Coincidental Prayer Gathering (James 1:6-8)
How do I believe without doubting? How do I have a radiator installed in my van without wondering and fussing if it’s going to still leak? How do I pray for a couple struggling with infertility, and not wonder if God can really open up a womb previously closed for fourteen years?
Last night at our monthly prayer gathering, we sat in the glory, wonder, and mystery of God. A young woman who had recently started coming to church openly explained her struggles of being a struggling, college-trained actress. She needed a stronger faith to survive and conquer her God-lacking world. After we prayed for this hungry waitress, I looked up and there next to her was another Godly, excellently-trained actress sitting right next to her. Was that an easily dismissed coincidence or God? Believing bolsters my faith. Questioning feels incredibly unstable.
In the back row of our small gathering sat an African couple from the U.K. I had never seen them before, but she… Jacquelyn… felt the Spirit’s freedom to speak up. She and her husband, Brian, had seen our banner on the frontage street, and came hunting for some intense, intentional prayer.
Jacquelyn and Brian have not been able to conceive for fourteen years. They have prayed and waited. On Sunday, they just happened to be at church with us as I unfolded the story of Abraham and Sarah being told they will have a baby when they are 100 and 90 respectively. “There is nothing to hard for our Lord,” Jacquelyn quietly reminded us of my sermon and God’s Word.
Was their Sunday visit merely convenient because their motel is 100 yards away from our church? Perhaps this was one of God’s appointed times that was set fourteen long years ago.
How do I keep from laughing or mocking as Sarah did when Jesus told her she was going to have a baby? Brian and Jacquelyn were with us at church on Sunday to hear, “Is there anything too hard for our Lord?” Then they meandered in to our prayer gathering just three days later. I believe that was no coincidence.
We anointed them with oil, and prayed over them with the stability that comes from a faith certain of what cannot be seen. We prayed for healing. We prayed for the possible task of adoption their parental hearts might become pregnant with.
It’s really a thing of maturity, isn’t it? Our struggles point to perseverance, which leads to maturity of faith. A mature faith can swim in the mystery of God. A mature faith gives stability when the seas are not. A mature faith allows God to be God exactly when we realize that we are not.
Believing without doubting comes from a furnace-tested, mature faith. Slowly I’m getting there, but nights like last night seem to help expedite my slow process… at least by one glorious day. I sure hope I get to see Brian and Jacquelyn again some day — preferably one year from now. I really do believe there is nothing too hard for our Lord.