And my theory is based on my privileged experience last week at our 5th & 6th grade kid's church evening, Route 56...
I was not having one of my finest prego evenings last Wednesday, as there were 52 exuberant kids running around playing a form of dodgeball, increasing the headache and putting me on the verge of nausea. I was just flat spent, but knew in my heart that God had called me to that place for such a time as that night. After games and snacks, we all parted ways into our small group session before Will's teaching would begin. I happened to have a group of girls who I've gotten quite comfortable with, so boldly asked them if any of them would be so courageous as to pray for me and the baby that night, so that God would give me strength to make it through the night. After many of them pointed at the other one next to them for a couple of minutes (I didn't know what torture I would be causing them) one usually reserved little girl raised her hand, and said "Well, I'll do it then!" as she could tell none of her little peers were going to step up to the prayer plate. I was totally blessed by the offer and we all bowed our heads. Her prayer was very short and sweet "Lord, please help Krystal get to feeling better and give her strength to make it through the rest of the night. (next was the tear-jerker...) And Lord when it comes to the delivery of this baby, please make it smooth. In Jesus name, Amen." Talk about clinging to the prayers of those with childlike faith. I felt at the end that she had some kind of connection to God, that she had really tapped into His heart and the storehouses of grace were going to be poured out on me right then. What kind of 5th grader would have the insight to pray over one of my deeper fears right now? Could that have possibly been the still small voice of the Spirit, speaking to hers?
Needless to say, I made it through the rest of the night without the distraction of the prego pains I had been grieved by earlier that night. There are moments like those when you almost forget there is a wee little life being formed and knitted together inside you and you praise God for them.
So, the night came to an end and this same little prayer warrior came up to me afterwards for a great big hug and I was able to share the fact that God heard her prayer and had answered by laying His strength-giving, healing hands on me for the rest of the night, hopefully encouraging her own faith as mine had been. I had already almost spaced the fact that Will had just ended his mini-sermon that night by offering any of the kids to approach he, Derick, Abby or I with the heart's desire to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior (prego moment?) What I didn't realize as my little prayer warrior was clinging near my side over the next five minutes, was that as the rest of the kids dispersed into the night, she was still standing there waiting with a deep question (the deepest one can ever really hunger for the answer for) in her big beautiful eyes. "Krystal," she finally asked, after the others were finally gone. "Yes sweet pea, what can I do for you?" "Well, I think this is the night that it's time for me to pray to receive Jesus into my heart," she proclaimed with a huge beam on her face. I was totally overcome by the boldness that I normally didn't see in this sweet face, on top of the biggest question someone can pose to you, in request that I pray with her. What a sheer privilege! I asked her what brought her to that place in her heart and mind and she said it was just that when Will shared tonight, she couldn't shake the fact that she knew it was the night it had to happen. She was very amazed by the story of creation and the examples of our Creator God's hands that Will shared about, and she just knew it was time. That was enough of a reason for me, so we knelt down together, as the rest of the crowd was fading out the doors and we walked together, down the path of grace, to the foot of the cross and held one another's hands as I had the humbling privilege of walking through with and ushering her little heart right into heaven's gates, straight into her new Abba Father's arms.
I truly don't believe that there is anything else to live for and it just doesn't get better than experiencing this piece of eternal life and eternal work on earth. So, my theory on that initial question of the day? Does God hear the prayers of the unsaved? Yes, I believe He hears and sees the sincere heart and eyes of faith that beseech Him for something they might not even understand for themselves yet. And this little girl just didn't know at the moment of her prayer mid-way through the night where her own heart would be in relation to that God she prayed to on my behalf, by the end of the evening. I believe our hearts will be bound through eternity by the privilege we partook in together, of praying for the hearts of one another, to the mighty Creator God that we both now serve.