A Prayer for Lily
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people.- Ephesians 6:18
There is nothing like celebrating the joy of a newborn child. So many things that child has already overcome just in the womb! Pure joy is discovered for the parents, friends and family of the newborn. The anticipation of a newborn child excites the heart and creates emotions incomparable on earth.
In May, I had the blessing of attending a baby shower of a dear friend of mine. The couple had found out they were having a girl but were unable (or unwilling) to share the proposed name with others.
As I was driving home, thinking of unborn babies and the journey our family had been on with our newborns, I couldn’t help but pray for all the precious children in the world. As I was about half-way up the Snake River Canyon, the Lord put the name “Lily” on my heart. I didn’t know why, and I assumed it was the name of the child we just celebrated at the baby shower. So, I prayed.
The following day, I was driving home from church, and again, the Lord put the name “Lily” on my heart. I didn’t know why that name was being put on my heart, but I prayed anyways. I didn’t pray for delivery or complete health; instead, I prayed for a full life.
Fast forward one month. I was attending a “1st birthday party” for a cousin of ours.
Another friend of mine who was at the party explained how she was waiting in anticipation of meeting her niece, born 7 months ago. Our conversation looked something like this:
Friend: “My brother-in-law and the mother are bringing Lily to the house so we get to meet her!”
Me: “What name did you just say?”
My knees became weak and my heart was pounding... I think I shed a tear as well (not uncommon for me!) I took my friend away from the crowd and told her that one month ago that very name was put on my hear for prayer. And so I prayed.
Come to find out that one month ago the parents had agreed to come up with a parenting plan together. One month ago, the father had met his daughter for the first time.
Just one more thing I must add to this story. Just days before God “revealed” who my prayer was for, I was seeking hard to know how my prayers were being answered in the lives of those whom I didn’t know. I was having a conversation about this very topic with the husband of the woman that takes care of Tessa. We discussed not knowing, sometimes, why God asks us to pray for certain folks or do the things we do (simple gestures, etc.) And not always does God reveal to us “why” He wants us to pray for others. I believe God had put Lily on my heart to reveal that by being obedient, this child now has the chance to grow up with both biological parents involved in her life. Without obedience and prayer, she may not have had that chance.
Friends, the power of prayer is the strongest mechanism we have to change the world. James 5:16b states, “…the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective”. When God puts a name, an event, anything, on our hearts, we must be obedient and pray. Even if we don’t know what to pray for, the words will come. Don’t hesitate to listen to the Father for He is all-knowing and all-wonderful…and He is encouraging us to be an active part in changing the world.
(Don’t know where to start? Ask God to open your eyes to see, your heart to feel and your ears to hear the needs of this world. Continually ask this in Jesus Name and the world that needs your prayerful obedience will start to appear. Ask God to use you as a vessel and to put people in your path each day that need to touch, see, hear or taste the Good News.)
Just after I wrote this blog post this morning, I saw this post from Proverbs 31 Ministries, "Does Prayer Really Change Anything?" By Alicia Bruxvoort. Find it here at http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/