Last Sunday I was running in church. Not literally running although that would be pretty cool cause its heated with no chance of falling on ice. But I was running from bringing the kids to childcare to find a seat in the auditorium hoping to avoid all eye contact with anyone. Social anxiety is such a cakewalk these days. So as I try and avoid all human contact that is not necessary and scan the crowd for my few friends that know that whole truth and still let me hang around them, I make a beeline for the doors where my husband is hopefully waiting for me. As I pass through a woman touches my arm so gently and meets my diverted eyes with hers. She speaks with joy that she has been praying for me. She confidently states that she asks God daily to “meet me where I am at and heal whatever needs to be healed”. And in that moment I can’t breathe. I look in her eyes and know that she knows. She knows the face of struggle. She knows the silence of scared. She knows the fear of retreat.
I met her three years ago during a prayer week at our church. There was a tent set outside near the stream that runs by our church. It was morning and the dew was still on the grass as I stepped into the tent. I clumsy apologized for having brought my toddler with me at the time. Making excuses that didn’t need to be spoken about time of day and lack of childcare. She smiled and said she would be honored to pray with me and my little girl. She then bent her head and started praying aloud the names of God. You are the healer, my comforter , the only creator, you are the great I am . As she continued to pray I sat there with my head bent tears rolling down my sun kissed face. I could feel the spirit fill the room as she spoke. She then asked if she could pray for me. Me? A stranger you just met who looks foolish crying at the sound of your voice? And there she knelt and began to pray Jesus into my life. Praying for me as a mother, as a wife, as a friend that I would feel the comfort of God through it all.
I will never forget that morning. It made me believe again. Believe that when people say they pray they really do. That they intercede on behalf of those of us that don’t know what to pray can’t for fear of what may come out. She has since remained a woman that I still only know to be a “prayer warrior”. I don’t know her story. Or her struggles. But last Sunday morning when she touched my arm and her eyes met mine I knew I was covered. That the many days and nights when I feel so weak to even utter “help”. She is fighting for me. She is taking my needs and sorrows before the King.
When people say that they are praying for you. Believe it. Believe that their are those who are standing in the gap for you. They are laying you before the feet of Jesus. They are covering you with the hope that the sorrow will lift. That the pain will end. That you are a part of a bigger story and may never know the ending but it is all for God’s glory. And that Christ is holding on to you. Sweet one. Holding you.
“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13