With all of the other things that have been going on in my life, my intercession postings have fallen behind, although the intercession continues. The next three pages of my intensive care prayer concerns are for people whom I have never met. Those who are close to them have shared a little of their stories with me and I sensed that they needed my prayer support.
I found out about Suzanne (not her real name) from her aunt. We were at a writers’ conference together and as we chatted over lunch one day, we confided something of our own backgrounds. Suzanne’s aunt herself had quite a remarkable story of transformation and the tears that came to her eyes showed me she cared deeply about this niece. Suzanne is an orphan. Both her mother and father are gone and she has been in the care of her stepfather. Life has sent multiple difficulties her way. Only grace will enable her to learn to enjoy things that many of us take for granted. Every day I pray for Suzanne and when I see her aunt or exchange e-mails with her from time to time, she is excited to know that Suzanne is still being remembered in my prayers. I do not know what is in store for Suzanne. I do know that somehow my prayers are making a difference, even if it just means that they help her not to give up in despair. Perhaps some day I will learn more of her story or I may never know more than I know now. That does not matter so much. What is important is that she is being carried into the presence of the Lord daily, in prayer.
Another young woman who struggles with her life situation is Lorraine (not her real name). She lives in Europe. Although I have never met her, Glen and I do know her parents. Lorraine is one of many people who battle clinical depression. She is married and has children, but when her illness is most acute, she is unable to function in these relationships. She is dependent on her parents to help her keep going one day at a time. She has waged this combat for years, sometimes winning and sometimes feeling that she is losing the fight. My heart went out to her when I heard recently that she was again facing her old enemy, depression. Glen suggested that I again add her name to my prayer list. I do not know how my prayers will help Lorraine overcome her depression, yet I believe that somehow power is released in prayer that will enable her to slowly move toward the light. My prayer is that some day she will be able to again enjoy the love of her family and know that she is loved unconditionally by her Heavenly Father, even when she cannot feel or respond to love. How thankful I am that I can carry her into the Lord’s presence when she cannot go there in her own strength.
Lorraine is not the only person I know who is suffering from clinical depression. There are others on my critical care prayer list. They include a young man whom I will call Paul. Although he is an adult, he is currently not in a relationship and is living with his recently widowed mother. She was the one who told me his story. For years, his grandmother prayed faithfully for this young man. Then, last fall, she died and both mother and son felt the loss acutely. One of the things they missed the most was her prayers. Every day she prayed for them. Hearing that, I promised to try to fill that role for them by including them in my prayers. I hope that some day someone else will come into their lives who can fulfill that role, perhaps someone who lives closer to them. Their home is two time zones away from where I live. What would be a real encouragement to me would be for them both to realize that their own prayers for themselves and for each other can be heard by God and answered. These requests make up some of the things I pray for them, as I offer my prayers each day.