The phone rang again, but I still wasn’t ready to talk.
However, my friend, Susan, wouldn’t give up.
“Hello.” With that one word, my voice cracked with emotion.
“Are you okay?”
“Do you want me to come over?”
Her compassion won me over. “Yes.”
When she arrived, she gave me a long hug.
My sobs made it hard for me to choke out the words. “Bert wants a divorce.” Her words of consolation calmed my heart and we began to pray.
“God, save this marriage,” Susan prayed.
“Change Bert’s heart – and change mine,” I prayed. (Bert and I both made a lot of mistakes in the years leading up to that moment).
In time, God transformed Bert’s and my marriage into a better one. It still isn’t perfect, but we rejoice in what God has done – and continues to do – in (and with) us.
Years have passed since that horrible day, but I still remember the punch in my gut when Bert expressed his desire to end our marriage. How differently would my situation have turned out if instead of praying with my friend, I had chosen to hang out with friends at a local bar?
Anyone who knows me would laugh at this thought; but I want to make an important point using Matthew 18:20 (ESV):
For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.
When you experience a crisis or heartbreak, rather than drowning your sorrows with worthless or destructive means or listening to people who don’t share your faith, why not seek one or more people who value God’s presence and ask them to pray with you?
When someone prays with us when we’re struggling, it helps us believe – and know – that God hasn’t given up on us. We begin to move from despair toward hope.
I’m convinced that had I not done so, Bert and I wouldn’t be married today. I’ll always appreciate Susan making herself available to pray with me.
Thankfully, we don’t have to wait for a crisis to pray with each other. Gathering to pray for our families, communities, churches, other nations and our country is always good. Indeed, let’s join in prayer every time we need God’s presence to enter into our situation.
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