What Prayer Can Do: Stay-at-Home Help


Sarah Ball shares how God answered her desire to help those who were experiencing distress.

Earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes. They all played out before me on the evening news.

I clicked off the TV. Every scene of people in need made me want to rush out to do something. But rushing out to do anything was impossible for me right now. I was recovering from surgery for breast cancer. With drainage tubes in my side, expanders in my chest, not to mention all the medications I took for the pain, I could barely move. What help could I be to people in trouble?

I can pray for them, I thought.

And pray I did. I prayed for God to comfort those who were grieving, to heal the injured, to speed recovery. But I still felt helpless.

“Please, Lord, isn’t there anything I can do myself?”

I can’t even lift a gallon of milk these days, I thought. How can I help anyone? I couldn’t go anywhere. And although I’ve fostered animals in the past, even taking care of one displaced pet seemed beyond me.

The next day I got word of another disaster looming‒this one close to my home in Iowa. Weathermen were predicting massive flooding in my area. There was a call out for volunteers. Workers were frantically piling sandbags against buildings and strengthening the levees. And here I was, stuck at home‒not in danger, but still on the couch. The only way I could help would be if the Lord dropped something in my lap.

During a call to a friend I told her about my frustrations.

“My friend Francis is really in a bind,” she said. “She lives on the flood plain and has decided to evacuate her mobile home, but she can’t afford a storage facility for her things. She’s scared she’ll come home and find all of her furniture destroyed. I can’t take any of it because my place is too small.”

“She can store it here!” I said. “Our basement is nearly empty; there’s plenty of room. It’s perfect!”

Friends moved Francis’ furniture into my house the next day. It was the answer to her prayers—and mine.


Written by Sarah Ball, Rocklin, California

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