I want to welcome my friend, Lauren Gaskill, around the table today. She’s a writer, a speaker, and a podcaster. Today she shares her story on how she started to believe in prayer. . . all over again. ~ Suzie
I’ve been called a prayer warrior.
But it hasn’t always been this way.
There have been times in my life when prayer was more of an afterthought or last resort when things got really bad. There have bene times when I wondered if God even heard my prayers. There have been times when I doubted the power of prayer.
Maybe you can relate.
Last October I received that phone call. You know, the one that rocks your world in a not-so-amazing kind of way.
I’d been waiting for the call for what felt like years, but as I picked up the phone I nearly fainted with anxiety. The doctors had finally pinpointed the cause of the chronic pain and health maladies I’d been dealing with for several years.
“You have an incurable connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Hypermobility,” they said. “And your jaw is fully degenerated as a result. The damage is irreversible without reconstructive surgery.”
Incurable, irreversible, lifelong, not going away, hopeless — these were the words that immediately went through my mind. In that moment I didn’t want to pray. I didn’t want to pull out my Bible. I just wanted to cry.
Life can make us feel powerless sometimes. And in our powerlessness, we can start to doubt if our prayers actually make a difference. In the face of trials, we can lose our prayer mojo.
Months passed and hundreds of my friends, family and fellow church members all lifted hands to pray for healing over my broken body. All the while I just wallowed in my suffering. I thought to myself, He’s not going to heal me. He has way too many other things to worry about. This is just my cross to bear and I better just accept that now.
I know, I know. Pretty terrible, right?
Having these raw, honest thoughts made me realize: I’d believed in Jesus my whole life, but somewhere along the way I’d stopped believing in the power of prayer.
I’d seen God provide for my family in the wake of my father’s unemployment crisis. I’d seen God restore broken relationships. I’d seen God turn dreams into realities. But somewhere along the way, I stopped believing He could do the same for me, too.
So that night I did the one thing I’d been putting off for months: I fell to my knees and I finally prayed. Night after night and day after day. God, help me rediscover the power of prayer. Help me believe once again what your Word says about prayer.
I want to believe you can and will heal me. I want to be a prayer warrior.
A deeper prayer life starts with believing what the Word says about prayer. @lauren_inspires #livefreeThursday
In Matthew 21:22, Jesus tells us that we can pray for anything, and if we have faith, we will receive it. And yet somewhere along the way in our faith journeys, I think many of us — myself included — end up writing this off as too good to be true.
But prayer is not too good to be true.
Prayer is the truest and surest thing we have in this life.
It didn’t happen overnight, but the Lord has used my medical diagnosis to help me rediscover the incredible power of prayer over the last 14 months.
Hebrews 4:15-16 has played a huge part in helping me get my prayer mojo back, and I want to share it here with all of you today. Paul writes:
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
In claiming this scripture over my prayer life, I know that I can approach God with holy confidence at any time and know that He wants to hear from me, He is with me and He understands what I’m going through.
Knowing and believing our prayers matter changes everything.
Prayer is our lifeline to the Father, our best defense against the enemy, and most of all, it is a beautiful gift. @lauren_inspires
I don’t know where you are in your walk with Jesus today, but I do know this: All it takes is one small step of faith to transform your prayer life. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been a prayer warrior for years or are a new believer — God wants to take you deeper. He wants you to trust, know and believe that He sees, He hears, He knows, He understands, and He will answer when you call.
As Suzie wrapped up this 21-day series on prayer, it is my hope and prayer that we would each commit to taking the next step to go deeper in our prayer walk. Whether that’s asking God to help us rediscover the power of prayer or committing to praying more frequently throughout the day, one step is all it takes to make a change.
One step is all it takes to revolutionize your prayer life.
What is your one step?
Lauren is an author, speaker and host of the Finding Joy podcast. She is passionate about encouraging women to lead spiritually healthy, joy-filled and redeemed lives as Positively Lovely daughters of God. Lauren writes at LaurenGaskillinspires.com and is in the process of publishing her first book. When she’s not writing or speaking, Lauren loves to cook, bake and go on hikes with her husband and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, who is affectionately named Reese after Lauren’s favorite candy — peanut butter cups.