Wednesday, May 6, 2015

You Can't Pray Hard Enough

A friend was telling me about the many illnesses and deaths she’s heard about recently. Along with the boatload of sad stories she related, there was also a profound statement:
“Honestly,” she said, “it seems you can’t pray hard enough or long enough to cover all the problems these days!”
She’s right.
Almost every day, I get a phone call from someone asking me to put them on my personal prayer list. The list grows longer and longer – and I spend more time on my knees than I ever have. Mentioning each person by name gets increasingly difficult. And I have to admit that sometimes my mind is full of questions: Is God listening? Is He answering any of these prayers the way people hope they’ll be answered?
Is it wrong to speculate?
In the past week alone, three of my acquaintances have died and two have been diagnosed with terminal illness. In my own family, one child was hospitalized for six days and another ignored her doctor’s advice to be admitted for treatment. She has a serious illness and will eventually be forced to get help, but for now, she’s buying some time because it’s a busy season for her at work. Furthermore, my husband is scheduled for surgery this Friday, May 8th. He’s having a colon resection.
Another member of my family has become someone we barely recognize. Her decline was incremental and hard to detect, but when we finally started to notice the difference in her, it was shocking! She remembers her childhood well, but not much of the recent past. Her mind has deserted her body, it seems. It’s tragic!
A good friend has three grown children. Two of them are fighting serious disease. This friend and I talk almost every day and pray for each other’s children continuously.
Why does illness and death suddenly seem so much more prevalent than it used to? Is it because I and the people I know are getting older? Or is it just the natural progression of things?
Probably. But it’s scary.
Outside my window, clouds scud across a star-filled sky and hover over the dark ridges. For a moment I return to my youth and see two young girls strolling barefoot through the small town where they live. They sit on the grass beside the river and giggle when waves from a passing paddleboat splash them liberally. They’re healthy and happy!
I smile.
And a tear runs down my cheek reminding me of the sadness in my heart.


Dennis J. said...

Wow! What emotion you call up Peggy. This is great!

Inez Daniels said...

Wonderful. It does seem to be true. The older we get the more we have to deal with the things you're talking about. Sad but true.

Susan said...

Beautiful Peggy! Your writing gets better with each story! You write directly from the heart! Keep up the good work.

Ginger said...

Wonderful piece Peggy! And so true. We're forced to pray constantly if we really care about others. So many problems...

Claire Swenson said...

I'm thankful for the oppurtunity to pray. It's my conversation with the Creator of the Universe. He's always there no matter the time. He always welcomes me into the conversation. As I sit quietly He directs. I'm thankful that He doesn't answer my requests in the way that I'd like all the time. He knows the big picture and I don't. He is our protector. Someday we'll be in His presence for eternity.

Linda said...

Very nicely done, Peggy. Touching!

Maria said...

This is a touching piece of literature, Peggy. Love it!