On the Journey
By Rick Hamlin

To Pray Is to Believe

Believing is praying. And praying is believing.

I came away from the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference this past weekend thinking about belief and prayer, and especially about Rachel Williams.

Rachel Williams, who organizes the conference, believes in writers and believes in making their dreams come true. A whiz at efficiency, Rachel doesn’t flinch at scheduling dozens of sessions for 50 faculty members and some 250 writers, a needy bunch. She can calm any of their anxieties in an instant.

But she is also a great believer in prayer. Check out her blog, usually addressed to her “praying friends,” and you can see just how deep her faith goes, as deep as the roots of the redwoods at the conference grounds.

In 2012 her husband, Roger, was diagnosed with an advanced case of cancer. He was given only months to live.

Not only is he quite alive today, but he’s thriving. Yes, he’s still getting treatments, still enduring the ups and downs that longtime cancer survivors face, but both he and Rachel are brimming with hope. Hope for a complete cure. Hope for a breakthrough. Hope for a life without trips back and forth to doctors’ offices.

For now, the good doctors know that whenever they have news to share with Roger and Rachel, they’re going to hear about the power of prayer.

Not only does Rachel say it to the doctors, but she keeps the world informed in her blog. She marvels that in two years, she’s had some 85,307 visitors log on from 82 different countries. “I understand Sweden, as we have relatives and friends from there, but Jordan? Italy?” she writes. “Incredible. May God use it to his glory.”

I’m reminded of what Jesus said to Martha when he was about to raise Lazarus from the dead. She pointed out that the smell of the tomb would be awful. Lazarus, after all, had been dead for four days. “Didn’t I tell you,” Jesus says, “that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

Believing like that is hard work. As with Rachel and Roger, it can come in the face of doctors’ tough diagnosis, tests, pain, chemo, surgery, stents, depression. But believing is what we do when we pray, and praying comes from believing.

Rachel doesn’t do it alone. Neither should you. Join us this week for Good Friday Day of Prayer. Send us your requests. I’m putting in one prayer of thanksgiving for a believing friend, her husband and the good work they both do.

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor of Guideposts magazine and the author of 10 Prayers You Can't Live Without. To learn more about the book and explore your own prayer journey, watch this video.