The other day I was challenged with the question, “Have you ever seen a dramatic healing in response to prayer?” I paused to try to think of one. I needn’t have paused, however.
Over a year ago our family exercised our faith in prayer for someone in need of healing, but it’s lamentable that now, twelve months later, it’s so easy to forget God’s intervention. Maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to judge the Israelites in the Old Testament. Here’s the blog post as it appeared here on 7.14.09 (or as we say in Canada, 14.07.09)…
Because of the nature of my work, I have the opportunity to hear from a number of people in the course of a year who express their desire to see God meet a specific need in a special way.
“I’ll pray for you;” I tell them. I explain that we pray together as a family at about 9:00 PM every night, which readers of this blog will remember me discussing a few weeks ago here.
After we read the Bible or devotional book selection for that night, I’ll say, “There’s someone who came in the store today; I know you don’t know them, but I’d like you to pray for ________.”
But every once in awhile, I’ll say, “There was someone I promised to pray for tonight, and now I can’t remember who it was.”
That’s what happened in the case of A. I forgot. He had been going through a rough time with a digestive tract disorder, a situation we’re not unfamiliar with. For six years. He had mentioned more recently that it was hitting particularly hard.
Later, I remember his situation, my memory kicking in, and we started praying for him about six weeks ago. Once on our “prayer list” my kids rarely let go of a name, even when they forget the details. But they did remember that A. was one of two situations where we were asking God to something really, really special.
So we prayed.
I should also explain that A. has a really big sense of humor, and sends me e-mail forwards at least every three days. Some of them are little edgy; you’d never know this guy has a brother who is a pastor in a conservative Baptist denomination. But I do open them all. At least, I thought I did.
It turns out I missed the one where he either described going to a Toronto hospital, or facing surgery. But we kept praying.
Then, on the road in Boston and doing my best to get e-mails despite the fact that in hotels, “Free Wireless” is a meaningless phrase, I read something about him “recovering well” and expecting to “go home from the hospital.”
Did I miss something? I e-mailed to ask if he had some kind of procedure; and told him the boys and I had been praying. He e-mailed back to advise that he had a tumor removed, was recovering well, and was being released a day early. There’s even some question as to whether he even had the digestive disorder that he felt he had all these years. Wow!
To jump to the obvious high point in the story: We started praying in earnest at the same time A. needed it most; not knowing specifically of the current need. And it took a couple of e-mails afterward to convince him (and myself!) that our praying and his need had definitely converged at the same time.
Despite having what I consider to be a decent measure of faith, I’m also marveling about this. The boys and I weren’t just saying a name on a list; we were really asking God to do something ‘outside the box’ for A.
And I believe that He certainly did.