Once again they petitioned the King, this time pleading for mercy. The Prince said, “I have power and commandment to from my Father to forgive you, and do forgive accordingly.”
“He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and the garment of praise, that they may be called oaks of righteousness” (from Isaiah 61:3).
*adapted from John Bunyan, The Holy War, p.173.
When women faithfully pray, God answers.
Their light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it (from John 1:5).
Deeply distressed, Hannah prayed, weeping bitterly. Eli spoke a blessing, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition . . . her face was no longer sad (1 Samuel 1:17-18).
The very next day she and her family “Rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord” (1 Samuel 1:19).
When women pray, despair becomes joy.
Her husband died. Her sons died. She said, “The hand of the Lord has gone out against me” (Ruth 1:13).
Still, Naomi prayed for the wives her sons left behind. “May the Lord deal kindly with you. . . . The Lord grant you rest, each in the house of her husband” (from Ruth 1:8-9).
One daughter-in-law, Ruth, chose to follow Naomi’s God and is now in the lineage of Christ (see Matthew 1:5).
That’s what happens when women pray. Even when life is hard.
Women who faithfully pray see God guide and give and govern their lives.
They see “that for those who love God all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28).
Women who faithfully pray still get sick. Life still disappoints. Children cause grief, husbands lose jobs or much worse, lose interest in marriage.
Yet these women still pray.
By praying, they know, “In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old” (Isaiah 63:9).
My middle daughter recently told me this story: “We had given up hope. I prayed one more time. The thought flashed through my mind that I should look through the file box again. It seemed ridiculous, because I had looked so many times, but I got out of bed, and opened a folder. The social security card we were looking for dropped out.”
Do not give up! God answers prayer.