Pray and Watch... and Hope

The other day I spent time with a woman whose husband has kidney cancer, her grandson has a brain tumor and she has a neurological condition where she shakes all the time. She is dealing with many circumstances where she has no control. There is no way that she can fix any of her painful heartaches. I asked her how she was doing and she said, “I am at peace, all is well with my soul...” This woman has learned to pray and watch.

Some women are more comfortable with “fix and watch.” As women one of our greatest strengths can be fixing problems. We see a need and we fix it. All of us have our favorite fixing gift. Some people fix our friends so they do not need to fix themselves. As a mom we may fix our kids uncomfortable situation at school so they do not learn to fix their own problems. I remember my oldest son while, in high school, sitting on the bench during the basketball games anxiously wanting to play. I was painfully hurting for my son and I wanted to march down to the bench and tell the coach that he needed to put my son into the game! Thankfully, I have a husband that would tell me, “Look he is becoming a man. He doesn’t need his mommy fixing his basketball problems.” Now my son looks back at those bench times and will say, “those times on the bench were important building blocks that helped me become the man I am today.” We may have a friend or family member that has an addiction and we fix their situation so they do not hit rock bottom. They have no way of really achieving that inner healing because we step in and enable them to not deal with their issues. What about adult kids that have chosen to walk away from the Lord and chose to live a lifestyle contrary to Biblical values? We could preach and nag and try to fix their spiritual life but most likely their heart is not fixed it is just placated. It is not a true heart change. So what do we fixers do?

We learn to pray and watch.

In Colossians 4:2 Paul writes, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Paul also writes, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer" (Romans 12:12). And of course, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “pray continually or pray without ceasing.” Prayer is a pivotal part of our relationship with God. According to Joe Carter, at the Gospel Coalition, there are approximately 650 prayers listed in the Bible and 450 recorded answers to prayer in the Bible. The Bible records Jesus praying 25 different times during his earthly ministry. Paul mentions (prayers, prayer reports, pray requests, exhortations to pray) 41 times. Prayer is essential in our Christian walk. Prayer is an anchor in which we hold onto God.

My husband says, “prayer can move God to do things he might otherwise do.” We pray and watch. We sit in our favorite chair and pray and watch. We lie in bed at 2:30 am and pray and watch. We journal to the Lord and pray and watch. Prayer is not passive. It is not wimpy. Prayer is talking to God from the depths of our soul. Prayer is going to your closet and falling on your face in tears asking God to change a heart.

But we pray and watch... with hope. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “but those who hope in the LORD (pray and not give up) will renew their strength. Or Jesus told his disciples in Luke 18:1. “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” So, pray and watch... with hope.