A young abused wife asked for prayer. Her hand shook as she took mine. Her situation was dangerous, her personality beaten down from years of emotional and physical abuse. As we joined in prayer, I felt a strong impulse to ask the Lord to break her abuser’s legs or perhaps let his steps intersect with a city bus. We had a good laugh over that. Of course, we knew that wasn’t God’s will but it felt good to lay it on the table anyway.
We sat in silence for several minutes. Her situation had gone on a long time. Our many prayers had so far gone unanswered. I had no idea how or what to pray.
The young woman had forbidden herself to cry. She’d cried through most of her childhood and all of her marriage and she was done with tears. But as we sat in the quietness of my office, a tear coursed down her cheek. Soon painful sobs caused her body to heave.
She, and not the abuser, became the focus of our prayer time. Revenge is a strong emotion that’s always aimed at someone, who from our human outlook, deserves retribution. It happened on this day, as it so often does with God, that He touched the heart of the abused and not the abuser.
The Holy Spirit began a special work of healing in that young woman. In the end we prayed not for smashed kneecaps or other suitable punishments for the abuser, or that he would come to the Lord and change his behavior, but for strength, real God-strength for my quivering friend. Soon after, she left her abusive situation, and never returned.
When we’ve prayed a situation inside-out and have nothing left to say, all is not hopeless. As we wait quietly on the Lord, He comes on the scene and works deep in the human soul as only He can.
The Lord is good to those who wait hopefully and expectantly for Him, to those who seek Him [inquire of and for Him and require Him by right of necessity and on the authority of God’s word]. It is good that one should hope in and wait quietly for the salvation (the safety and ease) of the Lord.
Lamentations 3:25,26 (AMP)