Problems have the potential to become opportunities for growth. Well, I had a problem —
I encouraged visitors to our Sowing Seeds of Faith Website to share their concerns through an interactive web page, entitled “Prayer Needs.” Over the next few weeks, I received nearly one hundred requests for prayer from around the world. Here are a few examples (Names changed and requests edited):
- Alice (Alabama) — We are the custodial parents of a seven-year-old granddaughter. Now her unfit biological mother is going to file to regain custody and we are devastated.
- Stephanie (California) — I am a single mother raising a teenage daughter who just turned thirteen. My church is not offering much support. It’s scary and very lonely sometimes.
- Larry (Canada) — I would like to change but I have a hard time obeying God’s Word. I would like to serve him and find happiness. I don’t want to fall back to the world.
- Allison (Maryland) — We have been trying to have a child for almost five years. We have been through many doctors and procedures. We conceived once and lost the baby ten weeks later. We were both devastated.
I personally answered each request with encouragement and prayer but every day three to four more emails would arrive. Soon the requests for prayer were overwhelming. I was unable to meet the needs.
- Nicole (California) — I lost my Mom and have a broken heart. She is with Jesus and I should be rejoicing but some days I hurt so much inside. I want to feel joy again.
- Michelle (South Africa) — I am 33 and mother of a 12-year-old son. My husband was unfaithful and I must file for a divorce. He has no desire to continue being married to me. I am really struggling with why this happened to me. I don’t run around. I’ve been a good wife.
- Patricia (South Carolina) — My son is serving a fifteen-year sentence for something he is innocent. Please ask God to turn his heart. Pray God’s blessings upon him.
- Colleen (Colorado) — My friend was badly injured in a terrible car accident. He looks well on the outside now but he’s having memory loss, fatigue, mood swings, etc. He desperately needs help.
I wanted desperately to suggest words of hope that would movingly articulate God’s love and grace to everyone who wrote but at this point the person needing help and solid scriptural guidance was me.
Several respected leaders asked Jesus to come and heal the slave of a Roman officer who was near death. Before they arrived, however, the officer sent friends to meet Jesus who said, “Lord, don’t trouble yourself by coming to my home, for I am not worthy. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to the crowd, he said, “I tell you, I haven’t seen faith like this in all the land of Israel!” And when they returned the slave was healed. (Parts of Luke 7:6-10)
On the surface, Jesus using a Roman officer as the main character in a lesson about faith makes no sense. Unless that is the lesson –
For you see, it was the Roman Officer, not the religious leaders who grasped exactly Who Jesus was. “Just say the word from where you are and my servant will be healed.” While the religious insiders were holding debates, an outsider; a Roman officer went from debates to faith to action.
At that point, I realized a critical teaching: I am the religious insider who neglected to trust in God’s authority and help that was readily available to me.
But — It’s never too late to ask for help. I had reached a crucial turning point in my life and in my ministry.
Next week: Find out how Larry asked for help. Meanwhile, go to our website and check out our prayer ministry and sign up to be one of our prayer partners. You can find out more information by clicking here: http://www.sowingseedsoffaith.com/subscribe/. Maybe you are the one who needs prayer you can also send your request from the same webpage.