Prayer works..

It’s obvious to us as Christians that prayer works. Reuben’s birth illustrates this point very well:

As Peter is curate of our church, we as a couple are listed in the church diary as a topic for prayer. When we saw the quarterly prayer diary when it was issued back in March we noticed that the church was asked to pray for us on 9th May; at the time, Peter made a comment that it would be funny if our child was born on that day… As it turns out, it was 9th May that we went into labour and Reuben arrived the following morning! Not just coincidence!

Also, it’s very interesting to look at the statistics of our antenatal class (all the girls have now popped!). Of the eight girls, four (50%) had C-sections, two (25%) were delivered by forceps and/or ventouse, one had to be induced, and we were the only natural birth amongst them! I personally take that to indicate the sovereignty of God over our labour and Reuben’s birth, a child who’s pregnancy was smothered in prayer throughout the nine months. I know the adjective ‘wonderful’ isn’t often applied to childbirth, but that is how we would describe our labour and birth experience! God has blessed us with a little boy, and blessed Peter and I with an experience we will never forget!

These aren’t just coincidences, but instead God-incidents…

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6 Comments on “Prayer works..

  1. Hi You don’t know me. I am interested in your comments about your labour and sort of see how you could think that but do feel your comments are quite disrespctful and condesending towards others whos births have needed intervention. I myself am a christian and my three pregnancies were all covered in prayer from start to finish yet all three resulted in sections due to me having eclampsia each time( you should only get it with your first)
    I was extremely hung up after the birth of my fist child that i hadn’t given birth naturally and as a result fought hard to give birth naturally second time around…nearly costing my self and my babies life…third time i had no choice in the delivery despite having gone into labour.
    My feelings of failure in how i delivered my babies come from narrow minded people who give the impression you have failed if you need intervention and that somehow God hasn’t had his hand on the pregnancy……absolute rubbish. Thankfully God did have his hand on all three of my babies as we have since found out i have a severe heart condition and had i have pushed during labour i would certainly have died.
    Sorry for being negative but i do feel you have been very narrow minded and quite hurtful in what you have concluded here.

  2. Hi there anonymous. Thanks for your comments, I appreciate your honesty. I’m sorry that you feel hurt by how I have expressed our experience. I don’t feel that I have represented that a birth requiring some form of intervention is considered a failure for any mother. My thoughts and comments reflect my gratitude for the birth of our son not needing any form of medical assistance that would have arisen from complications. Of course, if any assistance is required I would advocate it straight away – it is much more important that a life (or two, if the mother’s life is also in danger) is saved than compromised by the insistence of a natural birth. In fact, I would hasten to add that our son needed some help following birth as he didn’t immediately breathe on his own after the cord was cut; if there had been no help available, he wouldn’t be here.

    Birth should never be a negative experience – to have carried a child for nine months, feeding and nourishing them, praying for them, and giving birth (by whatever means) should never be considered a failure; every mother is a truly amazing person!! As a Christian, you are never forgotten by God, every event in your life occurs for a reason and has purpose; during each of your pregnancies God would have been watching over you and your children. I hope that you’re able to deal with these feelings of failure so that you can fully appreciate your role as mother of three. God bless.

  3. Hi Gayle-

    Gorgeous, gorgeous baby, first of all. You and Petetr have done very well.

    And a comment in contrast to your last comment: my daughter was born in a glorious, intervention-free home birth after an easy 4-hour labor, and has remained fabulous, healthy and blessed for the almost 5 years since then. As my partner and I are two lesbian moms, and I’m not sure anyone prayed over my pregnancy at all, it’s a bit hard to interpret good births as a sign of God’s specific blessing to a specific family as a sign of his approval.

    (Or is it? ;-> )

  4. Hi NNR!

    Thanks for popping by, and thanks for your comments! That’s so great that your daughter is doing so well! The biggest worry for every mother is that their child isn’t thriving, so it’s such a blessing to have a beautiful child who is doing well in every way, isn’t it?! I hope you guys continue to grow as a family!

    Regards your comment about prayer, we prayed specifically for our son while he was in the womb (we found out he was a boy at 20 weeks, so named him then and prayed for him deliberately on a daily basis), and we asked God for minimal complications, a safe birth and a healthy son. We believe God heard our prayer and answered all those specific requests. What I’m not saying in the post is that the answered prayer necessarily indicates God’s approval on us as a family (though as Christians I fully believe God hears and listens carefully to our prayers); God doesn’t always answer our prayers. But we believe that the reason our birth turned out so well for us is that God honoured our trust in Him and heard our specific prayers for us as a family.

    Can I encourage you to pray? If you want to find out if the God of Jesus Christ is there and whether prayer actually works, then try it! ;o)

    All the best, Gx

  5. Hi Gayle, thanks for your testimony. I guess thI worry about the idea that when things turn out well, it because God is answering our prayers, because it implies (as the previous poster says) that if things go poorly it’s that somehow we didn’t pray enough, or correctly, or fell from God’s favor, or whatever. So we have the previous poster who prayed vigorously and was stricken with complications, and then you have me, a godless heathen homosexual ;-), who has the most perfect birth imaginable (and possibly the best little girl in the world, but then I’m biased!). I guess I feel that sometimes things just work out well and it doesn’t man that God necessarily approves (take my friendly little lesbian family as an example), and sometimes things don’t work out and it doesn’t mean that you’re screwing up (previous poster). What do you think it means that God opened both your womb and mine to a child? It’s fun to ponder.

    I’ll take your prayer suggestion under advisement! You should know that I met my wife 16 years ago (it’s our anniversary on Thursday) when she was trying to save my soul for Jesus. I adore Christians (capital C, as opposed to nominal christians), and am willing to go to church with anyone at any time. When I lived in the Bible Belt, I spent a lot of time being prayed over by evangelicals of all stripes; it just never took – if you’re a Calvinist, you can draw your own conclusions, I suppose.

  6. Hey NNR!

    Wow, you’ve got some great thoughts! As I Christian, though, I see prayer as integral to my relationship with God but not foundational – we become Christians through faith in Christ and in trusting that the work He performed on the cross at Calvary is complete, perfect and sufficient to restore my broken relationship with Him. Hence, I believe God has already demonstrated His desire for us, His longing for us to be in union with Him. So, the fact that prayers are answered or not doesn’t indicate favour or disfavour from God as He’s already shown His love and longing for us through Christ. Prayer is part of the relationship we have with Him, it is a chance for us to talk and listen to Him, and to daily humble ourselves and profess trust in His saving work on the cross. Jesus didn’t promise to answer our prayers but did promise to be with us always, in every circumstance of life, including the most difficult of times. Of course, unanswered prayer can be disappointing and perhaps a challenge to us, but by faith we already believe that Christ is for us and not against us. However, I believe for those who have faith, that if we submit specific requests to God in prayer that we can see Him at work in our lives and in our world. I’m a scientist by training not a theologian (!), but my husband is (check: http://www.peter-ould.net) and has considered these subjects in profoundly more depth than I have! The fact that we have both enjoyed the privilege of having children (‘opened our wombs’, as you put it) is a wonderful thing! That some women who desire motherhood but don’t have that privilege is, I believe, related to the fallen nature of our world; we should take every good thing that we have been given and be very grateful!

    Congratulations on your anniversary! Keep thinking about these things… Come back here and challenge me again about it all! ;o)

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