By Bev Davis
Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published Jan. 21, 2005.
I’m part of a weekly prayer group that up to now I have taken for granted.
We meet and pray specifically for people we know. The needs on the list range from those who are terminally ill to those with Alzheimer’s, those who have never made a profession of faith and for believers who are struggling with various issues.
Because it’s so easy to pray for someone, I think I’ve taken the opportunity to be an intercessor for granted. We can bow our heads anywhere and offer a prayer. We can pray on the way to work — some of my best prayer times occur then. We can pray while taking a walk or when relaxing with a cup of coffee.
The importance of those moments of interceding for others was driven home to me this week as I listened to the words of a song.
“When you think you’ve lost it all, and you haven’t got a prayer, Jesus will still be there.”
The phrase, “haven’t got a prayer” stuck with me and took on new meaning as I thought about our prayer group.
We usually use those words “haven’t got a prayer” when a situation is hopeless.
We’re at a ball game. Our team is down by 20 points, and there are only seconds left in the game.
“Man, they haven’t got a prayer,” we sigh.
However, as I thought of a woman we pray for each week who has leukemia and another who is undergoing chemotherapy treatments for cancer, I realize there are days they “don’t have a prayer.”
Weakened by treatments or the illness itself, they may be too tired, too discouraged or too sick to offer a prayer that day. They need someone else to pray for them.
Two loved ones on our list have Alzheimer’s disease. The mental confusion that comes with this insidious illness may prevent them from having a prayer for themselves today.
There is a small child with a need. Too young to offer a prayer for himself, he needs us to intercede on his behalf.
Others on our list have no faith. Prayer is not a part of their daily routine.
Some people have no one who ever prays for them.
And so, about eight of us come together to pray for those “who haven’t got a prayer” and for those who have — not because their situations are hopeless, but for the opposite reason.
The minute we lift them up in prayer, hope is on its way to each of them. The moment we bring God into their illness, their confusion, their pain, their plight, we bring hope, light, love, healing and strength to them.
So often we measure the success of our prayers by the results. We wait eagerly to hear someone who was sick has recovered or that a financial need has been met.
This week I learned that the success of our ministry of prayer hinges only on one thing.