Imagine how hard it must be for parents whose child has lost their way and lost contact with their parents. One such parent, whose son had run away to become a sailor, kept on praying that her son would serve the Lord. God answered her prayers and this young drunken John Newton became a preacher, who led thousands to the Lord, including Thomas Scott who himself became an evangelist, leading William Cowper to the Lord. Cowper co-wrote songs with Newton, one of which is the well-known Amazing Grace.
Like Lizzie de Armond, who ridiculed her mother’s prayers and in the end wrote songs glorifying God, a stumbling modern-day alcoholic young woman has been able to discover her identity as bride of Christ and could walk down the aisle to be a blessing to her proud husband – all this because her family kept on praying.
In today’s quick-fix world we have grown to look for instant results – instant food to instant divorce, handy pills that make lively children more manageable or that help stressed adults get a night’s rest. However handy, these could never replace a prayerful dependence on God.
However much we strive to organize and fix people, we cannot do what God does in answer to the earnest prayers of his children. Even in a stormy season due to a crisis at work, we are reminded that we may pray with confidence (Philippians 4), praying and not losing hope (Luke 18) and trusting God to make Romans 8:28 a reality for us.
Just as I would not be able to live if I stopped breathing, I would not be able to survive spiritually if I stopped praying.