Long-standing Prayer

I had written my name inside the book, as I always do, along with the date: Kathleen Waligora, August 2005. I don’t know why I put the book away and never read it at that time. I’m certain it’s an awesome book – Jesus the One and Only – because the author, Beth Moore, is an awesome writer. But I hadn’t read beyond the first chapter, “Unexpected Company.”

So today, I began reading the book – once again.

In the first chapter, I read about Zechariah, the old priest whose turn had finally come to offer the incense at the daily sacrifice – a once in a lifetime opportunity. I was reminded that the time had been ordained by God. I was reminded that Zechariah must have prayed for a son while he was inside the holy place. I was reminded that God’s power is infinite and His grace and mercy have no end. Beth Moore writes that God wanted to meet “the desire of his [Zechariah’s] heart,” that “God was simply waiting for the perfect time.”

It was then that I read on – to the next page – and I saw my handwriting from 2005 (I almost always annotate my reading!) Amber & Jesse, I had written those eleven years ago.

Amber & Jesse.

Instantly I knew where my heart was eleven years ago: It was broken. It was wounded. It was aching. My underlining of portions of the passage further revealed the condition of my heart at that time and the hope I had – in Jesus, the One and Only:

Do you have a long-standing prayer concern? . . . don’t grow weary mechanical. Like Zechariah and Elizabeth, continue to walk faithfully with God even though you are disappointed. Walking with God in the day-in/day-out course of life swells your assurance that God is faithful and enjoyable even when a request goes unmet . . . Zechariah waited a long time for God’s answer, but when it came, it exceeded everything the priest could have thought or asked.

I remembered my “long-standing prayer” of 2005 for my daughter Amber and her husband, Jesse – a prayer that had already gone on for many years. Now, looking back, I realized that my “long-standing prayer” continued yet another seven years – until 2012 before it was answered, but like Zechariah’s answer to prayer, when my answer came, “it exceeded everything [I] could have thought or asked.”

I had asked for bits of grace and mercy. I received abundance.

So now, as I continue reading Jesus the One and Only, I will again annotate. I will again note specific prayer requests and passages of promise from God’s Word. And as I do, my faith will be strengthened in remembering that our God’s power is infinite, that He waits for the perfect time. I will find comfort in Jesus, the One and Only.