About four years ago I lost my brother Allen to cancer. Long before his illness, Allen worked daily to achieve the mind of Christ. Directly following his diagnosis a massive prayer effort developed. A daily prayer with relevant scripture was sent via email to thousands…this internet prayer movement was the forerunner to the current Stepping Stones Daily devotional.
When a loved one falls gravely ill, it’s a natural response to pray for their healing…at times, I almost demanded his healing from God, citing scripture about Jesus the healer…about “ask and you shall receive”. For the entire 22 months he battled this awful disease, Allen and his family believed he would be healed. We were pounding prayers to heaven requesting and often demanding Allen’s healing.
I know we missed the mark with our prayers for Allen.
How presumptuous we were. We actually believed we could change God’s mind and plan for Allen. I believe now, based on my learning, growth, and the perspective of other Christians, we should have been praying to align ourselves with the will of God. To pray that God’s wisdom, comfort, and peace are received by Allen and his family…and for us , too. And ultimately, to pray that we lessen our grip on needing Allen to be cured and strengthen our grip on being close to our Lord. This allows us to release Allen into God’s care, keeping, timing, and plan.
While Allen agonized over leaving his wife and 5 children here on earth, in the end, Allen was excited about meeting his Lord and God. In fact, he was ready, as he certainly was as prepared as anyone could be to meet his Father, our Creator.
The prayer movement took on a life of it’s own. Bringing prayer and the Word of God to so many who had never prayed before, as it truly changed many lives. People actually came to accept Christ as their Savior as God worked on their heart through these prayers. Allen would love to read the responses that came in from the prayer group, and he said before he died; “If somehow my illness delivers even one soul to God…it’s all been worth it.”
Today, think about yourself or someone who is ill now or was in the past. What did you pray for and what should you be praying for? It is so hard for us, when we are in pain or see others in pain, to still keep our eyes fixed on God and obedient to His plan. Ask yourself, “How, through this stressor, can I see the opportunity God has presented for me to see Him more clearly, and for others to see Him through me more clearly?” That question should guide some of your prayers through that trying time.
Dear Father God, I pray today for all the sick and injured loved ones and friends of this Stepping Stones prayer community. I pray that you infuse the sick with Your Holy Spirit to give them hope and strength. I ask Your peace and comfort You offer to them to be received in full. , that they might have spiritual and psychological relief during their physical struggle. I pray, Father, that they seek to understand and align their thoughts and prayers with Your Will and Your timing…for Your timing is perfect, Father. I pray that You will reveal to those suffering, as well as their caregivers, the meaning and purpose of these trials. I pray, Father, that You guide the minds and hands of all the medical professionals so that they do Your work as they apply their skills to the sick and injured. Help those who are terminally ill to understand that Your healing for them may in fact be delivered on the other side of this temporal life. Help them and all of us believe in You so that we will see Your glory. I pray this in the name of our healing savior Jesus Christ; and all God’s people said – AMEN!
Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.