Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Power of Prayer

Two momentous things happened today that need to be recorded:

1. For the first time, I pulled one of Josiah's teeth. A piece of dental floss with a slip knot in it, a very wiggly tooth (loose enough to slip the dental floss under one edge of it), a quick yank, and it was out! Fun! :)

2. Shav nursed.

He nursed! Hallelujah! He really nursed!!!

The past 12 days of no nursing have felt very long indeed. Each day, I've tried at least once to nurse him; but until this evening, Shav always arched his back, turned away, and tried to do everything he could to resist me. As they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

I've felt more peaceful about the situation ever since I blogged about it - once again, blog therapy helped me change my attitude about a difficulty. I know my growing peace was also due to the fact that, ever since Sunday afternoon when I was gone at a concert with Josiah & David and Jeff was able to get Shav to take a bottle, we've had fairly consistent success with bottle-feeding. I had accustomed myself to the idea of pumping and bottle-feeding for the next 4 months or so.

But tonight, right before I tucked Shav in bed for the night, I decided to sit with him in my dear old glider rocker and see if, by chance, he would nurse. And he did. Oh, glory!

I smiled. I laughed. I cried (from joy). I winced (as his 6 teeth bit down a time or two). I savored the moment. And most of all, I prayed prayers of thanksgiving as gratitude welled up in my heart and burst forth. What a marvelous gift from God to answer prayer in this way and restore Shav to his normal-acting self!

Then, to tell the truth, thoughts crept into my head like, "Did Shav start nursing again because we prayed, or would he have done that anyway?" Immediately, a passage from Philip Yancey's book Prayer popped into my head - a passage that I often recall when I contemplate the mysteries of prayer. In it, he quotes from C.S. Lewis. Yancey writes,
In the normal course of providence, God works through and in creation, not despite it. For this reason, most answers to prayer are difficult to prove with any certainty. In C. S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters, a senior devil gives this advice on prayer to a young recruit:
Worry him with the haunting suspicion that the practice is absurd and can have no objective result. Don't forget to use the "Heads I win, tails you lose" argument. If the thing he prays for doesn't happen, then that is one more proof that petitionary prayers don't work; if it does happen, he will, of course, be able to see some of the physical causes which led up to it, and "therefore it would have happened anyway," and thus granted prayer becomes just as good a proof as a denied one that prayers are ineffective.
A little later Yancey says this:
"When I pray, coincidences happen," said Archbishop William Temple, "when I don't, they don't." Rather than dissecting such incidents, I try to use them as building blocks of faith, to see them as "God-incidents" instead of coincidences.
Tonight I'm so very thankful for the God-incident I witnessed this evening as I held Shav in my arms and watched him nurse. To God be the glory for this restoration and healing!!


Tim and Michelle said...

I'm so happy for you!!! So glad he nursed again!!

Misty said...

Yay, Davene that is fantastic news! Praise God for answered prayer! Looking forward to seeing you on Thursday!

Mike and Katie said...

What a relief! I'm glad he's okay and hope you can continue to enjoy nursing him for the next four months or more. Hopefully you supply builds back up for him.

Jolanthe said...

Love that quote ~ and so glad that God did answer your prayers!!! :)

Polly said...

I am *so* glad Shav is nursing again! How wonderful! And a great quote as well. :)

Marie said...

Love to hear it Davene, Praise the Lord!!
I understand your struggle. I have had trouble nursing Zane due to lack of knowledge on my part. I pumped my way for 7 months and bottle fed him. I wished I kept my endurance like you did. I know next time I will have a better time nursing because of my thoughts surrounding it.
So good to hear the wonderful news.
Love you!

Home Instead said...

What wonderful news! I'm glad he's nursing again too.

Sally said...

Davene, it's wonderful that God has made Shav desire to nurse again! What is even more moving to me are your quotes related to prayers. I will readily admit my prayers need more Scripture, need more time, need more alertness on my part, and really, I just need to pray more! This is a powerful inspiration and motivator. Even if I don't see parting-the-Red-Sea miracles doesn't mean God isn't listening and answering my prayers.

Valerie said...

YAY!! Thank you, Jesus!! I have been praying for Shav to nurse also, as I felt, like you do, that nursing is SO wonderful...and I was sad for you also when you posted of his "strike." I had hoped that when his little mouth healed, he would once again nurse.

SO glad that he has nursed...and so glad that God gave you the grace to rest in Him. Such a good place to be!!

Have a blessed day, Davene!!
<3 Valerie

Margie said...

I'm so glad he nursed again, and I really love the quotes you picked from Yancey's book. Surprisingly, I never finished Prayer, but still plan to get back and finish it. Perhaps I'll put it on my list and get to it next. I love the way you uplift the Lord in all you say and do!

Davene said...


I never finished Prayer either. I think it's because I never get too far in the book before I say, "OK, I'm convinced. I just need to pray!" :)

But every so often, I go back to that book and get inspired again. One of these days, I'll actually finish it; but until then, I've still gleaned SO MUCH good stuff from it.

Patti said...

I'm so thankful all is well now with Shav. Is he sucking his thumb again?

Davene said...


Actually, he is not - at least, not that I've seen. During the time when I thought I might have to teach/convince him to suck again, I even tried a pacifier with him; but he wasn't interested. So now, he doesn't suck his thumb (or a pacifier or his two middle fingers or anything that I can tell), but somehow he's able to self-soothe, because he's putting himself to sleep like always. For that, I am very grateful. :)

I wouldn't mind seeing him suck his thumb again though - such a cute habit, I think. :)

But at least, he sucks to drink milk!! :)