Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Praying Ladies

I wish I had a picture. Maybe next week. Every Tuesday afternoon the praying ladies gather at our neighbor's house. Sometimes there are only a handful; sometimes more. This group of ladies has been praying for this community, for many years. Their prayers are effectual, sincere, and most important, they are steady and consistent.

We moved here almost 9 years ago. We had four young children, and Adam was very ill. He'd lost his job, we'd lost our house, and indeed our lives seemed lost. At our wits' end, we moved to the mountains to heal. If I'd had a blog back then, boy would you have gotten an earful!

So, each Tuesday back then, I tromped down the hill a little ways to be with the praying ladies. I was in my late 30's; most of them were over 70, and some were over 80. It didn't seem like a big thing -- a repeated list of needs from the families of those present. We live in a precious Christian community, made up mostly of retired Presbyterian pastors and elders and other church members. The prayers of God's people seem deeply concentrated here. On a weekly basis, they are more concentrated still. I think of Austin, Anna, Shirley, and others who are no longer here.

They prayed Adam all the way to healing from his illness, and then on to a job, but of course, we weren't the only ones. But how I missed them when we moved away! God had other work for us to do, elsewhere, but I went knowing that the praying ladies were behind me, with me, underneath me. They were lifting us up to God each week.

Today is Tuesday, and I want to say thank you to my friends there who bore with me this afternoon. Life can be hard and unpredictable. As I said before, God's road for His children is full of trials. It's the nature of the road. An easy road would not fit the need we have of being challenged and changed. We are always safe, with Him. Sitting with my praying ladies (of the six of them today, 3 are pastors' wives), I felt secure. They can look at my life, and assure me that God knows what He's doing, that our family is a blessing to them, that they are holding us up in prayer. I look at their wisdom, at their calm through their families' own storms, and feel some peace.

When life is dark, it's very hard to pick yourself up out of your chair, brush your hair, go meet with a group of friends, and open up even a little crack of yourself. But it is worth it, if the friends will pray.

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