Monday, August 13, 2012
My family is sometimes a brutally honest family. My younger siblings show this to the nth degree. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it ends with us yelling at each other because someone said something without tempering with grace. One of the things we were all three taught though was prayer is important, no prayer is too large or too small for God. And that all people need help, no matter what.
Sometimes I find I struggle to remember that not everyone was raised this way. Not everyone thinks that no matter where you are prayer is very important. And yet, it is because I hold this belief that a prayer group was opened. It's not really my prayer group, I just happened to get it going - this one is all God's baby.
A few weeks ago, I posted a prayer request on a prayer group for an individually named child. The baby I requested prayer for is in need of a heart transplant. Without this, she will die. There is no ifs about it, without a transplant, this beautiful little girl will pass away and leave her family devastated. And so I posted a request for prayer on the praying page for another little girl. It wasn't meant to detract for the other child's plight, but this child's mother had had years to finally get things going on Facebook, the baby's family was still reeling for their news and how life had changed for them. There was no Facebook page for this baby, no one to remember her. I innocently thought, all the prayers she receives can be helpful, right?
Wrong! Suddenly there was a backlash that I honestly never expected. People who truly begrudge a baby, whose family is just learning to walk the road that comes with a sick child prayers?! I was stunned. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that this could happen. You really choose to begrudge a baby less than three months old prayers, because it's not her name on the prayer page? Then I got angry, what is wrong with people?! This baby is no less important than this little girl. Yes, her fight is important, no question, but you would really say that you won't pray for a baby in need of a transplant on a page for a child who has had to have multiple transplants? After hours of prayer and trying to remind myself that not everyone sees the world the way I do and some much needed sleep I woke up refreshed and with a new resolve. If people will begrudge a baby prayer on another child's prayer page, then why not open a page where all families can come and ask for prayer for any problem, from being afraid of going to sleep away camp to those families struggling with illness, learning disabilities, divorce, you name it, why not pray for it. Didn't Jesus say, "Let the little children come to me?" He did and he valued children and families.
So we started the prayer group Praying for Children and Families All Over the World. Anyone can ask to join, anyone is welcome, but we keep the group closed so that people feel more comfortable asking for their requests.
As the mom of a little girl with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, I definitely understand that there are some requests you'd prefer to not announce to the entire world. Anyone who has read my blog for the last few years knows all about our adventures in Lizzie's finding her happy place. I wrote that blog and warned people before they clicked the link and before they began reading, it was a sensitive issue. There are some things you fight that you don't want the world to know. Maybe it's an addiction, maybe it's something that you never thought you'd find yourself fighting? Maybe things are unravelling in your marriage. I definitely understand not wanting to share that publicly. Some things are private.
Several weeks in, I love watching how those who love Christ are joining together to offer prayers. Some of those I asked to join asked to leave. There is nothing wrong with that - you have to have a heart for this one to be able to take it. We have a lot of families whose children are very sick, and it can be heartbreaking to read about their struggles daily. So I just asked them to send me a private message and I'd remove them and no hard feelings. There have been only a few people who have asked to leave, the rest seem eager to pray and join the group. It is truly a blessing to see how God is at work in a small group and it all started because of one sweet little baby who is still fighting and finally got well enough to be on the transplant list.
Have a good week.