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Why Folks Who Pray Never Give Up

The power of a prayer chain uplifts a family.

Prayer chain
Credit: Getty Images

At our church, we have an amazing elderly woman, Phyllis, who oversees the prayer chain ministry. She receives and sends outs prayer requests via email to dedicated prayer volunteers, including myself. We not only pray for the request but also pass it along to others so that the number of people praying grows as the list is shared.

The requests and updates in our prayer chain are filled with both jubilation and sadness. Our hearts are lifted and encouraged when we hear about a healing or successful surgery. But we also know that not every prayer is answered in the way we want. Sick people die. Couples decide to divorce. An unemployed person doesn’t get the job. It can be an emotional roller coaster.

On our prayer list is the brother of a member of our church. He is in the hospital, battling health issues and severe depression. His sister traveled to be with her brother and his family, and each week she keeps us updated on some progress or setback. 

One week her brother is talking on the phone with family and feeling hopeful. The next he is refusing to eat or drink, is weak and doesn’t want to get out of bed. No matter, we keep the prayers going. While there are gains and setbacks, one thing is certain—praying folks never give up. They keep believing when others don’t, hoping against hope, trusting God for a miracle.

Recently we got an email from her that read: “Just to give you an update on my brother, he really was miraculously pulled from the depths of despair the day after I asked everyone to pray for him. I really thought he may not make it when I asked the prayer chain for prayers. I think the IV fluids and meds may have helped his body—but I know prayer had a lot to do with his attitude.” Her brother is heading home in a week!

Although we don’t know how God will answer our prayers, we don’t stop. As Saint Augustine said, “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”

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