Our church sends out prayer lists through email. I get emails on people needing prayers throughout my day, and since my email goes straight to my phone I get the prayer requests right away and can say a quick prayer the instant it comes across my phone. This past week Troy and I were both on the prayer list, at separate times, for bad colds we have been battling.
Last night we were talking about the aches and pains we have each been suffering from and discussing when we started to feel better. Is it a coincidence that we both took a turn for the better just hours after our names had been sent out through the emailed prayer list? I don't think so! Part of me thinks that I convinced myself that I was feeling better because I had faith that the prayers would work, but I didn't even make the connection until a couple days later. I actually laughed when I saw my own name come across the prayer list, because I didn't think I was sick enough to be bothering people with prayers. I wanted to tell them to save their prayers for those who really needed them, I would be fine. I appreciated the sentiment behind it, but didn't feel like it was needed. I didn't feel like I was even worthy of their prayers.
Looking back on that day I realize that I was sicker than I was admitting to myself, and that I did in fact start to feel significantly better just a few hours after my name was sent out to the members of my congregation asking for prayers. I did not will myself to health because I had faith the prayers would work. I was brought health through the power of those prayers.
This made me remember the big "aha" moment in my life when I realized just how powerful prayer could be. Anytime I catch myself doubting the power of prayer I think back to this experience and remind myself that I am worthy of prayers, and yes, there is power in prayer.
I had an open door policy at college. My room was the very first one as you walked on the hall, and if I was "home" my door was open. There were even times I would come back from class and find a group of girls hanging out in my room (and I did not have a roommate). It was a safe place where everyone was welcome and even when the door was shut there would be knocks to see if I might just be hiding inside. Alone time only came after I went to bed for the night, but I loved it!
There was a point when I stretched myself too thin. I was stressed out, emotionally drained, and having trouble sleeping at night. Just going through the motions of life seemed to be difficult, and playing the role of the ever cheerful hostess seemed like too large of a task. I had hit one of the lowest points in my life and felt like I had no where to turn. This went on for days before I even thought of praying for myself.
It was the middle of the day and a time that many of the girls would be walking by my room, but I decided to hope for the best and close my door in hope of being able to fall asleep, if only for a short nap. I laid down on the couch and cried. I cried because I felt like I was alone, even though I was always surrounded by people, people who were good friends. I had been so focused on making sure everyone else was doing ok that I forgot to take time for myself so that I could recharge. I cried and I prayed. I prayed that God would help me find peace in my life and I told him that I just wanted someone to hold me while I slept. I wanted to know I was not alone.
I am crying now just thinking about it. I felt someone pick me up and hold me in their arms, just like you would hold a newborn baby. I felt my body be lifted from the couch as it was replaced with the arms that made me feel like a small, precious child and I fell asleep. I had been unable to sleep for days, but in that moment sleep came easy.
I slept for a few hours, straight through, without a single visitor at my door. When I woke up I felt refreshed and I knew that I would be ok. I was not alone.
I pray for people all the time, but I rarely ask for prayers for myself, and I do not pray for myself often enough. I need to remind myself that I deserve and need to have prayers said on my behalf. It's ok to ask for prayers for myself. I am not being selfish if I pray for myself to feel better, or to get a few hours of sleep. It is important to keep my emotional batteries charged and for me, prayer charges those batteries.
Today I am thankful for everyone that has prayed for me, even when I felt that I was not worthy.