An empty refrigerator. A half-filled box of spaghetti. A basket of apples. That was it for the next four days. This desperate lack of food was by no means because we were without monthly income. In our newly married life, my husband and I had no financial common sense and we had gotten ourselves into this reckless mess. A bright red 65 Mustang was parked in the driveway and next to it a sleek black motorcycle, plus a sporty Alfa Romeo. Oh, and there was a four door Buick sedan in the driveway too.  None of these vehicles were purchased with cash and our meager monthly income certainly did not meet this debt.

I remember feeling completely and utterly lost. My stomach reeled. My head throbbed. My eyes were swollen from hot tears. My husband and I were more than 2,000 miles from the wise counsel of our parents and our new support system was limited to a few young couples who were going through their own newly married challenges.

During that darkest week of financial stress, unbeknownst to us, my father-in-law woke from a sound sleep with a conviction that he needed to pray for his son and daughter-in-law. He didn’t know why but he was impressed that something was seriously wrong and that there was awful stress going on in our marriage. And so, he prayed. And prayed. And prayed. And God heard his prayer!

42 happily-married-years-later I look back at this memory and I marvel. Not because my husband and I ate apples for breakfast, lunch and supper for four days but because we were too caught up in our misery to even reach out to God for help. And yet, God was at work, impressing upon my father-in-law to pray fervently on our behalf.  

Call to Action

Scripture tells us in James 5:16, “Pray for one another… the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” That’s what my father-in-law believed and practiced and God heard and answered his prayer! This is a reminder to me today that there are family and friends in my life who may be facing financial challenges or health crises, or communication conflicts, and who are so stressed that they can’t even think clearly and perhaps can’t even reach out to God in prayer. I need to pray for them!


All scripture taken from the King James Version.

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