The Refuge of Prayer

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The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. —Psalm 9:9, NKJV

With the curiosity of a four-year-old, I watched Mother place chairs together in the front room. When all were seated and quiet, she prayed and led the family in singing. After a Bible reading, we knelt down to repeat the Lord’s Prayer—this is one of my first memories. Sadly, the prayer routines stopped. I missed the prayer time and missed hearing each of our names mentioned in prayer. I know God understood my disappointment.

By the time I started school, His plan for my permanent prayer bond with Him had taken shape. Mother was adamant about sending me to church school—a difficult but significant choice. Daddy did not see how we could afford it, but Mother stood her ground.

I am thankful I attended church school all the way into college.

When I was ten or eleven, a church family gave us a piano.

Despite a few broken keys, I learned to play many hymns and children’s songs.

While playing the piano, skipping rope, and riding a bicycle, I found refuge in prayer. The Lord saved me from many dangers and difficult times in childhood and beyond—even from troubles that I brought on myself. Prayer continued to be a spiritual refuge throughout my life. When I was eighty-one years old, I tripped and fell while walking Jay-Jay, the family dog. I landed on my knees and elbows, and my upper arm bone thrust hard into my shoulder and fractured it. My knees and elbows were scraped and bloodied.

Thankfully, his leash still clenched tightly in my left hand, Jay-Jay did not try to run away. But with nothing to grab onto, I could not get up.

As I prayed, I claimed the promise, “I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10, KJV).

Faith surged through my heart and activated strength and courage.

Somehow, God steadied me enough to be able to stand up and continue the walk home. I praise God for the refuge of prayer. I pray you will find hope in God’s promises today. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1, KJV).

Whenever we need Him, He is only a prayer away!

Jeanne B. Woolsey

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