Part 1 in a series about specific prayer:
In 2002 after wrapping up my sophomore year in college, I was diagnosed with a neurological sleeping disorder called Narcolepsy. The several years preceding diagnosis were characterized by an increasing amount of confusion as I grew more sleepy with each passing month while the first few years following being diagnosed were filled with quite a lot of frustration. It was a daily if not hourly struggle to fight the temptation to be angry, bitter and disappointed whenever I missed out on an activity, event, conversation or appointment because I had to take or had over slept a nap or had fallen asleep in class, Bible study or church service for the umpteenth time. Although I would never have chosen this “thorn in the flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7) for myself I know it was hand-picked for me by my loving Heavenly Father. The lessons it has taught me and the daily opportunities it affords for me to witness God’s provision and protection first hand have made it all worth while.
From the time I was diagnosed I had a growing desire to meet someone who could relate to my unique struggles and experiences. I began specifically praying God would lead me to meet someone who was 1) Narcoleptic, 2) female, 3) close to my age, 4) a Christian, 5) and someone I could meet face-to-face and not just by phone or e-mail. His answer to my prayers came about 18 months later and a few weeks into my first semester at Multnomah Bible College.
I was having lunch with friends in the cafeteria when a girl at the end of the table overheard I had a sleeping disorder. She slid over to join the conversation and to tell me I should meet her roommate, one of the campus R.A.’s who also had a sleeping disorder. A week or two later she found me in the hallway of our dorm building and led me down the hall to her room where she introduced me to Rachel. We talked for at least an hour that first day, comparing everything from resources and doctors, to medications, embarrassing incidents and “tricks” we used to help ourselves stay awake. Since we shared the same major we had a couple of classes together over the next two years. Having her around to talk to and to witness the graceful way in which she handled various situations was a HUGE blessing and inspiration. Her commitment to trust and honor God despite the challenging course He has marked out for her to run continues to be an encouragement and inspiration to me today. To learn more about Rachel and her own difficult but beautiful calling and journey, check out her blog at: thelewisnote.
Just when I was beginning to wonder if God would answer my prayer even in part, God showed up to remind me He had ordained Rachel and I to meet long before time began. My first year at Multnomah, Rachel lived five doors down the hall from me. Ironic? Not a chance!
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9
This is the first of a handful of ripe banana stories I have to share demonstrating the truth: GOD LOVES SPECIFIC PRAYER! Try it! I dare you! Rather than pray for some general provision, vague blessing or ambiguous outcome, be specific! Pray in faith believing God hears you, loves you and will answer you. Pray with the goal Jesus be glorified in the situation. Wait in expectation and continue to persevere in prayer until He answers. Even though He tarry, wait for Him for He is faithful still!
Click here to read the next story in this series on: specific prayer.