Psalm 17:6 I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer.
St. Luke’s now has a blog called “Me and My House” which offers great tips about how to raise up your children in the faith; it’s linked to our local paper, The Houston Chronicle, and can be seen on its website, chron.com. Sometimes this blog is featured in the print version of the paper. (it can also be read on the St. Luke’s website stlukesmethodist.org.)
One recent post is by our senior pastor, Dr. Tom Pace, regarding how his prayer life was re-focused by the intentional prayers of one particular gentleman who deliberately prayed for Tom’s eldest daughter by name twice a day as she transitioned from their old church family into their new one.
Tom said that it brought him up short when he realized that he didn’t specifically pray for his own family and others by name, and he vowed to correct his habits.
This admission only made me nod my head ruefully as I realized that my own prayer life is lacking discipline and FOCUS. Recently, I got an e-mail prayer guide that is specific to those who are experiencing health problems. It is very long, but it is worth reading IF you have someone who needs these particular healing prayers. If not, then I’ll see you next week…
We do not know what the future holds…and we are bombarded constantly with situations that cause us to be anxious. I have a friend who is going in for outpatient surgery on Friday….she asked me to pray for her…not because she is scared about what is to come but because in her mind, anxiousness begins to mount up when she begins to think about the anesthesia.
I can so see that….because anesthesia puts your body in a designated “sleep” mode and an experienced anesthesiologist is the vital beginning to the success of the surgery. He/she has been trained to know just how long that sleep mode is to be in effect and how much of the drug it takes to shut down the mind from telling the body to be in response gear.
It really is amazing how, on an everyday basis, there are experienced professionals who literally have others’ lives in their hands. What a tremendous responsibility they carry as they go about their routine profession. And what tremendous trust we, as patients, have to rely on their knowledge.
But as I was thinking about my friend…and the thoughts that are fluttering around in her mind…I tried to go to a place where I could relate. And though it has been many years ago… I still remember the times when I was admitted to the hospital to have children. For although the surgeries are different, the anesthesia in each situation plays an integral part in control and comfort of a body. And there is something uneasy about someone else directing and controlling the natural generated energy that we produce.
But in order for doctors to be able to make adjustments necessary for a healthy body, we have to put our trust in a process that begins with the knowledge and experience of the anesthesiologist.
So I come back to how do I ‘specifically’ pray her through this?
I start off by telling God (out loud) what he already knows…is in my heart….and why I have come to this throne room!
1) God thank you for her life, her friendship, and the precious way that we are able to share our love for the Lord.
2) God you know her heart….and you know when and why her anxiousness has surfaced and from where it originated.
3) God I need your help….for my friend.
and then I start asking….knowing and trusting that God is listening and he hears my prayers…and that they will be answered….
4) God please give her a peace that transcends all the emotions and the uneasy thoughts that the mind had conjured up.
5) God please let her rest in the faith that she has that you are in control of her body and that you will oversee the procedure that is upon her.
6) Guide the hands of the anesthesiologist and also the doctors….and give him/her the knowledge and wisdom to do a perfect job in each of their roles.
7) Cover her body in your protection…so that all of this procedure from beginning til end will be guided by you through the masterful hands of those who you have allowed to be her caring professionals.
8) Send your angels to be at her side…and let them administer a spiritual comfort that gives her a confidence that puts her mind and body at rest.
9) Remind her Lord that our minds only can activate one thought at a time and let her thoughts be on you, and her grand babies, and those things that bring her such joy.
10) And finally Lord, please restore her body to a healthy state.
It is in the mighty, holy, healing name of Jesus that I offer these prayers. Amen
I send you this prayer knowing that many of you, too, are praying for loved ones who might not be struggling through medical issues but may be juggling other situations that are causing them great anxiety. I urge you this morning, to call them out loud, by name and offer maybe this prayer or one that is similar unto the Lord. He does hear our prayers, everyone of them.
And he is not only the master of all things but also the wise one who oversees all things….he knows what it is that you or someone else needs before we ever even identify it. And I know the out loud thing is a little daunting…but there is something about hearing yourself in your own voice giving whatever is on your heart to the Lord that seems to make your request more real….or at least it does for me.
Psalm 27:7 Hear my voice when I call, O LORD; be merciful to me and answer me.
There is not one particular way to pray….God knows the voice of his children….and he hears and listens to our cries for His help….we must trust Him at all times and through all circumstances no matter how bleak or how dark the clouds seem to be making the skies…the Son can and does always see through them….and will help us to see through them as well. Lift your eyes to the Lord and he will get you through whatever it is your are facing…but we must remember it is on his timetable …not ours!
Dear Lord, Thank you for your ever present companionship and friendship. Help us, when our thoughts turn to anxiousness, and fear slips in through the cracks of our hearts, to turn our thoughts back to you and the reality that nothing is going to happen today or any day without your knowledge of it. You are there to guide us, and lift us up and out and to protect us…all we must do is have a true and faithful trust in who you are, what you have done and what you are doing now and what you are to do… Amen
Praise God wherever you are and whatever situation He has allowed you to be in . . . His glory will shine through!
Me again: I have used this prayer guide now for several friends who are in need of healing prayers, and although it may feel awkward at first to refer to these written steps, it does come naturally after practice. All I can do now is hope that my very specific prayers are being heard; hope springs eternal, and that is what we all need to carry on.
In closing, my dear friend Ginny recently asked about my own diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis, which pales in comparison to other diagnoses, and which is why I don’t even think to pray about my own health issues. I let her know that my prescribed medications seemed to be working for the most part, but that the ring finger on my right hand was still a little stiff.
Talk about specific and focused prayer! This is what Ginny replied: “I am so happy to hear you have no side effects from the medication-your fourth finger will be in my prayers! Keep me posted-Love, G.”
You know what? I think it’s working! Praise God, and thank you, dear Ginny, for your prayers.