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.
My friends know me as the woman they can turn to when they need someone to battle on her knees with them.
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.
[ctt template=”4″ link=”kaccG” via=”no” ]A deeper prayer life starts with believing what the Word says about prayer. @lauren_inspires #livefreeThursday[/ctt]
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.
[ctt template=”4″ link=”fkXd2″ via=”no” ]Prayer is our lifeline to the Father, our best defense against the enemy, and most of all, it is a beautiful gift. @lauren_inspires[/ctt]
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.
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Lauren, I can sense so much hope and so much dependency on God in your words here. We sure can hate what brings the pain, but appreciate that God uses it to draw us to Him. Loved your words.
You are so right, Lisa. God uses every single hurt in our lives to draw us closer to Him, and I am so thankful for that. Blessings and hugs to you, sweet sister! Would love to catch up with you sometime this month.
hi Lauren…thank you so much for sharing such a touching story and also the fruits of believing in GOD, spending time on our knees..though is not easy sometimes when we are overwhelmed by challenges of this world…your story touched my heart…thank you so much and be blessed as you continue sharing …Amen
Hi Euginia! It’s so nice to meet you in this place today, and I’m glad my story of prayer could touch your heart. Thank you for stopping by!
Thank you Lauren and Suzie.
I needed this. I for years was that prayer warrior. I led a prayer ministry and participated in several prayer journeys, kept a prayer journal for years but this last year some thing changed and things got really hard and I grew weary. Thank you for the reminder of the necessity and significance of prayer in my life.
Hi, dear Julia. I can totally relate, as you know from reading this post. I will be praying for you — that God would strengthen your faith and also breathe new life into your prayer walk. Love and hugs!
Congratulations on this guest post, Lauren! I’m going through a season of watching and waiting, and prayer is essential to guarding me from impatience and discouragement. Prayer keeps me centered and peaceful and trusting in God’s timing.
Thank you, dear Sarah! I’m in a similar season of watching and waiting right now, so I know what that feels like, too! Praying that the Lord will give you patience and peace as you continue to trust on His perfect timing. Hugs to you, and have a blessed day!
Lauren, thank you so much for sharing this story. I can say that mine is remarkably similar both in struggling with prayer in with the same drawn out diagnosis of EDS. God doesn’t always heal our bodies, but He transforms our hearts through prayer and that gives us the strength to keep going. I’m so glad you found answers to your pain and in your prayer life and I know that God will do amazing things through you!
Hi, Nicole! I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to meet you here today! To meet another Christian writer who has EDS … what a God connection! (Have you met Heather Dixon? She has EDS, too. We all need to have a pow wow!) You are so right. God doesn’t always heal our bodies, but He certainly does heal our hearts, and I am so thankful for that. Love and hugs to you! (Seriously, let’s connect further. Please email me!)
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and struggles unfiltered. I do believe in the power of prayer and have seen God be so faithful to answer my prayers (maybe not in the way I had intended), but He DOES answer. I think I get duped into believing that God has answered so many of my prayers, that maybe this prayer is one that’s going to go unanswered….again the enemy at work. Thank you for this reminder that I can approach the throne of grace with confidence…with ALL my prayers. Loved this post…
Hi, Bev. Yes! That’s what’s so amazing about God … in our human state, it’s hard to understand how He could possibly hear every single one of our prayers. But when we go back to His word we can rest in His promises and know that He really does. I’m glad this post could touch your heart today. Blessings to you!
Wow, what a great testimony. I think we can all relate to this in one way or another. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you so much, dear Jody. Praying that your faith would be strengthened this week, and that you can take that next step to having a more powerful prayer life!
Lauren, I’ve really been enjoying catching up on your podcasts! Blessings to you!
Michele, which one is your favorite so far (have you listened to the episode with Suzie)? Thanks for tuning in, and for reading this post. It’s a blessing to know you!
I can very much relate to this. Thank you.
Hi, dear Kelly. I hope this post could encourage you! I am praying for God to breathe new life into your prayer walk — that you would come to know the true power of prayer in your life, too! Blessings to you!
Thank you, sweet Suzie, for letting me share my heart and writing in this sacred space. I’m praying that God would use this story to touch the hearts of many women who stop by your blog today. And I’m also praying that we can help one another take the next step toward a deeper faith and prayer life! Much love and hugs to you.
This is so good and if we are honest (and why wouldn’t we be girls) where many of us find ourselves: “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.”
Growing up, my mother always told my sister and I, “honesty is the best policy,” and that’s something I’ve carried into adulthood. I believe that being honest with ourselves and others is a crucial step in each of our faith journeys. When we are honest, we can truly live free! Thanks for reading, Kim.
What a beautiful testimony, Lauren! Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I loved this, “… 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.” I needed that today! Praying for you, sweet friend!!!
Hey, sweet sister! Thank you so much. God is so good, amen? Praying for you, too, and would really love to connect deeper sometime soon.
Such a beautiful testimony and I can relate in some ways. I have praying about next steps to grow deeper in my prayer life. I am learning how to recognize the trials as gifts, causing me to acknowledge my need for Him in a deeper way. To see these moments as an opportunity to seek Him and find Him in a deeper way. Thanks for sharing your story. God was speaking to me.
Hi, Desiree. Thanks for joining us today! I will be praying for you as you continue this journey — that God would help you see every trial (and blessing) as an opportunity to run in prayer to Him! Love and hugs!
Desiree, there’s a sermon in your third sentence. It’s powerful!
Thanks Lauren and Suzie for sharing these tender thoughts on the power of prayer. So love this part of the scripture ” so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” God ALWAYS is there and we can always find his mercy and grace, just when we need it.
Yes! It’s such a beautiful truth, isn’t it? Love you, Jill!
May your prayers be answered with healing and love, Lauren. This is powerful for me as I deal with many issues yet know that God is working things for my good. I am encouraged. Thank you for being tender and open, willing to share with us.
Caring through Christ, ~ linda
Thank you so much, Linda. I pray that God would give you peace and patience as you wait upon Him. He is working all things together for your good! Sending you a big hug right now.
Thank you for sharing, Lauren! A friend and her son have ED, tough disease. Thank you for your honesty, and reminders of the power of prayer.
Thanks for joining in on the conversation, Michelle! I will be praying for your friend and her son. Blessings to you!
Love this truth, Lauren: “Prayer is the truest and surest thing we have in this life.” Our relationship with Jesus is all we’ll bring into eternity. Thank you for sharing your heart and your story, sweet friend. xoxo
Thanks, sweet friend! Appreciate you! Have a lovely weekend.
Great encouragement here, Lauren. He is ours for the seeking and I love your reminder to come to Him boldly. Sometimes I think that means that I have to carry all the boldness and the burden of whether my prayer is answered or not – but I’m reminded that I can storm His gates on roll every care over. Grateful for your testimony, friend. xo
Amen! God gives us the holy confidence we need to approach him boldly!
Lauren, as one so young, you show a brave faith–God’s entrusted you with your circumstances and you are great at shining your light for Jesus’ sake. Bless you, friend!
The glory is definitely His and His alone! Thankful for you, dear Sue. Love and hugs!
Lauren, I love, love LOVE this post! Thank you so much for being vulnerable and for sharing pieces of your journey with us. Prayer is so powerful in God’s healing and redemptive work in our lives, and I pray He continues to strengthen you mind, soul, body, and spirit! Blessings to you, sister!