Friday, March 5, 2010

The Sixty Year Old Prayer

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace that passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4 NIV)

In the 1970s, I met an interesting elderly couple at a Christian retreat. They were in their 8th decade and had been married for over sixty years. A retired naval officer, in the early part of the twentieth century, he commanded a four-masted sailing vessel.

Most retreat participants dressed in jeans and t-shirts; but the captain always came to breakfast early dressed in a three-piece suit and tie. While he appeared formal in bearing and speech, his wife was warm and talkative. I had the pleasure of sitting beside her at dinner one evening.

“You and the captain must have led an exciting life together,” I said.

“Oh,” she answered, “not really. I was at home raising our five children. My husband was the one out seeing the world. He was quite a drinker and womanizer before he found the Lord.”

In my mind I imagined the captain falling to his knees and calling out to God during a fierce naval battle during WWI or WWII.

“How long has he been a Christian?” I asked.
“About three years,” she answered.

She had prayed for him for over sixty years. What a patient, loving, and forgiving spirit!

“You amaze me,” I said.

She smiled. “Oh, it wasn’t me,” she said. “The Lord gave me His love and forgiveness or else I couldn’t have persisted in prayer.”

Prayer: Lord, grant us persistence in prayer that we may rest in Your peace and lay hold of Your forgiveness.

© Christy Struben 2010

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