One Prayer

Sunday, March 31, 2019
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Lord's My Shepherd"1 (Lyrics)

2 Chronicles 7:14 – If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (NIV)

Sometimes, it takes only one prayer to make the difference. When I gave birth to our first child, a nurse cheerily informed my husband — relegated to the waiting room — that he had a little girl. She then went off shift, and he continued to wait, expecting me to roll through the doors at any moment with a tiny bundle in my arms.

Everything after that had happened so fast that there was no time to call anyone. No one came to tell him that due to complications, I was undergoing emergency surgery. Minutes turned into hours as he paced the floor.

A year later, my husband was back in the same waiting room anxiously awaiting a second arrival. All went well, and after a few days, we brought our son home. Two days later, I was rushed back to emergency. Another complication had occurred.

As I recovered, I realized that just thirty years earlier, my husband would have been raising two babies by himself. With doctors' knowledge and skills, and the introduction of penicillin, my life had been saved twice. Had I died the first time, of course, there would not have been a second baby.

My husband told me that while pacing the floor the first time, he had prayed for me. He had my attention. I asked why he had prayed to someone who had been dead for two thousand years. That day, my husband led me to Christ.

I was not familiar with the term Christian, except that I understood that modern countries were Christian, while others were not. My in-laws were regular churchgoers, and we sometimes accompanied them. I had sung hymns every morning in high school and was vaguely familiar with the Bible. Religious knowledge was part of the curriculum, but it had gone right over my head.

Today, most in my family are faith-filled participants in the body of Christ, Christians in the true sense of the word: Christ's ones. My husband's prayer made the difference. He was the only person who knew that I was in the hospital. He did not understand why the delay, and I had no idea that I was in difficulty. He went to the Lord in prayer, and I was healed physically, and a year later, spiritually.

James 5:16b – Pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (NIV)

Ephesians 6:18a – Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. (NIV)

Let's take every opportunity to pray for others. For example, when I'm waiting at traffic lights, I often pray for the driver of the car ahead. Maybe no one else has ever prayed for that person. Sometimes, it takes only one prayer to make the difference.

Prayer: Lord, hear our prayer; listen to our cry for mercy. Night and day Your people pray and bless You. Help us to keep praying for all Your people, and for those who are not yet Yours. Amen.

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About the author:

JJ Ollerenshaw <>
Belleville, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you for sharing that! Awesome!

    Thank you, JJ, for this encouragement to pray.

    Thank you so much JJ, that is a powerful devotional.

    A challenging story, JJ. Thanks for sharing. God bless.

    Thanks, JJ, for sharing this devotional message with us. Blessings.

    Thank you for sharing, JJ. Prayer can often be forgotten but can be so powerful. God bless!

    Thank you for a very moving devotional! I will try to remember the practice of praying for strangers.

    What a very special story you have shared. Thank you for it and for the reminder of the power of prayer.

    Well your writing sure brought tears to MY eyes, today, you dear soul! I too had those ‘complications’ in childbirth. You tell it so well, JJ.

    Amen JJ. It is so true we have no idea what our prayers can do, even if it is only once for an unknown person.

    Thank you for your story and scriptures. We need to hear the testimonies that can strengthen our faith. I often think of Isaiah 41:10 & 13 and love to claim the promises.

    Oh, JJ
    This was a really touching, writeup!
    Thanks for sending this to me!
    I am going to send this on to my brother!
    I SO, believe, in the power of prayer!
    Bless you, my dear friend!

    Dear JJ, Thanks for the reminder of the power of prayer and to offer prayers for people we don’t know and to pray for the people we do know. It takes a little time and a little thought, but it is what being a Christian all about. God hears us if we reach out to him. Blessings for all your devotionals which inspire and remind us.

    Yes, I agree with you completely. I find it exciting to see what God will do with the prayers I have offered up in faith!!!
    He is faithful and answers in His time.
    Thankful you made it through those deliveries!!!!
    God bless.

    I thoroughly enjoyed your devotional today. I’m so happy God intervened and brought you through your health crisis, and I’m happy I’ve had an opportunity to become acquainted with you. God Bless your husband for his faith and prayers, and I totally agree that when it comes to praying, it only takes a spark to get a fire going. Thank you for writing.

    Thank you, JJ, for the very true and helpful devotional.
    Let us keep praying for one another and for all Christians the world over, and for writers of PresbyCan devotions.
    Keep writing.

    What an experience leading to acceptance of Christ. Bless you husband for praying. Your mention of praying while stopped in traffic reminds me that I have begun to pray for others and myself wherever I am. Thank you for writing that prayer is powerful in the Christian life.

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