Prayer. Perhaps the singlemost important resource we most overlook is prayer. John Piper defines prayer as "The heartfelt expression of holy discontent." This strikes a chord. If you've ever sat at the bedside of someone you deeply love and watched them suffer, you know that prayer for that one, in that moment, is a heartfelt expression of holy discontent. Longing to see that dear one healed, free of suffering, propels you to cry out to God.
As we look around our church here in Nassau, we see deep needs. Our dear Sister Keva, a single mom and caretaker of her extended family, only in her forties and dealing with severe kidney disease, has been very ill and in the hospital for some weeks now. How we have cried out to God for her healing. She has lost a tremendous amount of weight in a short time and has not eaten much since the New Year due to her sickness. But yesterday, she got up from her hospital bed, got dressed, left in her car, went and got her hair done, returned to the hospital and began walking the female ward floor, greeting all the patients, and praying for them. God is at work.
Today our Keaton was really struggling with her asthma. After 4 days of flu-like symptoms, she's beaten down physically. As I prayed for her today, I asked God to help us find relief for her. Our dear pediatrician is actually a member of our church here. I knew she was not officially in the office today, but I emailed her for advice. A short while later, she called saying, come as soon as we could to the office. She treated Keaton thoroughly and gave us a plan on how to watch her the next few days. She ended the visit by giving us her cell number and telling us to call tonight if we were concerned. God provided again.
God wants us to be content people because we trust his supreme rule in our lives. So what is holy discontent? Perhaps it is desiring to relieve the suffering of others, whether physically, financially, relationally, or spiritually. And so, we pray. Asking God to provide, to relieve their suffering. I believe these are prayers that express the heart of God. To rescue, to heal, to redeem, to restore. As we pray along these lines, we acknowledge His perfect strength to do anything, to do above and beyond all that we can ask or expect. May we avail ourselves of this effective tool, this gift he has given us to come to Him at any and for all time
"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." Romans 12:12
"You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many." 2 Cor. 1:11
"For I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance..." Phil. 1:19
"First of all, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way." 1 Tim. 2:1
"And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart." (the parable of the persisistent widow) Luke 18:1