop and back kick. ‘Epaphras…is always wrestling in prayer for you’ (Col. 4: 12). Always a prayer wrestler.
By the way, that little boy? His future? Hard to say. Still ups-and-downs. Still in the hospital. Us? We’re still wrestling…and praying!
Lord, help us to pray without ever giving up. In Jesus’ name. Amen.