Prayers for Every Need: A Mother’s Journey
by Linda Evans Shepherd
For four long years I resisted God’s call on my life, but one night at a church revival meeting, I pushed past my resistance and walked to the front of the church to give my heart to Jesus. I sobbed as I felt the sweetness of the Holy Spirit touch my stubborn, ten-year-old heart.
Though I was relieved to belong to Jesus, I had no idea how I should talk to Him. As far as I knew, my options included saying grace at the dinner table or my bedtime blessing requests for my family.
Years later, when my young husband and I had a beautiful daughter, I felt secure in those blessings, until the afternoon my life spun out of control on a rain-washed street. I had gently braked for a stoplight when my car abruptly veered into an oncoming suburban. After the crash, I turned to check on baby Laura who was belted into the backseat in her car seat, but I only found a gaping hole. I climbed out of the wreckage to discover my 18-month-old in the middle of the freeway.
One look and I knew we were in for the fight of our lives. I knelt in the mud and cried out to heaven, begging God to spare my daughter’s life. This was the moment I began my crash course on prayer. And prayers were needed, because although my daughter didn’t die, she wouldn’t wake up from her coma.
"I knelt in the mud and cried out to heaven, begging God to spare my daughter’s life."
I was dealing with not only a wheelchair-bound daughter but also an off-the-chart, very bright son. These challenges kept me on my knees. I experimented with ways to pray, using the guidelines of God’s Word, then praying until I felt His sweet relief or miraculous answers. These prayer adventures helped me become a sort-of prayer expert, and I begin to teach others my prayer secrets whenever I was invited to speak. I soon learned that my audiences had never learned to talk to God either. With excitement, I’d lead audiences into my prayers and watch the room explode into peace and joy.
I’m not saying being a mother of a disabled child was easy. There were many difficult heart-breaking days—days God did not answer my prayers the way I’d hoped. I had to learn how to continually ask God for miracles as I used prayer to help me trust God through my constant challenges. And because I often asked for miracles, I often got them. But my biggest miracle of all was that God healed my broken heart and helped me realize that despite my daughters’ disabilities, she was a gift to our family. Her peace and joy were a comfort and delight to all who entered our home.
Sometimes when I was out with my kids, pushing my daughter’s wheelchair while trying to corral my inquisitive son, I would encounter strangers who would look away or view us with pity. I would simply smile because I had the inside story—a story of broken lives now filled with joy.
My latest book, Prayers for Every Need, is not only a compilation of the prayers in over a dozen of my prayer books, but a diary of the prayers that came with such miracles of love and blessings over the years since my daughter’s accident. Even with tears in my eyes, I’m so blessed that Laura, 28 years after that crash, is totally healed as she is now with Jesus. Her brother grew up to be a bright engineer who still talks to God. My husband and I are still in love, and I continue to lead the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association of over 800 Christian women authors, and I’ve just published my thirty-seventh book.
Here’s my “Be My Strength Prayer,” one of my many personal life-prayers found in Prayers for Every Need:
Lord, I’ve made a decision to trust you with my circumstances. I hand all control to you. I know that all things work together for the good of those who love you. Therefore, I’m willing to live through this difficulty in your strength and in your power. I thank you that these very circumstances, which I’ve found difficult to bear, are being used by you for miracles beyond imagination. I give you my worry, regardless of how things look, feel, or seem. You decide the outcome. Thank you that this is now your problem to do with what you will.
In the name of Jesus,
“Be My Strength Prayer” from Prayers for Every Need © 2022 Linda Evans Shepherd, Baker Revell.
Follow Linda on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/LindaEvansShepherdAuthor/ Visit the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association at www.AWSA.com