One of the most effective prayers for me came from Judy whose disability is Downs Syndrome.  Until her family moved to be with her sister, she was a Special Gathering member.  She was a part of this ministry for most of her life.  Judy was a deacon in our Cocoa program. 

In the earlier years of our ministry about 15 years ago, the full-time pastors would travel from one program to another on Sunday.  Often, I would start in Melbourne and end up in Cocoa.  That morning had been perplexing for me.  My sound equipment had not worked in Melbourne.  Complications with my husband’s health were plaguing us, even in those days.  Automotive problems had threatened to make me late in Cocoa.  When I arrived, I could not find a parking place so I had to walk several blocks to the chapel.  Ripping on my clerical robe as I bounded toward the chancel area, I had entered the chapel hurried, perplexed and flustered.

With someone else in charge of praise and worship, I was able to relax a bit before I delivered the devotions but my mind felt as though it was drowning in deep waters of frustration.  Busily reviewing recent annoyances, it refused to be released from the struggles of the morning.  Even joining the worship of our members could not stop the internal commotion.  Almost unconsciously, I prayed, Lord, how will I be able to teach about your grace and peace, if I don’t have any?

Judy, a member of the choir, sat close to me.  In fact, because the chancel area was so small her knee not only touched mine, our legs almost tangled around each other.  During one of the worship songs, Judy reached over and prayed, “Lord, Linda had bad day.  Help her right now.  She needs it.”  Instantly, the pain, hurt and frustration evaporated.  It was such an amazing miracle that remembering the impact of her prayer brings tears to my eyes after all these years. 

There have been oodles of books written about prayer.  Googling prayer gives you 32,800,000 results.  I love studying about prayer and meditation.  However, Judy never read a book or an article on prayer.  She prayed.  That was enough for God to do a miracle for this needy child. 

Learning from Judy, I’ve deliberately made my prayers for my members more compact.  God knows the heart.  He doesn’t need flowering words of give answers that result in changed lives.