When We Pray
When Joni Eareckson Tada first became a quadriplegic as a result of a diving accident ,she says she would often picture herself lying on a straw mat by the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem, that pool where so many invalids went for healing.
For hours on end as she pictured this, she would plead with God for a miraculous healing. It seemed in those days as if God did not reply. Thirty years later she received a revelation of sorts during a trip to Jerusalem with her husband Ken.
He pushed her wheelchair down the steps of the Via Dolorosa, made a left turn at the sheep's gate, walked by St. Anne's church, and ran straight into the ruins of the Pool of Bethesda. While resting her arms on the guard rail overlooking those dusty ruins, Joni's mind flashed back thirty years earlier when she had pictured herself lying on a mat in this very place.
Suddenly like a thunderbolt she was stricken by the realization that God given her a far better response to her prayers than the one she asked for.Overwhelmed with emotion she began to thank Him for not healing her.
You see, God had miraculously turned her wheelchair into her secret place. That day Joni said she could have cried out, "O Wheelchair I bless thee!" because it was in the "prison" of her wheelchair that she learned the secret of secret prayer. Unable to run here and there with perfectly formed limbs, she had spent countless hours practicing the principles of prayer.
And as her life grew ever richer and deeper, she was enabled to bless multitudes out of the overflow of a life spent in the secret place. It was in her secret place that she discovered there were more important things than walking.
And as she grew in intimacy with her Creator, she learned to bless the "cross" that crafted her character. She treasured her injury because it made it possible for her to experience the invaluable treasure of undistracted time alone with God.
When we look at America today it ...
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