Friday, February 25, 2011

What Is In A Prayer........

I visited my brother a couple of days ago before the cold icy weather hit our area. He was doing well and felt encouraged by his new doctor. It turns out that the new doctor wants to wait a couple of more weeks before determining the need for surgery on the 4 broken places of his collar bone. I did some research last night on the web to clarify answers for questions we have had concerning the whole situation. I never realized what an interesting bone it is to heal and how rarely surgeries are performed. So here I am learning more medical information and feeling with even greater awe at the amazing ways God made our bodies.

While visiting, my brother and I got on the subject of God and prayer. We began discussing miracles that I had witnessed recently and then our own hindrances in prayer. As we talked, I felt a rise in my emotions as waves of panic and fear set into me.
Maybe you too can relate to the feelings that hit me. Or maybe you are confused with the why and how I could have such a quandary over a simple conversation.  Let me explain.

As we sat there talking I became acutely aware that I had not prayed for my brother. Sure, I had prayed with him over the phone when he first fell but that was different.  I wanted to pray for his healing and not just his emotional peace but I hadn't. Praying for someone is a vulnerable and transparent way to share heart and display value of one another. I have always been open with my brother and we have carried a close relationship our whole lives. I wanted to give him that part of my love that shines through prayer...but something was holding me back.

A comment was made in our conversation that according to 1 Corinthians 12 the gift of being able heal others is only given to certain people. I said no and explained that it is something that we can all do. When we have a relationship with God we have the complete Holy Spirit in us and a "now" connection to heaven. It is a matter of faith and belief. Jesus talks in the Bible about the faith of the mustard seed and that we can do so much more if only we believe. I suggested that hearing and seeing stories of people being healed when they go to certain places is because of a heightened level of expectation that raises more faith and belief. Sure, some people are able to bring healing to people quickly but it is not necessarily because they are "chosen" and more because their faith and belief leaves no room for doubt in their mind. 

That thought challenged me even more as in a time span that seemed to go on forever I battled the thought provoking shame that wanted to cripple me. "Tisk tisk....shame on you. How little you are that you dare not share what you SAY you believe in with someone you know feels the same way. You SAY you love your little brother and you have prided yourself in always protecting him. Now we see the truth. You aren't even strong enough to do this one thing."

Oh my goodness how the satan loves to get in our heads and twist things around so we are incapacitated. God is the author of love not shame.

Despite my own self doubt, I could not help but ask myself the heart burning questions at hand, "What is the lie I am believing right now and what is the truth I need to see?"  My mind raced through the things that I know and the things I have seen.

Am I making up what I want to believe?
No, I have seen blind people see, deaf people hear, crippled people become straight and broken hearted find hope.

Did I worry that my brother would think me a nut for believing in prayer?
No, he believes the same. And even if he didn't I have often found myself in position of discussing God's love with complete strangers.

Did I feel less than because I prayed for Daddy to be healed and he then died from his cancer?
No, God heals in different ways and for Daddy it was the many layers of his emotional heart that received the healing.

Have I ever been a part of someone being healed?
Yes, my mother-in-law was healed just by us praying over the phone with over a thousand miles between us.

Have other people I know personally been healed?
Pippin was healed. Last week a guy I know had his multi-fractured foot miraculously healed. A friend's chronic sinus infection, another friend's severe milk allergy, another friend's slipped disc and so many more. I was even healed from severe complete laryngitis by the simple prayer of a child.

Then a new thought crept into my mind. What if I pray and the bones don't go back together? Then I would be responsible for lifting his hope and then dashing it to the ground.
But the truth is that it is my responsibility to walk out my faith and belief. It is God's responsibility to know the will and timing of everything that happens.

I couldn't take it any longer and I just had to pray. The things that I know to be true out weighed the fears holding me captive and I had to press through. I didn't say anything grand for God does not care about big words or descriptive spinning sonnets. God only cares about seeing our hearts. Nothing drastic happened after we prayed together but I felt that we had both gained ground in what we shared with each other and in our relationship with God.

I wanted to stay longer after that but had to get out the door and drive through the 45 minutes of traffic that separates our neighborhoods. So we hugged and promised to check with each other over the phone that night.
A few hours later he called me to say, "Sister thank you so much for praying and sharing with me today. After you left I was so encouraged. It was the first time since my fall that I felt I could do anything with my arm. I got down on the floor and played for a bit with my daughter and our golden retriever. It felt so good to remember what it is like to do some things for myself instead of being so dependent and scared. Thank you."

Daddy God, I thank You for being such an encourager, for giving me a brother that encourages me to say 'why not'. Thank You for being the truth that shines through and resonates in my heart even when I am scared of my own self. Thank You for never giving up on me as I stumble along. And thank You that You always listen, always hear, always love and always give just what we need.


(post note: published on stirmyfaith.com)

6 comments:

  1. Wow, Jules that was powerful!
    There are so many ways to pray that it is hard to find just the right one and to remember to pray for everyone. Sometimes I feel I pray over and over for the same things and God is thinking that maybe I don't have any other words. I know that He knows what I mean and need and in His time He will answer.
    As a Catholic we strongly believe in the power of prayer for others and I often forget to add myself to my endless list of prayer requests. But I have faith that all will be taken care.
    Take care, dear friend. In God's love.

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  2. Lovely to hear that you were able to put aside your doubts and pray with your brother.
    How I wish I had a christian brother or sister to pray with. I am keeping on praying that they will come to know God in a special way.
    I did have the privilege of praying with my sister in law in Chile on the phone, as she was waiting for her husband to improve in intensive care. Now she has heard from her travel insurance and her husband has been moved back to the normal ward. We are praying for good test results tonight, and a possible discharge from hospital on Friday, and after a week a possible flight home.
    I am also praying that I will be able to get travel insurance for my flight next week, and my time in the US that covers a couple of medical conditions. My daughter can't wait for me to arrive.

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  3. Wow, you opened up a wave of emotions that I had not taken the time to sort through since the recent death of my brother. For some reason, I found it harder to pray for him than I had for a complete stranger. We shared a final prayer the day before he passed away - it was a prayer that he would finally be released from pain....and it was answered. This was a very powerful blog - thank you for sharing it.

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  4. That was a very inspiring post. Just what I needed to read just now.
    You are a very obedient servant to the Lord.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

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  5. Very very nice post and very great information. This blog is very intresting and informative. keep it up dud!!!!!! very nice work

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  6. Hope all is well with you. Its been a long time since you posted.
    Hope your brother is doing well.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

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