Sometimes following a wonderful victory difficult challenges surface. After hearing of our mysterious and encouraging answer to prayer just a few days ago, more besetting illnesses hit my sister this week. The latest setbacks left her in a weakened state. Initial calls for prayer went out on her behalf to many who truly cared and did pray.
Ongoing health battles have been magnified as a result of Elaine’s four year battle with quadriplegia. Yesterday as my mom and I visited her, we simply offered our presence which gave my sister some comfort. At times, all loved ones can do in crisis is to simply be prayerfully present with the suffering.
Tonight I desired to pray with my sister again. I breathed an internal sigh before beginning my prayer. What else could be prayed after four years of petitioning the Father on Elaine’s behalf?
As this pile of dust began to pray for her, the Holy Spirit prompted my prayer. I began to praise God for a number of things that were good in her life yet still beseeching the Father for specific requests for Elaine’s healing. However in this latest crisis, the prayer focused primarily on praises to God over and above regular multiple petitions.
When one knows not what to say, much less pray, a focus upon praise to the Father is always appropriate. It stretches our faith to allow praises to supersede petitions. Regardless of weary warriors stymied in how to best pray for the hurting, God truly inhabits the praises of His people. Praise to God through suffering is an act of faith.