By Else Tennessen
"Prayer is the spring of virtues, the cause of gifts, food for the soul
and the enlightenment of the mind."--The Ladder of Divine Ascent
For the last thirteen months, family and friends prayed for me as I sought new
employment. They asked for God's favor and mercy, as the job I was in (I thought) was not ideal
for me in many ways. Finally, their prayers were answered and I was granted a wonderful new job.
That is not to say that I did not pray about it, too. Every day I prayed for a
new job, the ability to bear with the present job, understanding of why I was still in the present
job, and etc. Many days, my faith faltered. I discovered why having others pray for you helps. When
I expressed doubt, they reminded me that they did not doubt and that they were still praying. They
were confident of God's almighty power and the power of prayer. When I was weak, when I was
faithless, when I was doubtful – my friends' prayers were still working.
I found that the power of prayer is not necessarily shown in answers or results,
but in how it sustains us in difficult times, reminding us that God is in control and that He has
not forgotten us. My friends reminded me of that almost every day, especially when it seemed that
He was delaying! This was food for the soul. I found that the power of prayer enlightened my mind,
making me think more correctly about myself and others. God's "delay" taught me things about myself
and my circumstances that I wouldn't have learned any other way.
Our Lord could have said "no" to our continued entreaties for a new job. Yet
after a time, He did not. I find that my faith, still weak, has been strengthened through the time
of waiting. And I also marvel at what this answered prayer has done for my friends. Confident in
God, their confidence was rewarded. Their faith, like mine, has increased. So has their joy. That,
in itself, was a great witness to me. When we pray, it is not just for our own benefit. It
benefits all who share in it and who pray with you.