God, our God! God the one and only!
5 Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got!
~ Deuteronomy 6:4-5
I lost a friend this week. After a long battle with grief and self medication, this powerhouse of a woman passed away. Her most recent scuffle resulted in her hospitalization and her husband’s. They were not expected to live.
When this happened, it called to mind a conversation that I overheard in a doctor’s office between an older woman and a younger one.
“My mom is doing so much better. Thank you for asking.” said the young woman.
“I stormed Heaven. I prayed night and day on her behalf.” replied the older one.
It stopped me in my tracks. I had never heard this expression used in contemporary language. It stuck with me. I had been praying for my friend and her family since she lost her son at the age of 8 to a heart virus that took his life in hours. Fade forward to the hospital where her remaining daughter shuffled between parents and their status.
It only took me a moment to realize that if they passed it would leave their daughter with no immediate family. Storming heaven became a daily, sometimes hourly exercise. I mention this not because of me, but because the prospect of this young woman losing the rest of her family was too much for me to bear. I prayed, I stormed, I thanked God for hearing me. God chose to bring them both home to their beautiful place on the water. Our only visit gave me cause to rejoice. They seemed glad to see me, and he remarked “I never thought I’d see this place again.”
I left there with mixed emotions and continued to pray. Soon there was a picture of dad on Facebook on a rowing machine, another that he had taken with his cell phone. He seemed to be improving, she waited for a transplant that would never come.
I got tot her wake last night, it was so important to me to be there to hug Dad and Daughter, to say good bye in person to my friend, to gaze at her photos, hear her music, tell funny and important stories to her relatives. When her daughter thanked me for all I had done, my response was “I didn’t do anything.” She rebutted with “All those prayers.”
Dear Lord, how could I deny that? There is an image I have seen that quotes the following: “Prayer isn’t the least you can do, it is the most you can do.” And in one silly response I had denigrated prayer to the least, because it is what I do. This wasn’t and isn’t about me. It was about the power of prayer and the answer that sat right in front of me giving me a hug and being happy that he was alive.
So this devotional is really a reminder to me that the next time a person thanks me for praying, my response might indeed be, “It is the best I could do.” Storming heaven is like a fleet of gnats all buzzing with petition and praise. And it works.
Thank you Lord for the reminder that prayer is a powerful tool, an amazing weapon in the battles we face every day.
Because of Him,