By: MARGARET BROWN
Margaret Brown is one of The Resident’s longest standing contributors and has lived in the Algarve for more than 20 years. As well as Point of View, she also writes Country Matters twice a month.
WHILE A member of the family battles against depression – the consequence of a botched operation on her heart with which those responsible have yet to grapple – prayers for her safe healing have given great support.
A convinced Christian whose life has never run smoothly but whose faith is steadfast despite the apparent absence of response from God on this occasion. We speak often on the phone. She talks, I listen, we pray together across a thousand miles until there is no more to be said. Then, a few days ago, she rang me up. That morning she had awakened to the certainty that she would be healed, she didn’t know how but the fear had gone along with her great sense of loneliness.
Prayer is an act of faith that neither asks for nor expects an immediate result, something foreign to the affluent western world where instant gratification is a ‘right’. Prayer is not battering on God’s door day after day, repeating the same requests, more a time of asking what He needs from us, where we may have gone wrong, how to put our inner selves in order and listening for answers. If prayers bear no fruit then maybe we must accept His timing and be patient. Trusting and waiting is the hardest part and sometimes our prayers are out of tune with God’s purposes and the answer is “No”.
In Luke11 vv9-10 Jesus says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door will be opened.” Small comfort if the answer is “No”.
However, never give up. As it says in Hebrews 4 v:16 “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need”.