Healing Through Prayer
We never know how God will answer our prayers, but we can expect that He will get us involved in His plan for the answer. If we are true intercessors, we must be ready to take part in God’s work on behalf of the people for whom we pray.— Corrie ten Boom
My Precious Girl (on the right) with Her Cousin
Believing in the power of prayer and even discussing the topic can often spark conversations that may become a bit heated.
Trusting in prayer is a leap for sure. How can conversation with an unseen Power bring change to our lives?
I cannot answer that fully for anyone else. For me, it has always hinged on giving up MY will and asking for guidance and direction.
I can only say that I have experienced what prayer can mean for lives.
When doctors have said and continue to say "The only reason you are here can be explained only by a miracle" then surely we know that prayer has turned things around.
Prayer produces miracles. Trusting that God knows what His plan is for our lives and that He will answer prayer according to those plans is our challenge.
The key is understanding that trusting is asked of us...letting go and letting God.
And yes, we sometimes do not find the answer to the prayer that we may want.
Later on, many times we find that the answer came as it did was the one that should have come despite our reluctance to accept it at the time.
And I cannot explain nor will I try nor will I try to justify the horrible things that we wish would not happen. I do know there that evil is real and it is does find its way into our lives if we allow it.
I have learned to be thankful for the times God says 'yes'.
Thankful, blessed, and trusting that praying and praising God keeps miracles coming for my girl and for my grandson too...He is now 20 and we were told so many times that he would never be six, or nine, or 13...God is good!!!(I felt it is appropriate to share this with you at the beginning of this hub even though some of it is mentioned as the hub progresses...call is a prologue if you will.) Prayers and Angels are on the way to each of you.
"You really shouldn't be here, you know."
For fourteen years, my daughter has fought cancer. She (and we) have been to the depths of despair as she struggled to fight of each new assault...as her organs are affected so greatly. but we continue to get up every single day and say 'thank you, thank you...one more day to embrace and share our joy."
Doctors have said to her down through the years, "You really should not be here, you know" as they had predicted many years ago that the cancer would cause her demise rapidly and soon. That was over 7 years ago now.Thankful, blessed, and trusting that praying and praising God keeps miracles coming for my girl and for my grandson too...He is now 20 and we were told so many times that he would never be six, or nine, or 13...God is good!!!
(I felt it is appropriate to share this with you at the beginning of this hub even though some of it is mentioned as the hub progresses...call is a prologue if you will.) Prayers and Angels are on the way to each of you.
Josh's song that follows says so well why I have tried to say.
Tears of joy find their way from my heart as I listen to his song of thankfulness.
Does the power of prayers serve to help heal those who are ill?
It depends on who you ask. For those of us who have experienced and continue to experience the power of prayer, it is clear that prayer does hasten healing and staves off the effects of catastrophic illness. Additionally, curative power from prayer is real.
Be careful what you wish for may also extend to prayer. Be careful how you pray and for what you pray. Some of us pray and pray and when the answer that comes is not the one we want, we explain it away sometimes in anger that God did not answer us.
My belief is that if we have chosen to believe in God and His power in our lives then it follows that we will trust that He knows His plan for our lives. If a prayer is answered and the answer is not the one we wanted to hear, it is my belief that another better plan is underway for our lives.
It is important for me to say that I do not believe that God allows or in some way brings bad things to our lives. It seems to me they are just a part of our existence on the planet. Challenges befall us and we figure out how to handle those.
Sound of an Angel---instrumental music that speaks to our soul
A Little History
Life comes at us barreling its way into our world with no warning. One day all will be bouncing along one thing falling into place after another and then BAMMMMMMMMMMM, it hits. Some type of disaster
For purposes of this article, catastrophic illness will be the focus.
From the time my eldest grandson was born he had ongoing illnesses. Most of them were respiratory disease until he was about 4. During the year he was four, he began to have sores in his mouth and other parts of his body. The sores were large open wounds not unlike canker sores. His mouth and throat would be filled with them. So many that he was unable to eat. It was too painful.
His mother and I would take turns holding him in our arms and would feed him with an eye dropper. One little dribble of liquid at a time.
We went to the doctor often and usually she would decide to put him in the hospital. Usually accompanying the sores would be a respiratory flare up. The doctor had never seen a child with these symptoms so she really seemed to be unsure of what medical treatment to pursue. So, he would be shuffled off to the hospital where invariably he got worse because it was not a sterile environment.
The Beginning of Discovery
Finally after one particularly difficult stay in the hospital with raging fever and pain exploding, I said, “We need another opinion. I will pay for you to go to get him checked out by another doctor.”
At the time I was not a woman of independent means so when I said what I did to my daughter I was unsure of how I would carry it off.
The truism, ‘where there is a will, there is a way’ is especially apropos in this case. The money was there to cover the doctor visit and it was the beginning of discovery. We were on the road to finding out what was causing these flare ups.
After several months and relocating back to Florida from Georgia, my sweet grandson was finally diagnosed with Bechet’s syndrome which is a complex disorder often classed in the cancer family for lack of a better place to put it. It is rare and vicious and receives little attention in the field of medicine. The prognosis for those who suffer with it is often grim.
Newness of Prayers
At the time of his diagnosis, our praying took on a newness. We began to pray for healing. We prayed more specifically for healing than we had in the past. We had mumbled some words I suppose asking God to please watch over him and keep safe and free from pain.
But now we could ask for a way to live with this disease . It was after all a disease that affected all three of us. We asked that my grandson be able to push each day through the pain that haunted him. We asked for the wisdom to care for him each day. We asked that the doctors and other medical professionals find a way to offer comfort and healing to him as well.
We asked others to pray for him. Those that I worked with were all asked to pray for him. We spoke of our prayers to the doctors who took care of him. Anyone who seemed interested in his care was asked to pray.
We learned to:
- pray specifically for healing
- pray specifically for an aspect of the healing: relief of pain, less need for medications, fewer side effects from medications, the healing power of medications, the wisdom of the doctors
- pray for the person or person who will receive prayer by name
- offer prayers of thanksgiving
The doctors warned us, cautioned us, that he would not see his sixth birthday. The disease would progress and he would not survive. The prayers continued.
After his sixth birthday, again, the admonition that surely he would never be 8. And through many gut wrenching hours of painful tests and medications, he lived on. He was 8 and we rejoiced. But, again, 13 was definitely the year that he would succumb were the foreboding words we heard.
By this time, we knew that God was in control and that prayers were the factor that was and is making a difference in his life. Continuing to pray and to ask others to pray we believed that prayer was making a difference.
This is a good day....
A baby brother was born. We again had been told neither he nor his Momma would suvive the birth. He is two now and he shares the planet with his special brother and Momma.
The Power of Prayer Unleashed
During the year that he turned eight, his Mother, my daughter, was diagnosed with cancer. Our plate overflowed. But our faith did not waver. I can tell you that we never questioned why. My reply to those who would ask why was and is: Why not us? Everyone has mountains that unexpectedly position themselves right smack dab in the middle of our lives. You have a choice.
I have said this before: choose to give up and give in or choose to live. Live through the pain and the misery and the fear. And, pray.
So now our prayers were for both of them.
My grandson has continued to battle this insidious disease that steals whole chunks of a life. He is now seventeen and continues to face the onslaught of sores and respiratory illness but he is on the planet.
His Mother’s cancer spread throughout her whole body and she was told five years ago ‘to party like a rock star’ because her days were numbered.
Prayers surround us. Though time and distance separate us, many continue their prayers for our loved ones.
When my daughter goes in to the doctor they often have said to her,” You arent’ supposed to be here you know.”
And she just smiles and says, ‘but I am here. We pray.”
Several of her doctors have told her there is no way to explain her not having succumbed to her illnesses except through miracles. And as I have stated previously, miracles are from God. And in our family we have received those miracles through prayer.
The question of whether prayers causes healing for me is easily answered for me. I truly believe in the power of prayer. My first real experience with it was when my friend in Okinawa was medevaced to Fitzsimmons in Colorado. She was near death due to kidney failure in one of her kidneys. I asked for prayers for her healing from those who I knew there in japan where I was living at the time and sent prayer requests stateside. She had a difficult journey but she is alive and well today.
For those who do not know the power of prayer may I suggest that you give it try. God is always there listening and waiting. Being able to give up our concerns and worries to Him lightens our load and takes us to another level of oneness with our creator.
An interesting article in the New York Times discusses the whole issue of prayer and the controversy surrounding it. It is an article which will inflame some and reaffirm what others believe.
In one portion of the article, it is reported that " ... Dr. Randolph Byrd, a San Francisco cardiologist, had groups of born-again Christians pray for 192 of 393 patients being treated at the coronary care unit of San Francisco General Hospital. In 1988, Dr. Byrd reported in The Southern Medical Journal, a peer-reviewed publication of the Southern Medical Association, that the patients who were prayed for did better on several measures of health, including the need for drugs and breathing assistance.
At the end of the paper, Dr. Byrd wrote, "I thank God for responding to the many prayers made on behalf of the patients."
Powerful words from this man of medicine and science.
"The value of consistent prayer is not that He will hear us, but that we will hear Him."
Let go and Let God....
There is no doubt in my mind that prayer is a powerful way that those who are ill can find healing. Be ready to receive that healing power. Fervent prayer offered sincerely and specifically may offer the healing benefits that we desire.
I can only speak of my personal experience. Others have spoken to me about their experiences with the healing power of prayer and have told of similar results.
We continue to pray and so many we know throughout our country continue to pray for them and for each of us. We offer many prayers of thanskgiving. Thankful that we have today to celebrate and enjoy and marvel at the simple things in life. Our whole value system changed through this journey. One purpose I had in writing this was to let those of you out there who find yourself traveling a similar path as our, just know there is hope and healing power through prayer.
The first time I prayed the words...Lord, let thy will be done was extremely difficult for me. It was when my father had a series of mini-strokes about 5 years before his death. It was uncertain whether he would ever be the same. But I prayed those words knowing that I needed to trust God would be there to carry me through the tough patches. And He has been and continues to be. My Father did live for five more years and I have often said that God was so kind to me. He gave me time to get ready for his death. I wasn't ready when he first became ill. I wasn't ready when he finally did die but I was able to accept and absorb it far better than I would have been able to before that time.
And, since that time "Lord, let thy will be done" are words which often are shared when I am communing with the Lord.