Shawn in the hospital with allergies/asthma June 2015
Did you ever get a thought in your head that you know must have come from God because it was way too complex to be your own?
Here’s something I thought of recently that came to mind when I was discussing the frequency of prayer on social media with a friend. After hearing some thoughts from a non-believer about how crazy it is that prayer can help people to heal, I thought about what it must look like to a non-believer. I thought about how desperately I have needed prayer at times, and it dawned on me… God does not need us to pray in order to act on our behalf! Ofcourse! God does not need us to do anything to perform miracles or to heal the sick or to breathe life into someone whom all the doctors said would never make it! I heard something once about the power of prayer regarding innocent people who were in a horrible accident… and it really got me thinking. Some people pray for miracles, thinking that their prayer may be what turns around a situation, that they need to tell God detailed instructions about how to revive a child with cancer if God doesn’t save him. (I am speaking to myself here now 🙂 It’s not as simple as God sitting up in heaven thinking “I’d better see how many people pray for this poor child, so I know whether to save him or not” – how heartless and cold would that be? Why would God need us to pray for action, when He is all-powerful? That makes no sense. What he wants, is for us to get closer to Him, and closer to each other during hard times, regardless of the outcome.
God’s word says that we are the hands and feet of the body of Christ, right? That would mean that He wants a group of people and a community to be supportive of the family that is hurting no matter what happens. We don’t know why certain people die and certain people are healed and made new. That’s on a need to know basis and we don’t need to know. As Christians, we trust that there is an overall reason for good and bad that it is bigger than us, and that is what drives us to hold on to our faith, to hold on to God and to each other.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to say that prayer can’t change things, because it can. It’s just more about how we respond to these situations, I believe. Many people in the bible prayed for miracles. Some saw those miracles come to pass, and others did not. My husband was in a rollover car accident awhile back that could have very easily been fatal, but he screamed “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!” while he was rolling over and over. He and his friend in the car came out fine. Since that day, I can tell that his faith in God has grown leaps and bounds. It’s like a time-tested, weather warn relationship – it fits just right!
As a mother who has brought a baby/toddler to the hospital twice, seen my school age child get emergency stitches, and gone into the emergency room twice myself, I know the power of prayer on a personal level. My prayers and the prayers of my family, friends, and church family, are what kept me going through those horrible times. Without God and without prayer and faith, I don’t know how I would make it. God knows that we are weak and frail, and that we need Him. He gave us prayer for us, not for Him. If we had the power to heal ourselves without reaching out to God, there would be so many people who would have never turned to God and never been saved! There would be so many testimonies left untold, so many families left alone without support, so many lonely patients without hope. Thank God, that we need Him!
Take a look at how James tells the sick to call on the elders of the church to pray for him/her. He doesn’t say to tell the sick to stay home alone in bed and wait it out. He steers the sick toward the body of the church – the other believers – those that would comfort him/her, bring casseroles, bring hugs, bring common prayers, and come together with the common prayer for healing!
James 5:14-16 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another,that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.