Prayer Maintains Joy

By Gaylyn WilliamsWith 0 comments

 Prayer Maintains Joy

By Ken WilliamsPrayer Maintains Joy

When I reflect over years past, I see peaks in my joy. It’s similar to the time I viewed snow-capped mountain summits pushing through the clouds while flying over the Andes in South America. In my own life, I’m surprised how many of these joy peaks rose from prayer.

Some of those prayers came out of desperation. One time in Guatemala, when we were living in a remote mountain village, my wife Bobble hovered close to death with hepatitis. It was impossible to move her or for anyone to come to help her. Finally, after six agonizing weeks, she seemed strong enough to make the long, exhausting trip over treacherous dirt roads to a hospital.

A pounding rain drenched the mountains all night before our trip. At four a.m., we tucked little 2-year old Gaylyn and year-old Joy into the back of our Jeep, along with three Chuj friends—a seventy-year-old man dying of tuberculosis, a fourteen-year-old girl to help care for our daughters, and an eleven-year-old boy, Caxin (pronounced “Cash-een”), who was helping us learn the Chuj language. We soon discovered the trip would be even more dangerous than we thought. Negotiating the steep horse trail that served as our road was a nightmare. That day the words mud, mire, muck, slither, and slide took on new meanings.

Six grueling hours passed—then disaster. While going up a particularly steep mountain, the Jeep began a sickening slide backwards and wedged itself into the mountainside. Two and a half agonizing hours passed while we tried everything, but the Jeep wouldn’t budge. I began to panic. After eight and a half hours, we had only covered seven miles through that wilderness, and the nearest place to spend the night was still fifty-three grueling miles away. Bobble could die on that desolate, ten-thousand-foot mountain.

As we considered our hopeless situation, Caxin said, “Do you think we could pray and ask God to help us?” My first thought was, I’m the missionary. Why didn’t I think of that? So we all stood in a little circle and cried out to the Lord.

As soon as we stopped praying, Caxin noticed some long poles in the brush. We were able to pry the back wheels up out of the mud and push big rocks underneath them. The Jeep drove right out. After only ten minutes, we were on our way again! It took over twelve hours to cover sixty miles to the nearest town where we could stay overnight. The next day we drove ten more hours to reach the hospital. But can you imagine our joy at seeing God work in that “impossible” situation?

Today, many years later, joy floods my heart again when I remember how our powerful Lord protected us and kept Bobble alive through prayer. And I rejoice that through this experience He taught me a lifelong lesson. Before that time, my normal response to a crisis was panic, and if all else failed, I would try prayer. Now, my goal is to respond with prayer first.

What’s your usual response to a crisis? Do you panic and only use prayer as a last resort? Or do you “cast your cares on the Lord” as He teaches us in Psalm 55:22? (Also see 1 Peter 5:7.) It’s pretty obvious which response will bring joy. Jesus pointed out that answered prayer fills us with joy when He said in John 16:24, “Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”


Excerpted from Keys to Joy: How to Unlock God’s Gift of Lasting Happiness

This is a Bible study on discovering lasting joy in life.

Blessings on you,

Gaylyn Williams, co-author of All Stressed Up and Everywhere to Go, Solutions to De-Stressing Your Life, Recover Your Sanity


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