Well, this is not exactly where I imagined this week would end up. Last week, I talked to you about the way God’s people show up. And in the waiting, there’s much love shared. Much support exchanged. And much relief found.

In the intervening week, my agency has announced a major new expansion plan. School has marched on with a 2,500 word paper due. And my mom went back to the hospital. Oh yes, she did. So Friday afternoon was another flying drive down the mountain, back to the same hospital, to do more of the same sitting and waiting. And yes, God’s people showed up again. My sweet daughter and her baby even came up from Georgia, leaving the older two and her husband to keep the home fires going.

The paper went out the window, with the blessing of the professor, who was willing to work with me. The work was left behind in a flurry of packing. And the weekend plans went out the window. And in the middle of it all, I remembered two of the verses I’d studied in my quiet time this week,

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2 ESV

…pray without ceasing… 1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV

And so we prayed. 

Because it is in the communication that much work is done. Fears are stilled. Clarity is achieved. Love is felt. The future unfolds. Miracles happen. So it is up to me to keep the communication going. God is always there, waiting. My job is just to keep on praying. 

The testimony is that the results speak for themselves. In answered prayers for my mother. In a stressful week ending well. In the understanding of a professor. And most importantly, in added closeness to the Father. Because truly, all those things didn’t have to turn out as well as they did. But I’m finding that’s okay. Because the real truth is that we are to pray without ceasing, regardless of the results.

It’s not a magic formula. Pray without ceasing = prayers answered the way I want them to be. At least not always. But God has given us the magic formula, pray without ceasing. Sometimes we give up too early. Or we feel like we are bothering God. Or that He’s not listening. Did you notice what’s not a part of the formula? A timeline. In telling us to pray without ceasing, God has given us the permission to pray until something changes. It might be our circumstances that change. Or it might be our heart.

Either way, there is no time limit on the praying. 


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Holly Barrett

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