Desperate Times, Desperate Prayers - Encouragement Café - November 11, 2016


Desperate Times, Desperate Prayers
By Annah Matthews
Friday, November 11, 2016

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Romans 12:1 NIV

The text message came to me a few days before Christmas.  Desperate, my sweet friend, a newly divorced mother of six, was in a panic.  Her ex-husband was threatening to not deposit the monthly child support check.  

She needed money to buy Christmas presents.  She needed money to pay bills and buy groceries.  She needed the money in her account tomorrow so that checks would not bounce.

I don’t know what to do.  I’m to the breaking point.  Please pray for me.

I’m coming over now and we’re going to pray.

I don’t know that I even can pray right now.

Then I’ll pray for the both of us.

She was hurt, angry, resentful, sad, and worried.  The struggle was real and she truly needed a little more than, Bless your heart, I’ll say a prayer for you.

Off to her house I went.  With a gift card to a grocery store, a few take and bake meals for the family, and a card that read,

You are loved by the One who promises to never leave or forsake you.

She needed a real answer to a real problem in a very tangible way.  She needed money in her bank account.  She needed some groceries for her family.  She needed to be able to buy a few Christmas gifts for her children.

I listened.  She cried.  I talked.  She cried.  Then I prayed and we both cried out to the Lord.

We asked the Lord to soften her ex-husband’s heart.  

We asked for the Lord to somehow get the money she needed into her bank account so bills did not bounce. 

We asked for God to help heal her broken heart, to ease her anxieties, to give her rest, and to give her wisdom as a parent and provider.

We ended with asking for God to provide for her in a real and tangible way in the next 24 hours.

We talked for several more hours.  She spoke about her worries and fear.  I reminded her of God’s Truth.

I spent the entire next day thinking of her.  Praying for her.  Asking God to somehow provide for her and answer her prayers in a very real and tangible way.  Then came the phone call from her oldest daughter.

You are not going to believe it but for some reason the money dad said he wasn’t giving to us just showed up in the account this afternoon.  I guess he decided at the last minute to deposit it.  I don’t know why but thank you so much for praying for us.

In my heart I whispered,

Oh dear Lord.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you!

He knew her needs before she knew them.  He heard the prayers we were offering on her behalf.  He knew that her faith was being tested and that she was at a breaking point.  He knew that she needed a real and tangible answer to her prayers.  And He certainly didn’t have to answer the prayers in the exact way that we asked, but He did.

God doesn’t always answer our prayers in the ways that we want, but sometimes He gives us such a real and tangible answer that we know it came from Him.

He did it for the paralyzed man who picked up his mat and walked out of the house in Capernaum. (Mark 2)

He did it for Isaac when he prayed for his wife Rebekah to be able to have a baby. (Genesis 25)

He did it for the 5,000 who were hungry and needed something to eat. (Matthew 14)

He did it for the widow and her son who were facing a drought in Zarephath. (1 Kings 17)

We can’t always know how our prayers will be answered, but like my friend and I prayed earnestly that night, we trust that He hears our cries and prayers for Him to supply our very real needs.

How do you need God to provide for your needs?

Be very specific with Him.  Cry your heart out to Him.  Tell Him the desires of your soul.  It is a privilege to enter into the Throne Room of God with our prayers.  Don’t forsake spending this time with Him.

Dear Lord, You know the very real desires of every heart that is reading this devotional today.  You know our needs far better and far more perfectly than we do.  We ask that you allow us to stop where we are right now and earnestly ask that You to show us how to pray.  Align our hearts with Yours.  Let us pray to You for the things that burden us.  Remind us of the ways you have answered our prayers in the past and help us to trust You as we pour out our needs before your feet.  Thank You for the privilege to enter into Your courts with praise and prayer.  Show us how to trust You and strengthen our faith while we wait for our prayers to be answered. For it’s in Jesus name we pray, amen.

© 2016 by Annah Matthews.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Friday, 11 November 2016.