Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrew 4:16
I had struggled with my infertility for over 10 year. Like Hannah in First Samuel, I was deeply distressed and wept bitterly for years. There were always several women pregnant at a time at our church, and the joke was “there must be something in the water”! I can tell you there wasn’t, because I could sail a cruise ship with the amount I drank; just in case. It got to the point where friends were afraid to tell me if they were expecting, and it was no secret that I was troubled in my spirit. My desire to have another baby consumed my every waking moment. If children were a blessing from God, then was I being cursed?
In the early 90’s this same church was also hosting many well-known pastors/authors in what we called Abundant Life Meetings, revivals of sorts. As staunch Southern Baptists, we were being stretched in our understanding of God’s word. We were hearing about freedom from habitual sin and strongholds, living out our gifting, freedoms in worship, and that the Holy Spirit wasn’t scary. We were changing our views on outward “rules” for the sake earning favor, to the inner changes of a life lived in Christ. We heard of Christ’s great and glorious love for us, and I started realizing: “God’s not mad at me”. One of the Pastors, Peter Lord, preached the first 15 minutes in a leather biker jacket with a bottle of beer on the podium and a cigarette butt hanging from his lip! (Now, remember, this was before the current craze of the relevant, seeker sensitive junk our churches are falling prey to today.)
One night, before the end of the service, a preacher was challenging us to confidence in our prayers and petitions before a good and loving Father. Before long, the entire room was transformed by what I would call a prompting and filling of the Holy Spirit. Men and women were praying like I’d never witnessed before. Not weird stuff! Genuine prayers pouring out over one another. Petitions for healing and jobs, for forgiveness of hurts and and repentance of sin.
I sat in the middle of the auditorium, taking it all in, when two friends from opposite sides of the room came up to me. Each had been prompted by the Holy Spirit to pray for my infertility. That night Shirley and Tim, boldly and with great confidence prayed that God would open my womb, heal the brokenness and that I would become pregnant. They prayed that my home would someday, very soon, be filled with babies! They didn’t ask in fear of it “not being His will”, they didn’t couch it in niceties, or with any back-up plan. They didn’t settle with low expectations for Him to answer. With the desperation of beloved children, they were pleading with a Father who they trusted for good gifts. They laid their hands on my belly and prayed scriptures over me like John 14:13-14, 1 john 5:14 and Matthew 7:7-11; not in a “name it and claim it sort of way”; but their prayers for healing were faith-filled prayers! Prayers of confidence before the throne of Jehovah Rapha, God the Healer! I felt a warm heat fill my belly that night.God! The creator of all, who upholds the universe, He was listening to the requests on their lips, pleas He already knew, and He was healing my troubled soul.
I didn’t get pregnant for 4 more years. But there was healing that night. Not just the healing of my womb, but healing in my heart and a new trust; God was not punishing me. I had an overwhelming faith that I was going to have another child with the paradox of complete confidence that He was faithful even if I never had another child. I had a supernatural satisfaction in a good, faithful, and loving God because of the prayers of those two friends. I no longer believed the lie that there was something I could do to merit or deserve God to answer my prayer, but any blessing was only His extravagant mercy!
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:13-16
In God’s sovereignty, I believe that He answers prayers for healing, such as mine; Hebrew 2:4. God obviously doesn’t answer every prayer for healing because I have several precious, Godly friends who He has not healed with an open womb. However, healing will bear witness to the gospel.(Acts 14:3) and we should pray earnestly and expectantly. You have an audience with the King of kings, His full attention is devoted to you.
“Oh, that every Christian enterprise were commenced with prayer, continued with prayer, and crowned with prayer! Then might we also, expect to see it crowned with God’s blessing.” C.H. Spurgeon