The 3 P’s of Prayer: Petition, Protection, Preparation

God Has Answered Prayer.  Have you ever prayed and waited then waited some more?  I have been waiting alongside friends for five years to see God answer a prayer and it arrived today.   A pastor whom I admire in California is quoted on Facebook today saying some poignant words.  Greg Laurie said, “We must never forget that prayer is not only for petition, but for protection and preparation.”  I love that we can go to God with our requests including His protection.  He has provided, protected and prepared as a community of friends, some of whom have never met, have prayed for a miracle.

Today was the day that my friends’ baby was born.  This miracle child had been the hearts’ desire of my precious friends for years.  This miracle has resonated throughout the day in my mind as I have rejoiced with them on Facebook because they are across the ocean from me.  The surrogate mother who carried the child for nine months lived across the ocean while her body nurtured the baby.  I have prayed so much for her that her body would be able to handle this pregnancy and that she would deliver a healthy baby.  Thankfully, I can report that the pictures of the baby cause me to smile and keep smiling.  I feel such a peace to see that God has answered prayer.

I have learned some lessons in the waiting on the baby’s birth.

  1. What God starts, He finishes.
  2. Have Hope.  Don’t lose heart.
  3. God helps us.
  4. God is in control and will not withhold any good thing.
  5. Anxious thoughts don’t promote trust.  Casting my cares on Him is the key that will unlock a peace that passes understanding.
  6. The answer to prayer is worth the wait.
  7. Rejoicing with family and friends is all the more sweet when the journey has been hard.
  8. Pray according to God’s Will.  His plans are perfect and are better than any of my plans.
  9. Give the desires of our heart to God.  He orchestrates life not me.  He truly knows me and will weave together all of the necessary components to make a way where there seems to be no way.
  10. When He provides and answers our petitions, we can trust that He has prepared us for what lies ahead.

My family blew bubbles outside this evening as we rejoiced in the birth.  Sometimes God says no, but today He gave a resounding YES!  I am thankful for this life and know that God has big plans for my friend and her family.  I have sensed throughout their journey that their faith in God has deepened as mine has too.  I have been prompted in my spirit to pray for my friend, for her growing baby and for the surrogate mom so many times through out these past nine months.  Each week, I would look forward to my friend’s weekly blog post as she described how she wanted her friends to pray for baby.  I have seen her love for her child develop and bloom while baby was growing.  To now be able to hold her miracle, just makes me well up with tears of joy.

My pastor spoke yesterday of not giving up.  He told the story of an Army Special Operations Delta Division which makes candidates pass a grueling test.  During this test, candidates are pushed to their limit by traveling in nature 26 miles over weeks of time while carrying 100 pounds with blistered and raw feet, aching and hungry bodies and a mind full of concern that they will be caught.  If the candidate is caught, he or she does not pass the test.  A safety team will drive by to check on their health from time to time and it is not considered being “caught” if they speak to the soldiers, but ultimately, the task of surviving the ordeal is only for a chosen few.  Many candidates quit because they can no longer stand it.  There was one candidate who did not realize that he was only 400 feet from the finish line when he decided that he could go on no more.  He got in the truck that had checked on him.  When the driver drove those last 400 feet, the soldier realized what he had done.  He was almost to the finish line, but didn’t pass the test.  He didn’t become a member of the Army’s Special Operations Delta Team.  He was still in the army, but could never say that he passed this test.

My dear friends who are now holding their child have passed the test.  They wept while their friends cried and prayed for them in the past when their other children left Earth for heaven.  There have been many tests of their faith.  They continued to pray and allow their friends to pray for their child.  I know that they are rejoicing in their answer to prayer.

Their story continues to unfold and they will continue to pray.  Their friends will continue to pray for them.  I would like to end with a prayer:

Our Father, thank you for this child.  You have formed every cell and knitted the baby together.  You are sovereign in all of the earth.  We give you glory, honor and praise for this miracle.  We have asked and you have answered.  We have called out to you for your protection and you gave it.  We have seen you prepare my friends for their journey in this chapter of parenthood.  Please help them rest in your Grace as more details have to be worked out.  We trust you to help them.  Bless their surrogate mother for the gift she has given to them.  Bless all of those involved in the birth story.  Help my friends to learn to care for their baby and keep them all well.  It is in the strong and mighty name of Jesus that I pray.  Amen.

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