Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope

Joni Eareckson Tada

The Prayers of Joel

February 21, 2019
00:00 3:59

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a great story about the power of prayer.

I was at BWI Airport outside of Baltimore city and waiting to go home. Unfortunately, our flight was late, and the seats in the waiting area of gate D-7 were full. My traveling companions, Judy and Bunny gathered around me to pray, something we always do before flights. But this prayer was a little different. Bunny knew I needed a lift. She knew I was pretty down over a number of things, including the disappointing news that a certain foundation in Baltimore, my hometown of all things, had just turned down our funding request for a project to help disabled children overseas. I was discouraged. We were so hoping, we were so sure that the funding would come through, because without it the project just wasn’t going to happen.

So, as we gather together to pray, Bunny reached for our hands, and, after a few words of praise and thanksgiving, she said, "Lord, would you please send forth the corn and the wine and the oil. Send forth the early rains, the late rains, and produce a wonderful crop of blessings." Her words were quietly spoken but laced with such power, conviction and confidence: God sending forth the corn and wine and oil, the early rains? I recognized these words in her prayer from Joel Chapter 2 verse, 19. That passage of Scripture is about Israel’s desperate plight, and the prayer is pretty much Joel’s earnest, last ditch, it-ain’t-gonna-happen-without-you, God, prayer.

As we continue to huddle and quietly pray, I suddenly sensed the presence of a fourth and fifth person who joined our huddle. It was a husband and wife, we learned later, who had entered our circle right then and crowded close. Together they punctuated Bunny's prayer with quiet affirmations, saying, “Yes, Lord.” When Bunny said amen, I looked up and saw the husband folding a hundred dollar bill into Bunny’s hand. Then as suddenly as these two appeared they had to rush off to catch their flight. I didn’t even get their names to thank them. I tell you, when Bunny opened her hand, we kept staring at that $100 bill, but it didn't surprise us. When Bunny prays, things happen. "Joni," she said, tucking the bill into my coat pocket, "forget your disappointment, sweetheart. Have hope, for this gift is the first fruits of what God will supply."

And she was right. Ultimately, God supplied our need and those disabled children were given wheelchairs and the message of salvation, along with their families. Yes, because Bunny prayed in faith, but she has also learned how to pray using God's own words, from the Bible, such as she did when she referenced in her prayer that passage from the book of Joel. When we use God’s word in our prayers, it’s like talking to Him in His own language, His dialect, so to speak. And that has to have power, right? It’s what gives confidence and conviction. Because the Bible tells us there are two things God honors and exalts above all else: His name and (you guessed it) His Word. Prayer that is spiced with His Word is exalted prayer. Its powerful prayer!

First Thessalonians Chapter 2 says that we should accept the Word as it actually is, the Word, the very language of God which is “at work” in any of us who believe. So today, put Scripture to work in your prayers. As you read the Bible, underline portions that speak to your heart, make them personal, and then pray them right back to God. After all, the Lord sure loves to hear people speak in His language.

By: Joni Eareckson Tada

© Joni and Friends

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About Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope

Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope is a broadcast ministry of Joni and Friends committed to bringing the Gospel and practical help to people impacted by disability around the world. Joni and Friends has been advancing disability ministry for over 40 years. Their mission to glorify God, communicate the Gospel and mobilize the global church to evangelize, disciple and serve people living with disability answers the call found in Luke 14 to “bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame… so that my house will be full.”

About Joni Eareckson Tada

Paralyzed as the result of a diving accident at age 17, Joni Eareckson Tada envisions a world where every person with a disability finds hope, dignity, and their place in the body of Christ. As the Founder and CEO of Joni and Friends, she is known worldwide as an author, speaker, disability rights advocate and radio personality. Her 10,000 radio programs are broadcast across the country and around the world, inspiring listeners to realize that there is hope in every hardship.
Joni Eareckson Tada is an esteemed Christian stateswoman and respected global leader in disability advocacy. Although a 1967 diving accident left her a quadriplegic, she emerged from rehabilitation with a determination to help others with similar disabilities. Mrs. Tada serves as CEO of Joni and Friends, a Christian organization which provides programs and services for thousands of special-needs families around the world. President Reagan appointed Mrs. Tada to the National Council on Disability, then reappointed by President George H.W. Bush. During her tenure, the ADA was passed and signed into law. Mrs. Tada served as advisor to Condoleezza Rice on the Disability Advisory Committee to the U.S. State Department. She served as Senior Associate for Disability Concerns for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. The Colson Center on Christian Worldview awarded Joni Tada its prestigious William Wilberforce Award, and she was also inducted into
Indiana Wesleyan University’s Society of World Changers. 
Joni Eareckson Tada has been awarded several honorary degrees, including Doctor of Humanities from Gordon College and Doctor of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary. She is an effective communicator, sharing her inspirational message in books, through artwork, radio, and other media. Joni Tada served as General Editor of the Beyond Suffering Bible, a special edition published by Tyndale for people affected by disability. Joni and her husband Ken were married in 1982 and reside in Calabasas, California.

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