Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Prayer Is Powerful

I think one of the worst effects on me being raised "Christian" is that I quickly developed a capacity to judge others and take pride in my own "righteousness". One of the ways that I quickly grew frustrated with others was in praying for one another. Whenever in a class setting sharing prayer requests or in a small group or just with another person, I would become frustrated with others' lack of transparency to their spiritual struggles, especially when their prayer requests were strictly health related. It struck me that health is an easy prayer request, a safe thing to share, as opposed to say a struggle with pornography or revenge. Well, I'm stupid. I've never dealt with deteriorating health in myself or someone close to me. I've never been scared out of my mind about something beyond my control like that. Until now.

David's mother is sacrificially loving of her children. She is kind and generous. She has the gift of hospitality and can make anyone feel welcome and like part of their family. Even though we're not related and I've only known her for a couple years, she has daily prayed for me and my family. She lifts up my relationship with David. She calls me on special occasions like birthdays and graduation.

Today, she had four grapefruit sized cysts removed. It is a terrifying feeling to know that she could have died on the table. The cysts could have been cancerous and rupturing one would cause more to spread. There could have been any number of complications with the removal or the accompanying hysterectomy. And I became one of those people begging for prayer for a health related concern- not because I don't have other spiritual battles raging- but because Mrs Valdez's life just took top priority. And the stress accompanying sickness and surrendering notions of control in such a situation only exacerbates stresses from other areas of life.

Dealing with sickness has taught me how hard it is to live out my belief that fear is a lack of faith. I wholly believe in the power of God to heal and in His power to save. I am deeply reverent in God's hand of control over all situations. However, in the light of situations where my beliefs are put to the test I've gained a better understanding of what scripture calls for.

I wanted to publicly confess my sinful attitude and to also say thank you to all of those who lifted her up in prayer before her procedure and now as she's recovering. The procedure went well. Although there were complications, the surgeons were able to completely remove the large cysts. They said that they don't appear to be cancerous, but they will do a biopsy to check. They've left two small cysts in her liver which also do not appear cancerous, but will continue to monitor them. I truly believe that the prayers lifted up, interceding on her behalf, made a difference.

‎"Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies." Psalm 103:1-4

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