Thursday, April 22, 2010

the impossibility of prayer

Last night at Alpha, week four, the subject was prayer, and Nikki Gumbel spoke about the hows, whys, and whens of prayer and then finished up with an impossible story of one man's refusal to give up in his prayers. Long story short: British actor, whose wife left him after three years, became a Christian. She would have nothing to do with him, was living with another man, and so he began to pray for her to know Christ, not for the marriage. As she was pressing toward divorce, he sent her and her new man two tickets to see Billy Graham. She sent the tickets back. Billy Graham stayed an extra day, unexpectedly, and the ex-husband sent two more tickets. The live-in bf couldn't go, so long and short they went together. At the end when Graham asked people to come down and be counted among Christ's own, she ran down the stairs. Her soon to be ex-husband (the decree nicae had already gone out) had never stopped praying for her. They are now living as a married couple again.

It's my prayer for my husband -- I doubt our marriage could ever be salvaged out of the mess he made with his serial affairs and various other sexual activities, but I was reminded that we are to pray ever.

I was also reminded of how faithful our God is. For the last little while, I've been quite preoccupied with my son's distance and sometimes aggressive behaviour. He's been swearing more, and lashing out at his sister. Because of the family situation, I have been loathe to press him too much because I know I can be a little overwhelming on that score -- kind of like picking pimples til there's no skin left. Over the weekend I was reading through John's gospel, around chapters 15-17 and was struck by Jesus prayer to His Father over the spiritual provision for his disciples that not a man of them was to be lost. He prays for their souls. he prays -- and pays -- for our souls. We are given the promise that what we ask we will be given, as long as it is right minded. I have prayed lately for some assurance from God that all is and shall be well with my son's soul and faith journey. The night before last when he was particularly beastly with his sister, I started to talk with him, and he really unloaded. He's lonely, this separation has left him unsettled, his sister's behaviour is worse because she's trying to get his attention more now, and he's sad over his gf dropping him, and he's not sure where he's going after high school, and whether he has what it takes to get into medicine, although he's now not sure he even wants to do that. But we also talked about faith, and I was given the assurance I'd prayed for that he is exploring it more, that his heart is for God.

Praise God! And thanks for his answers to prayer.