During a dark time, God called forth a warrior–a prayer warrior. And a special book for others was the result.
Posted in , May 12, 2015
For those who’ve known me for years, the idea of my writing a book of prayers seems odd. I was the one who shifted uncomfortably in my chair when the topic of prayer came up, and the one who did everything possible to avoid praying in public.
Somewhere along my life’s path, I’d come to the conclusion that only spiritual people could pray prayers worth hearing. Those would be prayers worth hearing in regard to other people and especially in regard to God.
Then our oldest son decided to skip college and head directly to the Marine Corps. Almost before I could come to grips with his decision to enlist, he was deployed to Iraq as a frontline infantry Marine.
Please understand, I was incredibly proud of our son and his decision to serve in our armed forces. But as much as I was proud, I was also scared. Actually I was terrified—fearful that his decision would lead him to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Those first few weeks of his deployment were grim. I fought nightmares almost every night and begged every person I came in contact with to pray for him. I prayed for him too, with almost every breath I took.
But I was certain that my prayers wouldn’t make a difference—that somehow they didn’t count. They seemed so ineffectual. I could almost see them bounce back to the ground when they reached the ceiling in my living room. There was no way my prayers were going to catch the attention of God.
With that thought in mind, I looked everywhere for a book of prayers that I could use as a blueprint. I wanted a starting point—a way to release the flood of words stuck in the depths of my worried heart.
I couldn’t find anything out there. So out of desperation and as a last resort, I began to write my own prayers, in what I came to call my deployment journal.
Those prayers weren’t pretty. They didn’t contain flowery words, or even spiritual language. They were real, they were gritty, and they were born from the soul of a mother scared for her son. As I wrote out my prayers, I began to feel the peace that can only come from God. I realized that there wasn’t a special language or a certain level of spirituality that had to be reached before God heard the cry of our hearts.
It was during that dark time that God called forth a warrior—a prayer warrior.
I developed a passion for prayer, and I began to expand my prayers to cover those fighting alongside my son. Then I prayed for those in the same region, in the same branch of the military, those above him in rank, and finally all those who were serving. I kept praying, and I added those families with loved ones in the military to my list. I knew their struggles, and my heart ached for them to find the same peace that now gave me comfort.
Today, May 12, just after Mother’s Day, the final harvest of that time of darkness has come to fruition. It’s a book of prayers for those with loved ones in the military, While My Soldier Serves. I’ve written the book that I searched so hard to find. God has taken my time of darkness—my last resort—and is shining it as a light for those who are also facing the incredible stress of having a loved one at war.
Never doubt that God will bring a harvest of joy, no matter how dark the days you’re facing now.