As with most "trials", my prayer life has been strengthened. I was rummaging through my sisters old closet one day in search of lost treasure when I came across The Papa Prayer by Larry Crabb. I've been exposed to every formula and gimmick when it comes to prayer. Pray this way, use this acrostic, say these magic words and all your dreams will come true. Another book on prayer. It took me a while to get into it, timing is everything when it comes to books. For example: I read biographies on Holocaust survivors and islamic women - that straightened out my contentment issues ... for a while. God uses books and stories of others' lives to impact our own.
Anyway, David and I have been praying constantly. I know others have been praying for us. And yet, the headaches and muscle aches and numbness and overall pain & discomfort continue for him. Worse are the plagues of "what if" that sometimes overwhelm him. We always go back to TRUTH - we know that fear is not of God, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind." I'm exhausted with this situation. I can't see the forest for the trees. And prayer ... does God really answer prayer? Then another wave of fatigue hits David just as the kids start fighting or someone needs their bottom wiped or someone falls and hurts themselves and I have to keep myself from getting angry. I'm finding that I need to be cautious of placing my satisfaction as the measure of what is right, because if I'm not comfortable, well-rested and happy - look out!
Would I hope in His mercy if I had no needs? Would my longing soul be satisfied in Him if there were no longing to begin with? Would my hunger and thirst be filled with goodness if I had no hunger pangs or parched throat? Of course not. But I want the formula for whatever prayer it takes to make these things go away. I want something that puts me in control and gives me the power to make things happen. I want to pray in the name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit and wah-la! It's all better! So the spotlight shines on my own pride and spirit of entitlement and I realize how strongly I don't want God's kingdom to come if it interferes with the arrival of my own.
Stepping back to look at the big picture: I deserve nothing. Every breath is a gift. Then I see my emptiness ... and Christ's sufficiency. I'm beginning to understand that it's more important to get God than to get things from God.
"It pleased the Father to bruise Him." Isaiah 53:10