Click here for an update.
How often do you tell people, “I’ll be praying for you” and then forget completely about it once they’re not in front of you? I know with me it happens more than I’d like to admit. I sometimes wonder about my faith in prayer because of how infrequently I remember to place the cares and concerns that weigh me down into God’s hands. It’s like prayer has become a last resort: “Well, I guess all I can do is pray.”
“Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:13-16 (emphasis mine)
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
They’ve become catch phrases to me, instead of powerful reminders of the importance of bringing people and situations before the presence of God. I still struggle to understand the balance between praying for what I want to happen and praying for God’s will to be done. Ultimately I always want God’s will to be done…
but what if His will doesn’t cause things to turn out the way I expect them to?
What if His will doesn’t make any sense to me?
I know in my head that God’s will for us is perfect and that He works out all things for the good of those who are living according to His will. It’s the living it out and turning to Him that isn’t always so easy. This weekend I really struggled with it.
She is one of the most important people in my life…and right now she’s in the hospital. She has myelodysplastic syndrome, which is a fancy name for pre-leukemia.
Ten years ago she beat all the odds against her and became a cancer survivor. Late last year, during a regular check-up they discovered that her blood cell counts were dangerously low.
For the last few months she has undergone chemotherapy treatment, blood transfusions, painful bone marrow biopsies and feared going into public because of her inability to fight off disease and infection. She has already had multiple hospital visits and her current hospital stay length is undetermined – they won’t discharge her till her white count is 500; it’s at 48 right now.
Being 1500 miles away it’s easy to forget the severity of the situation. During her first bout of cancer I lived with my grandparents. I was there to sit with my grandma during the day. I was there to talk with my grandpa about his fears and concerns and confusion about what the right treatment option was. I was there…
I wish I was there. I don’t want to feel useless. I want to fight alongside her. But I can’t be. So I pray…
- That her body would begin to produce enough healthy blood cells so that she can leave the hospital and be considered a candidate for a bone marrow transplant.
- That the bone marrow transplant, once allowed, would go smoothly and that her body would accept the donor marrow. Her brother has been determined a great candidate and they’re both just waiting on the green light from her doctor.
- That she would be able to endure the difficult recovery process following a bone marrow transplant: 1 month in the hospital and 3 months living near the hospital so she’s accessible for the constant monitoring necessary after the transplant.
- That she and my grandpa would feel peace regarding the decisions they’re making, along with their doctor’s help. That they would have hope for the future and a full recovery. That they would not be overcome with discouragement, fear, hopelessness or depression in the face of all the difficult statistics and information they are constantly receiving.
- Lastly, for my family in Washington who are doing so much to support and take care of my grandparents as they’re dealing with this illness. For their relationships, finances, personal health, and the other responsibilities they have to deal with throughout their days.
Thank you for your prayers and support for my grandma and I am believing that God can and will heal her from this just as He did before. Like the father in Mark 9, I’m crying out to God: “I do believe; help my unbelief.”