Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: SWEET HOUR OF PRAYER (don’t write about the song) (04/30/15)
- TITLE: Calloused Hands and Tender Knees
By Sheila Bird
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
I thought I was living the American dream. I found my heartâ€™s desire in what I believed to be a solid marriage, crowned with a beautiful daughter and an awesome son. Using the Proverbs 31 woman as my example I was determined to give church and family all the gusto I had.
I endeavored to fill every nook and cranny of my life with laughter, lunch boxes, homework, family dinners, as well as a wonderful job outside the home, not to mention Sunday school, choir rehearsals, and small group Bible studies.
I was proud of my social standing and my accomplishments. Looking back on those days I wonder if I was too proud, because I was about to get a catastrophic lesson in life.
I confess that my prayer time lacked passion. It usually consisted of a desperate shout out to God begging Him to help me keep up appearances and maintain my self-made to-do list. Sure, I was crazy in love with the Lord and I craved His sweet fellowship but my heart was packed with the cares of life. I thought I was pleasing Him by being as perfect in service as I possibly could. After all, my Bible told me that I could do â€śallâ€ť things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13 NKJV).
In my attempts to do â€śallâ€ť things and to say â€śnoâ€ť to none, pressure cracks often emerged in my life. When this happened I packed the cracks with denial and more stuff to do. Until one day my precious daughter slipped through one of those unforeseen cracks and found her way out into a prodigal lifestyle.
By the time I realized what was happening, sin had already taken itsâ€™ toll on her. She developed physical and spiritual anorexia along with many other life threatening habits. My life came unraveled at an alarming rate as I learned the harsh reality that all that my dedicated Church work had not equipped me to deal with the battles ahead.
I discovered that my hands were calloused but my knees were tender. So I traded my lunch hour for what became my sweet hour of prayer. I began an agonizing ritual of prayer vigils. Sometimes I prayed in her room while pacing the floor around her bed. Sometimes I prayed in my living room curled up in a fetal position on our big blue couch. And sometimes I knelt there on the floor by what I called my prayer chair. But whether I was sitting, standing or lying on my face on the floor I was changing. Everything around me and in me was changing.
Throughout the many years of praying for my prodigal I experienced every emotion possible. It was hard work keeping the faith and even harder work waiting for the answer to those prayers. Anger and depression knocked at my door often. Many times the burden would become so heavy that I would be tempted to forget my fallen one and save myself. Even those closest to me advised me to let her hit rock bottom.
Eventually the Lordâ€™s tender mercy brought my prodigal home but it took years of persistent prayer and patience to see her through to restoration. I know without a shadow of a doubt that time after time prayer saved her from self-destruction, and prayer also saved me.
My daughterâ€™s journey became my trail of tears. If I could ask God one thing I would ask Him why my baby girl had to suffer in order for me to get to where I am today spiritually. Perhaps it was because each sweet hour I spent in prayer left a footprint on my soul that led me straight to the heart of God. It was there I discovered what true service to God looks like. It was in that sweet hour of prayer that I traded my burdensome works driven life for the blessed gift of calloused knees, a tear stained face and a heart that bleeds with compassion for those who are lost and hurting.
As I write this testament to the power of prayer, I am praying for you. I pray that you will be compelled to your knees simply because you love the Lord and want to thank Him for all He has done for you. I pray that you too will grasp this simple truth; status and achievement can never compare to the blessings bestowed upon us in our sweet hour of prayer.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be right now. CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.