This week, my family had a memorial service for my mom, who unexpectedly died last week. My father-in-law is also seemingly in his last days, and we remain by his bedside. Their respective faith in Christ has allowed us to grieve differently than the world does, but the grief is still real.
One of the things that keeps us moving forward, though, is the recognition that believers are praying for us. Based on my experience, here are some ways we know prayer is happening:
1. Brothers and sisters in Christ let us know they’re praying for us. That’s an obvious assumption, I know, but here’s my point: just knowing believers have said they’re praying for us reminds us others are with us in our grief. I’m glad they’ve sent us cards, emails, and texts.
2. God’s strength in us is renewed every day. Some days, the emotional and physical fatigue has been overwhelming. You grieve one loss as you prepare for a second one. Somehow, though, you find strength to press on – because God’s people are praying.
3. We somehow sleep when the burden is heavy. True, sleep doesn’t always come easily—and sometimes it occurs as naps during the day more than hours in the night—but sleep does come. God grants us that rest in response to the prayers of others.
4. When we need to be alert and focused, God has guided us. All of us must make important decisions in times like these, and we often do so without sufficient rest when grief overwhelms us. Somehow, though, God always grants grace and guidance just when we need it. Others have been praying that way for us.
5. The stress of these days has not led to arguing and division. As a pastor, I’ve seen just the opposite happen too often. Families squabble. Conflicting opinions get exacerbated. Hearts get hardened. Prayer has a way, though, of breaking through those potential walls.
6. We grieve, but with the assurance of heaven and hope. Our assurance is not a crutch for a weak people; it’s the confident faith that our God keeps His Word to those who love Him. Resurrection is reality—not fiction. As God’s people pray, our faith grows amid pain.
7. We just know we’re not alone. I can’t explain it, actually. The Comforter in us has been so real we can’t deny His work. God’s Word has been so encouraging we look forward to hearing His voice each day. God’s presence in response to the prayers of His people has been undeniable. And, that’s exactly what we’ve needed.
Would you as part of the Church Answers family say a prayer for my family today?
Posted on August 31, 2021
Dr. Chuck Lawless is a leading expert in spiritual consultation, discipleship and mentoring. As a former pastor, he understands the challenges ministry presents and works with Church Answers to provide advice and counsel for church leaders.
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Trully I love these messages. I am a pastor who has experiencing all these challenges in life of Christianity. Infact we sometimes like to quit ministry. Sometimes back in the year 2017-2018,when I experienced difficulties with church members being that there was a lot squabbles and goship within the church that made some people to leave the church. I began praying to God to intervene and it was not easy for me as a junior pastor. It took almost two years before church to revive again. We prayed with my few members who remained in the church. From then my church is not yet stand to date we are only 6 men and 5 ladies with 7 children. Please advise us.
Again since then, we were making some church fundraiser within the church just weekly contributions to raise a church building. We are still not continued with the building to date that has laid foundation to date. Is God still with us because we are financially poor to raise enough funds for the continuity. What can we do as a small number to raise these funds. I don’t have any resources by now. We are just fellowshipping with humble men with soft background. Hey! We continue praying daily as a family of God. Thanks and hopping for more advise in the ministry.