Praying Through Difficult Times 1/25/2021

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by Ruth O’Neil

distinctly remember when my prayer life changed. We found out my mother had cancer. The doctors gave her thirty days to live. Naturally, I prayed for God’s healing. I believed God could heal her and didn’t want to believe that He would do anything else but make her well again. She was a beautiful, Christian woman and my sisters still lived at home. She was too young to die.

I thought after praying I should have felt God’s presence, but I didn’t.

One night, my husband asked, “What if your mom dies? Will you be able to handle it?”

As much as I hated to admit it, his “what if” question made me think. I realized my mom wouldn’t always be a phone call away, even if she did live for several more years. Those questions changed my prayer life.

I still believed in intercessory prayer and that God could heal her. I still prayed He would, but I added, “Lord, please prepare me for whatever Your plan is.”

When the phone rang one evening, I didn’t want to answer it. I knew who it was and what the message was.

“Hello?” I hoped for a wrong number.  

“Mom’s gone, said my brother’s quiet voice.

I sat down, expecting the tears to flow. A few did come, but almost felt forced. I felt guilty. I should have been bawling my eyes out.

A few weeks later, I realized that God had answered my prayers. He had prepared me.

Through this, I learned to lean on God and apply Scripture to my life. My favorite verses in the Bible are Romans 8:26-27. “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”

These verses bring peace to my prayer life. I have asked the Holy Spirit for help many times since then. After every situation was over, I could see where God’s hand had been at work. He comforted and strengthened me. I know He will continue to.

Without going through a time of difficulty, I would not have learned those lessons. The power of prayer isnt something we can be taught. It must be experienced, and unfortunately, often accompanies hard times.

About the Author:

Ruth OneilRuth O’Neil has been writing for over 20 years. She has published hundreds of articles in numerous publications. She loves to touch the emotions when she writes. “If I can make one person laugh or cry, I’ll consider myself successful.” Her first novel “Come Eat at My Table” has just come out in ebook form and can be purchased on her website. She homeschools her three children (well, one now, as two have graduated). She and her husband have been married for 20-plus years. In her spare time she enjoys quilting, crafting, and reading. You can visit her on her blog at ruths-real-life (dot) or her website at ruthoneil (dot)

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  1. My mom passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly two weeks ago. She and I were inseparable, and I would never have imagined being able to live without her. Even though I never saw this coming, I relate so much to what you talk about here. I feel a peace and solace even though my heart is still broken and I miss her terribly. I know that I will see her again, and I can feel the loving arms of the Savior around me until He calls me home, too.


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