Marching To The Beat Of A Different Reality

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Reason Behind The Power Of Prayer

Wednesday afternoon, my friend Nancy and I talked about the recovery of our mutual friend Molly, who was hit by a sudden, serious illness which caused her to degenerate into a comatose state in shockingly short order.  Desperately ill and near death in the ICU for nearly two weeks, she was finally diagnosed with and treated for a rare blood disease called HLH (Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis).

Needless to say, Nancy and I and all Molly's other friends, immediate family and church family, began praying for her recovery as soon as she was admitted to the hospital and we never ceased.
Nancy relayed that though the doctors had expected Molly to be on chemotherapy for her HLH over the course of 6-7 weeks, the doctors have reported the disease CURED and as such, are discontinuing her treatment.  She further shared that though her doctors apparently held little hope for Molly the first night she was transferred to OU Medical Center, she may actually be out of ICU and HOME within a week's time if her health continues to improve at its current rate. 

You may read this and think of Molly's recovery as miraculous, but to those of us who have SEEN Molly over the course of the last several weeks, there simply can't be a question. 

I sat with Molly in the ICU Sunday night/Monday morning.  When I left early Monday morning, Molly couldn't speak a word to me. She couldn't lift her arms or legs. I felt unbelievably helpless because I had no idea what to do for her. Yet, as I sat by her bed, awash in sadness for her confinement, I prayed fervently, asking God to clear the fog in her head and restore her cynical, hilarious words. 

To find that, Tuesday, Nancy not only had a wonderful conversation with her, but watched her move her arms, was too much happiness to bear. I am simply in awe of how fast her condition changed from Monday morning to Tuesday afternoon. She will still need some OT and PT to get her limbs moving again the way they should after such a decimating illness, but I feel confident that will absolutely happen. 

To me, there can be no explanation for Molly's recovery other than the miraculous - healing from God bestowed through the power of prayer, specifically intercessory prayer. 

This morning, I opened my devotional book. I have been horrible at keeping up with my reading this past month because my schedule has been ridiculous, so I passed all the devotionals I've missed - there were too many skipped to catch up - and turned to today's. 

What a coincidence (lol)!  The devotional for September 1st was entitled, "Because You Prayed". It referenced Isaiah 37:9-22. Hezekiah had been sent a letter by Assyrian King Sennacherib telling him he would invade Jerusalem and crush it. Instead of sitting down waiting for it to happen, or worrying about how he would save the city, he went to the Temple, put the communication out on the floor and prayed for God's help.Soon after, Isaiah came to tell Hezekiah that because he had prayed, God had intervened on his behalf, conquering the enemy outside the city gates. 

YES! We needn't have any further confirmation of Molly's miraculous healing than what we're told here by Isaiah. 

Sadly, though, there are times we pray and see little to no results for our effort. We wonder why God would answer prayers for Molly's healing, but let our loved one die, or suffer. I truly believe this situation - more than anything - to be the one thing that turns people from belief in God, because it can make seemingly no sense to those who think about it - why this one and not that one? As with all other mysteries in life the Bible holds the key.

Again in Isaiah (55:9) he tells us, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."  1st John 5:14 says, "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us."  James 5:16 says, "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.  The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." 

So what did we learn here from scripture?
1. God sees the future in context with the present - we don't. He knows what is best for us - even if we don't like it - and that is his will for is.
2. We should respond to God in prayer acknowledging His will in the process - we should ask Him to respond to our prayers according to His will, not our own, knowing we don't know what He knows.
3. We must REALLY MEAN IT when we pray. Note that James uses the words 'fervent' and 'righteous' here. He wants us to know that God hears us when we pray with our whole heart and when we believe in He upon whom we entreat.
My husband David explains it like this...God is the PERFECT parent. Small kids who go to their parents and ask to be able to cook on the stove without supervision are not going to have their request granted. Parents know there's a risk to that behavior they're unwilling to accept, but children just understand that it looks fun and mom is mean. Our will as parents is the protection of our children, whether they understand our reasoning behind that will or not.In the end, however, prayer - our use of the practice and our response to His answers - will always be a matter of faith. 

As Paul explains in Hebrews 11:6,"But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."