Worth the Effort

One of the hard things about the Christian life, and one that the world doesn’t get, is praying in faith. Two things are important to remember in this:

  • The prayers are lifted up to the God of all creation through Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • We are not praying in blind faith. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”*

Sometimes the more impossible the situation, the more powerful the prayers. This seemed to be the case more than once in my life, and I’m humbled that the Lord has allowed me to see the end result of those intense moments before the Throne of Grace. It doesn’t mean that I saw that result the next day or the next year. In some cases, I saw it decades later…just when I needed a reminder that it was worth the effort.

Such is the case with a sweet couple from Syria. You may not know this about my late husband and me, but we were active matchmakers in our day. Serving in churches that worked to keep young men and women apart, we looked for ways to get them together. What better place to find a spouse than in church?

That said, matchmaking was not our priority — discipleship was. The need was great to see national believers grow in their walk with Jesus and learn to be his witnesses in their country. So, we started discipleship classes in our home. They were mixed groups of guys and girls, gathering weekly to go deep into the Word of God and openly discuss the issues they struggled with as Christians in a Muslim-dominated society.

However, while they studied, learned and grew, they also got to know each other in a relaxed setting — a group setting. In such a setting, two of our disciples fell in love.

There was one problem — the girl was older than the boy — a no-no in Middle Eastern culture. The only son of a widowed mother, this issue just added to her refusal to the match. How could he do such a thing? The objections were strong.

So, what did we do? We prayed. That was 1993.

Confident that this marriage was from the Lord, we stood by their side through the struggle with family. They were married. Family ties were strained for a long time. Then the first child was born…and the walls came down.

As we moved on in the coming years, our connections were lost. We knew they continued to serve in the church and have another daughter. Decades passed.

Then it happened…Facebook reunions can be a beautiful thing. Just before my husband passed away in 2015, we reconnected with this couple, now living on this side of the ocean. What are they doing? Still serving in the church, raising their growing daughters and being faithful in their marriage.

Is prayer important? Absolutely.

Does it make a difference? Absolutely.

Is it worth the effort? Absolutely.

Will the world ever understand it? Probably not.

So, we pray. In good times and bad, we pray to a God who hears and answers and allows us, maybe not today, but one day, to see the results of those prayers.

In this we rejoice and keep on praying.

Are you facing a seemingly impossible situation? Give it up in prayer to the God of the possible! It’s so worth it.

Grace and Peace

 

*Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)


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