The 11 Year Prayer

For 11 years I prayed that my mother-in-law would come to know Christ and that her relationship with my husband would be restored. Miraculously, just this last month, it was answered.


I would love to say that it was the result of unwavering faith, fervent prayer, and unrelenting expectation that God was going to move; however, the reality is that over these long 11 years, I often felt forgotten and unheard by God.


Deep inside my heart I believed that God cared for me; just not enough to move on my behalf. This lie began to eat away at my hope, and ultimately, started to close the door to the belief I carried that God would ever hear my cry for my husband and my mother-in-law.



Years went on like this; and although I witnessed tremendous miracles and breakthroughs in many people, I continued to endure disappointment after disappointment, which led to the posture of my heart becoming so hardened that when other prayers became answered, my ability to receive the blessing was sometimes more painful than the actual prayer itself!


It was at this point when I realized something was very off in the way I pictured God; yet I still couldn’t shake this feeling of being unheard.


So I started getting more involved in Substance Moms and created a prayer group through this ministry. It was there that I met amazing prayer warriors and found my tribe. As we ventured forward into friendship and started to be more intentional with prayer requests and go deeper with our issues, I felt the nudge to confess my struggle to believe that God hears me, and a friend started to pray for me.


The very next day I was listening to my Bible app, and the verse for the day was John 5:14. As I listened, I couldn’t help but go back and listen to it on repeat:


“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (John 5:14 NIV).


After reading this verse, I sensed the Lord telling me: “Daughter, you are NOT forgotten or unheard. I have heard all of it, not just the cry for your husband and Mother in Law, but every word in between and every tearful unspoken desire of your heart. I heard you and I hear you. I care about your every need, every single one.”


I felt faith rise up in me and I wept.


A few days later I entered into a season of fasting and prayer and God started to rearrange my heart. He gently started to convict me of the lies that I was believing and started healing my heart, sometimes in large ways, almost overnight. I could feel God’s love for the first time in over 10 years, and this time it was different. 


I felt a confidence that he not only saw me, but that he did indeed hear my every word. Then almost out of nowhere, one of my biggest 11 year prayers was answered.


Miraculously on Easter Sunday, my mother-in-law came to Christ and she was baptized with my husband in May!



“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:20 NIV).


God has undeniably heard every single word that I have prayed over these past 11 years, and realistically, within my entire lifespan. He has done immeasurably more than I could’ve asked or imagined.


Mama, everything that concerns you concerns him, and he will move on your behalf, in his timeline. It is only by his love that all the seasons of immense struggle and drought are reconciled.


Discussion Questions


  1. Have you ever felt forgotten by God? Or felt that God doesn’t hear your prayers? 
  2. How is your heart? Are there any lies that you are believing that you know are not consistent with the promises of God? If so, could you share one that you would like prayer for?


Esther “Annie” Rhoades is a mom to three, wild and free kids and has been happily married to her best friend, Jon, for over 10 years. Annie values experience over things and loves yoga with worship music, diving into the word, hosting, thrifting, making healthy goodies, and traveling.

Posted in ,