In Others’ Words: Prayer, Not the Court of Last Resort (Guest Post by Edie Melson)

Not the court of last resort-1

“So here is what I say to you. Ask, and it will be given to you. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you.” Luke 11:9

I’m a doer.

If I see something that needs fixing, I’m the one rolling up her sleeves to make it happen. I don’t like sitting around waiting. Our oldest son’s decision to go straight from high school to Marine Corps boot camp and then on to Iraq as a frontline infantry Marine changed all that.

I went from being an active, involved mom, there when my son needed me, to feeling utterly helpless. Events came at us at the speed of light and we didn’t even have the ability to get out of the way. I watched as he left for parts unknown, knowing every day there would put his life at risk.

I don’t cope well with this state of helplessness. But life with a loved one in the military is categorized by waiting, and that frustrates me beyond belief. It was during those times that I was frequently known to complain that all I could do was pray.

For me, prayer was the court of last resort. It was the place I turned when I ran out of things to do.

Our son’s deployments taught me that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Prayer is not an afterthought activity.

God showed me that prayer is powerfully active. He never intended it as a last resort. As I was forced to spend more time pouring my fears and stresses out to him, He showed me the peace that can only come from an active relationship with him. More than that, he showed me how my prayers could affect my Marine Corps son.

As I sat at home, praying, God showed me how He was a God of action, taking those prayers and moving in a powerful way. He provided my son with protection, comrades to keep him from loneliness, and the wisdom and spiritual insight to anticipate and avoid danger.

Even though my son is out of the military and once again home safe, I no longer refer to prayer as an afterthought. No matter the situation, it’s the first thing on my to-do list.

WMSS, final, high res While My Soldier Serves
by Edie Melson

Thousands of families send loved ones off to fight on a daily basis. These families spend a lot of time living in a world out of control. This kind of stress can take an incredible toll, but there is hope. When we feel helpless, we can take our fears to the One who loves us more than anything and holds the universe in His hands.

In this book you’ll find the words to usher you into His presence. These prayers are a place to visit again and again as you take your own fears to God. They’re just a starting point, written to help you find your own voice as you call out on behalf of the one you love.

 

 

BIO:

As the mother of a frontline infantry Marine, Edie Melson lived this book before she wrote it. Edie understands what it is to face adversity and come out triumphant on the other side. Her Edie Melson years as a wife, mother, and ministry leader have given her a unique perspective to reach out
to others facing the same struggles.
She’s the Military Family Blogger for Guideposts.org, social media director for several writing websites, and a popular ministry and conference speaker. Connect with her on her blog, The Write Conversation, Twitter, and Facebook.

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7 Comments

  1. April 29, 2015, 7:21 am   /  Reply

    Edie, what a beautiful, honest post! It’s so easy to live life on our terms, only seeking God’s wisdom and help when we’ve run out of options. Been there Done that. It seems like God has a way of putting us into situations where we have to learn to depend on Him. As we do, and as we turn to prayer as our first resort, I’m learning that peace accompanies that decision. Thanks for sharing a part of your story today.

    • April 29, 2015, 11:46 am   /  Reply

      Jeanne, thank you! You’re so right, with prayer comes that perfect peace that only God can provide! Blessings, E

  2. April 29, 2015, 9:22 am   /  Reply

    Powerful post. I’ve learned in the last few years that the joy is in the journey. Not always what this want-it-now personality likes. My favorite verses are “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart…Wait patiently for the Lord.”

    • April 29, 2015, 11:47 am   /  Reply

      Pat, thank you! I love the way you phrased that, “the joy is in the journey.” Blessings, E

  3. April 29, 2015, 9:45 am   /  Reply

    Edie, I’m glad you’ve grown closer to God through prayer. Growing closer to God is my daily desire. I fail often, but He’s always there to pick me up when I stumble and draw me closer to Him in ways I couldn’t imagine. He recently shifted my focus on failure, actually. I’m not remembering the verse that helped shift my focus right now. I’m sure I’ve got it written down someplace. But the gist of it is that God doesn’t focus on my failures but rather on loving me. So why should I focus on how I fail Him every day? Why don’t I instead focus on how He loves me so much He chose to adopt me into His family? He’s already changed my pessimism into optimism, and that into encouraging others. Why not take it one step deeper and teach me to focus on the ways He loves me… and how He wants to love others through me? Sounds like a winning plan to me.

    Blessings,
    Andrea

    • April 29, 2015, 11:48 am   /  Reply

      Andrea, thank you! He is definitely always there to pick us up when we stumble. Thanks for sharing your insight. Blessings, E

  4. April 29, 2015, 9:17 pm   /  Reply

    Excellent post; as a former paramilitary contractor, I found prayer absolutely vital to keep my sanity, and crucial in dealing with PTSD.

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