Express Line Prayer By Darlene Franklin
Waking up early is one thing. Waking up for a date with a needle is another.
“Good morning!” A cheerful, African-accented voice called out. “I’m here to draw your blood.”
I placed my right arm on top of the blankets and closed my eyes so I didn’t have to watch. Needle sticks often took three attempts or more. My hands and arms stayed black and blue from broken blood vessels. I prayed that somehow, this time would go more easily.
Imagine my surprise when I peeked and saw a vial filling with my blood. I hadn’t even felt the needle go in. “That’s another express-line prayer answered.”
“Express-line prayer?” The worker repeated. “What do you mean?” Toby’s bright smile and infectious faith always made my day brighter in spite of his occupation.
“It’s like the short line at the supermarket, when you need an answer NOW.”
He thought about it. “I get it. Like when the people of Israel were at the Red Sea.”
Great example, but I was thinking more about Nehemiah. He committed the cardinal sin for a man in his position of cupbearer to the king: he was visibly upset in Artaxerxes’ presence. The ruler asked, “Why are you sad since you’re not sick?”
Nehemiah explained about the ruins of the city of Jerusalem in his homeland, and the king followed with “What do you want?”
Nehemiah’s response? Express-line prayer. “I prayed to the God of heaven, and I said unto the king. . .” (Nehemiah 2:4,5 KJV)
When there’s no time to call a prayer meeting, that’s an express-line prayer.
Earlier that week, God answered another express-line prayer. Our Bible study leader asked for prayer. The elderly man was subject to dry throat and high blood pressure. I prayed that he would be able to share the lesson he had prepared because Christ promised to give him strength.
Brother Ray perked right up. He made it through the entire lesson without even needing a sip of water.
I wish all my prayers were could be answered that quickly. But when they’re not, I shouldn’t abandon the practice of praying for emergency answers.
What makes express-line prayers work? Relationship. Nehemiah had prayed about Jerusalem for months before his opportunity came. The ruler understood his cupbearer well enough to invite his confidence and to grant his request.
When I prayed for Ray, I drew on a Scripture I had memorized years ago.
Do I need something? “My God shall supply all your needs” (Philippians 4:19, KJV). Am I uncertain what to do next? “I will…teach you…the way you should go” (Psalm 32:8, NIV).
Other times, I appeal to God’s character. “Lord, You love this person! You don’t want anyone to perish. You are our fortress, our healer.” The list is endless.
When a need strikes in the supermarket of life, head straight for the express line. God will meet you there.
Best-selling hybrid author Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. In July, she will reach fifty unique titles in print and she’s also contributed to more than twenty nonfiction titles. Her column, “The View Through my Door,” appears in five monthly venues. Her most recent titles are Cinderella’s Boot, Runaway Brides and Colorado: 2 contemporary romance novellas and 2 historical