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.