Pray Anyway

Pray Anyway

Pray Anyway

It was not long after we lost Harlynn when I got the call.

Losing her changed a lot about me. There was a time when I wanted nothing more than to talk to people – actually talk to them – on the phone. Now, even still, sometimes I hear it ring and my stomach drops. What do they want? Sometimes, with my hearing loss, I don’t hear my phone ringing. This particular day I did, however.

I answered, hesitantly.

It was a friend of mine who was going through an incredibly rough time and intense personal struggle. I’ll never forget the words she said, “I know you’re a prayer warrior. I know He hears you.”

Internally, I scoffed. It had been weeks since I could muster up enough energy to even pretend to pray. I was wrestling with God continually after my daughter died, and the thought of turning to Him when I had felt so abandoned was almost laughable to me.

I felt like no prayer warrior. I certainly didn’t feel like He heard me. Yet here she was, desperate for me to pray over her situation, waiting on the other end of the line.

I stammered, trying to excuse myself out of this call of duty. I wanted her to understand I was in no mindset to call on the power of Jesus. She would have none of it.

I was humbled. And maybe a little bothered. In one of my lowest points in life, why was I being called on to rally the heavenly hosts for other people? I tucked my bruised ego away, and started to pray for her, over the phone.

It was the first time I’d prayed – really prayed – other than the guttural cries of my heart and soul after Harlynn died. At one point I thought to myself, “How am I still talking?” and realized it wasn’t really me who was praying, but God was saying and moving words from my mouth, to her ears, to His throne.

Eventually we got off the phone, but those words still ring in my ears today. “I know you’re a prayer warrior. I know He hears you.”

I still don’t know what she witnessed or understood that would lead her to believe that. I’ll have to ask her the next time I talk to her. Over the last three years, though, I’ve learned just how important – and powerful – prayer is. Even when I’ve wanted to do anything but talk to God, it’s the only thing that has brought results.

I can’t do anything apart from God or His power. But in Him and with His power, I can do anything. And I have.

I’ve prayed healing over others. Over myself even. I nearly freaked myself out when I’d been dealing with a skin irritation for months and finally thought to pray about it – and the next morning I woke up to no trace of it whatsoever.

I’ve prayed over broken relationships. I’ve prayed over broken hearts. I’ve prayed over meetings and tough conversations that have had to take place. I had a dear friend come up to me, sobbing, and couldn’t even ask me what to pray for. I just started praying, and she later told me it was exactly what she needed prayer for.

None of my prayers are powerful on their own. None of them are answered because I demand it so.

Prayer is a partnership. And it’s not one to be taken lightly.

I don’t know what makes me a prayer warrior now, other than actually praying. Even when I don’t feel like it.

After we moved to Fargo, my prayer life wavered greatly. The struggles in our marriage and in our new home created canyons of distance between me and my God. After Little Miss came two months prematurely, my prayers came back with rapid-fire urgency. When Harlynn died, I felt like I didn’t know how to pray. The thought of crying out to God and calling him Father after I lost my child felt foreign. I couldn’t do it.

Prayer is the only guaranteed communication I have with God, though. These years later I see that. For what we’ve walked through and been carried through, I know my only defense against the darkness of this world is to remain in constant communication with Him. I started to be intentional. First I wrote my prayers because I couldn’t bring myself to speak them. Now, I find myself praying throughout the day. Out loud. Silently. While I’m driving. While I’m working. While I’m sitting still. While I’m snuggling my kids. When I’m at the cemetery.

He hears you. You have to listen. Some prayers take years to be answered. The important thing is to keep praying, even when you don’t understand why, or aren’t sure it’s working.

There’s no time or place prayer is not appropriate. The next time you see me, I might be praying. I might even be praying for you. I pray all the time, because I know prayer works. Even (and especially) when I don’t feel like it, I pray anyway.