Saving Lives Through Prayer

After all the downer-posts I’ve recently shared, I felt compelled to offer up something a little brighter. Everyone has stories of praying for something only to one day have it come true. Here’s one of my favorites:

The backdrop:
I had a good friend who had three daughters.

For blogging purposes, I refer to everyone as a “good friend”, whether they were family or I barely knew them. It helps keep these stories anonymous.

When his girls were around one, three, and five years old, his wife died of cancer. He didn’t take it very well (as I can’t imagine any man would). Coupling an unimaginably devastating loss with his own pre-existing mental health troubles, the damage rippled into the girls’ lives, and they had… a tough time. That shaky homelife led to drugs, unplanned pregnancies, abusive relationships, financial troubles, homelessness. You get the idea. Looking back, I really think one could attribute probably all of their downfall to the loss of their mother.

Fast forward many years:
I was about 20 and in a great relationship with a girl from college. In one of our conversations, she told me that her aunt was in a coma, and had been for some time. The doctors didn’t have much hope for her as the nature of her injuries implied that her brain would never function the same again. And of course, the family was running out of resources. So at this point, everyone was talking about withdrawing life support (i.e. pulling the plug), and due to this woman’s injuries, that meant she would die. The kicker? The aunt had a husband and three young girls: two, four, and six years old.

As soon as I heard this, I thought about my friend’s daughters, and my heart sank. I was standing near the starting line, watching as another group of runners took their marks in a race that led straight off a cliff.

Obviously, I couldn’t offer any medical or financial support, and I didn’t even know the family to offer any type of encouragement. So I did the only think I could think of: I prayed. Several times a day, for three days.

Now, I pray a few times a day no matter what. Once in the morning, at night, at meals, and occasionally throughout the day. But, when I prayed for my girlfriend’s aunt, it was… different. The best way to describe it would be that if my normal prayers were like conversations with amiable coworkers, praying for the aunt was more like telling a rescue worker how your leg is stuck as the cave you’re in fills with water. More important. More serious. More I don’t know how, but please.

And I remember very clearly what I prayed for: that the lives of these three girls would somehow be better than the lives of my friend’s daughters. Not that she’d wake up. Not that her brain function would return. Not that her husband would find a suitable replacement. Only that her kids would be okay.

Three days later I got the call from my girlfriend.

The decision had been made to take her aunt off life support, which, in the case of this woman, meant that she’d soon die. On the day that the family was preparing to be the last, they got a call from the doctor. The aunt had come out of her coma. And more amazingly, with 100% of her brain functionality. No loss of speech, memory, or motor skills. She was… healed.

This wasn’t a case of “Oops, we misdiagnosed your illness… turns out, you’re not sick.” No, this was a woman with severe head trauma and a carefully thought-out assessment that her quality of life (if, indeed, she had any life at all) would never be the same. The family and the doctors were ready to admit that everything they were trying was futile, and the most “humane” thing to do would be to give up.

And yet, nothing is impossible for God.
I share this story not because I had any real part in saving anyone. I was little more than the bystander who called 911. (Or, in this case “2046”. Look at it on your phone.) I share it as testimony that when you pray for something, God hears you. And His answer is always, “yes.”

Where people seem to struggle, though, is when God says, “yes, but not in that way.” Or, “yes, but you’re not ready for it right now.” He knows your needs, and He knows what will truly make you truly happy. (<- not a typo.) Trust Him.

When you need the impossible, ask God to help in whatever way He sees fit. Then (the hard part), know that He’s heard your prayer, and open your life to let His solution work within your life.

You’ll find that one of two things will happen: He’ll either calm the storm or allow the storm to rage on while He calms you.

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