Monday, June 4, 2012

The Power of a Puny Little Prayer

This morning, I sat on my couch and cried.

This isn't an entirely rare occurance (mommy hormones!), but this morning, I wasn't crying for me. I was crying for a childhood friend as I read her blog about her newborn son. Killian was born with major heart problems less than 3 weeks ago and has been fighting for life since. Today he had open heart surgery while his parents, Melissa and Justin sat and waited for news about how the 10 hour surgery went.

I love Melissa's blog because it is filled with hope, faith, transparency, and some of the cutest photos ever of their little boy!

But I was crying because while looking at their NICU pictures filled with ventilators and tubes, it took me back to just over a year ago when we were looking through the walls of isolettes at our babies. And I knew that even though I understood what she is going through from a NICU perspective, I can't know the extent of what she was going through because none of our babies were this sick.

I haven't seen or talked (other than being FaceBook friends) to Melissa in at least 12 years. In fact, my most vivid memory of hanging out with her was one day when we were about 8 years old or so. I was playing at their house, and we were digging in their sandbox. I dug up a hibernating frog, touched it out of curiosity, realized it was alive, and then promptly began screaming. I don't do frogs, hibernating or croaking. And I still can't dig in a sandbox without mentally freaking out that I'm going to turn up another frog.

It really doesn't matter that it's been that long though. With everything in me, I just wanted to hug her, sit next to her, and bear just a little of the burden that she must be going through.

Unfortunately, at this point in my life, I can't just head to Arizona. So praying for them was really the only thing that I could do. It's not that I was thinking of my prayers as being ineffective, but  it still felt really, really puny and unhelpful while that family was in that much pain. How is that going to help them carry their burden?

This afternoon, another friend called me to talk about the babies' big birthday party over the weekend (blog post coming soon!). Towards the end of the conversation, she said, "How can I specifically pray for you?"

I almost burst into tears again. This time because someone cared enough to ask me how they could stand alongside me.

And then I realized what I'd done: I had quietly discounted the importance of my prayers for my friend and her baby, and yet I fully accepted a friend's prayers for myself.

Light bulb moment.

In between, calming kids and fixing dinner, I mulled this over a little more because there was a major disconnect between the two ways that I viewed prayer today.

Praying is a legitimate way to help carry another's burdens. It's powerful on a spiritual level, but it's also immediately helpful for the person who is being prayed for. I felt that encouragement today just by knowing that someone is specifically praying for me...even though my issues aren't nearly critical as Killian's. I know when we were pregnant, and then watching our kids try to survive, I leaned on the prayers of my friends and family. And when someone dropped me a note or text, not even expecting a response, I felt like someone was indeed carrying our burden with us.

God doesn't make a habit out of giving pointless commands. The Bible is FULL of commands to pray in every situation (Phil 4:6) and pray without ceasing (1 Thess 5:17). Every command giving by God has a good "why" behind it (although we may not always catch on right away). So if I say, "All I can do right now is pray, and that just doesn't seem like enough." Then essentially I'm saying, "God, you just aren't big enough to take what you asked me to do and use it for your Glory." Oops! I really don't know much in the grand scheme of things, and I definitely don't have more wisdom than God.

So yes, all I can do right now is pray for Melissa, Justin, and Baby Killian. I can also send her a message and let her know that I've got her back in prayer. And God can take what I considered, "my puny little prayer" and run with it!

I don't have many light bulb moments since I tend to run through my day without stopping to think. Yet, somehow, Killian, who is only a couple of weeks old, caused me to stop and reevaluate how I view prayer. That's kind of amazing!

With that being said, I have a challenge for you:

This week, call, email, or text someone and ask how you can pray for them specifically. Then, a few days later, let them know that you still remember their specific prayer request and that you are still "on it!" It may seem like a small prayer request to you, but it is probably a mountain in their life.

Also, I would love it if you would leave a comment with a specific prayer request that I can cover for you. (Please leave a comment on the post and not on the FaceBook link. It's too easy to lose in the feed.) I want to have your back in prayer this week.

And, please don't forget to pray for Melissa, Justin, and Baby Killian. God has mighty plans for that little boy!


  1. You're amazing! Praying for your friends and your sweet family as well. I wish I could squeeze your neck!!! :) Thank you for being there for us too! xoxo Kami

  2. WOW thank you that is such a good reminder. Prayer has power no matter which side you are on. I tend to think my prayers are less important. Thank you for the good reminder that there not. I will pray for Melissa, Justin and baby Killian. God Bless

  3. Rebecca I love you. You AMAZE me as well.. You know I am praying for you and feel your heart!! I unashamedly ask for prayers for our Baby Sam that will be born next Friday. Altho I've remained "unconnected" verbally and physically I hope you know me well enough to accept my written love and heartfelt prayers. I am praying specifically for your emotional well being (altho you didn't ask specifically for that) .. I hope that's ok... xxoo Karen

    1. I've got Sam in my prayers, and Aubrey as well! I hope the delivery and recovery is easy and he is home in short order!

      And thank you for praying for me as well, Karen! I can always use prayers for my emotional well being (sometimes it gets a little rocky!)!

      Much love to you and your family!

  4. Rebecca,

    You are quickly becoming "that" woman--you know the one who always knows just what to say, the one God chooses to put in the path of others to help in just the right way & the one who is wonderfully reflective and can BLOG about it!! Seriously, you are amazing sister!!

    This was another beautiful post! I also will be praying for you friend Melissa and her sweet baby Kilian. I will make my call--and as for my request, my oldest son is with his Dad on vacation in Colorado for the next 10 days. We obviously miss him terribly when he's gone. Extra prayers for his safe travels would be wonderful as well as peace for his mamma :)!!

    Don't forget to add Melissa, baby Kilian and the family to the GKCMOTC prayer chain by emailing & we'll all pray for him as well.


    1. Absolutely, Angela! I will definitely be praying for a safe, fun-filled vacation for him, and for peace and comfort for you. 10 days can seem like a very long time when separated from our kids!

      And thank you for praying for Killian and his parents. I know they appreciate it, and I do too. I did email the prayer chain yesterday afternoon. It would be great if we could get them on the prayer chain!

  5. Great post Rebecca! It is so true. We discount our prayers for others but accept and are blessed by the prayers of our friends on our behalf.

    I have been blessed to read about your babies and your life. I went to church in Las Cruces many moons ago with your mom and dad and Connie Billingsley is one of my best friends.

    Jill Farris (mom of 8 born one at a time)
    Washington State

    1. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment, Jill!

      I'm afraid I don't remember meeting you, but I'm sure I must have at one point. I appreciate that you left your website addresses so that I could see what you write about. I really enjoyed looking through your Generational Womanhood blog! What a neat idea to focus on young wives! I definitely still fall in the clueless category! :)

      Hopefully someday we can meet (again!)!

  6. Hi Rebecca.

    I think many people discount their own abilities to make a difference through prayer or actions. It is easy to assume that others can make a bigger difference than we can. Thank you for the reminder that we can all make a positive difference in the lives of others.

    : 0 ) Theresa


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