Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Possibly Promoting the Power of Plural Prayer?

NOTE: I started writing this on 11/3.

My daughter Emily has regularly been extremely fussy in the evenings. She usually has about a 2 hour stretch each night where she cries or fusses (not quite a cry, just ticked off grunts). If you switch holding positions, she might be comfortable/consoled for a few minutes before it starts right back up again. Sometimes these episodes start at 9pm, sometimes at midnight.

Well, when you're shuffling her from up on your shoulder, to lying in your arms, to sitting on your knee, to whatever the hell other position you can think of. Then trying to pace the room (movement sometimes helps) and/or bounce her a little bit (but not too hard, despite your frustrated instincts). Making the shusshing sound too, hoping she doesn't wake up her brother who has been having a hard time getting to sleep lately (teething perhaps?). And if it's one of her late shifts, then you're thinking about how damned tired you are now, and how tomorrow work will suck so incredibly bad because you'll be tired beyond what even the strongest coffee can remedy, while still trying to be productive.

Of course, I've been praying through those moments, for patience and for wisdom to know what the problem with Emily is and how to best take care of it, and/or for God to heal her if something is causing her physical discomfort, or to help her to feel emotionally comforted if that's the problem. But nothing obvious has really resulted from these individual prayers.

But the first time Amanda and I prayed together over Emily, she slept pretty soundly and for a slightly longer duration. This occurred for several evenings - no results from individual efforts, but improvements when we pray together.

So, is the problem just too big to be solved by an individual effort? The Bible definitely identifies some situations that require more spiritual effort than others (Mark 9:28-29). It also seems to indicate the the amount of power that God grants you is directly related to the degree of your faith (Matthew 17:16-20, many others). Or is it just that God is trying to teach us and guide us to act more as a team and pray together, especially for our children?

Update: In the days since this blog entry was started, we have started making a habit out of praying for our children together before putting them to sleep. For that outcome alone, I guess I'm grateful for the struggle.


Anonymous said...

In the case that a bigger spiritual effort (besides just you an Amanda's team work) is needed to help with Emily and your family I have added you all to my pray list. I know it is frustrating when you feel like you have little power to help make your child feel better, no matter what age the child is. Hang in there and know that not in this alone. Keep leaning on God.

michael said...

Thank you very much for your prayers and encouragement.

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