Friday, September 21, 2012

The POWER of prayer

 A friend and I were discussing the power of prayer yesterday.  We both agreed that it is powerful beyond anything we can truly wrap our heads around.  The Bible tells us that God hears ALL of our prayers and answers them in His perfect timing.  I see my prayers answered daily.  I see the health of our family, I see the safety we are provided, I see the love my children share with each other and with strangers, and I see illnesses healed.  

I would like to share one answered prayer with you in particular.  It moved me, knocked me over really, when it happened.  The magnitude of God's answer has as much power over me today as it did the second it took place.  I still get chills and tears when I tell it.  

A month or so before my youngest, Luke, started kindergarten (he is now in 4th grade) I found a lump in his neck.  I was sitting on the stairs with him in my lap.  He was leaning back and I was tickling and kissing his sweet neck.  I had my husband feel it so he could determine what it was.  (Thankfully, he is a PA.  His expertise comes in quite handy for me and my friends!)  He looked puzzled when he felt it and told me he wasn't sure what it was.  He told me to take him to the pediatrician.  It was determined that it was a thyroglossal duct cyst and would need to be surgically removed.  Our family was no stranger to surgery.  You see, when our oldest was 6 months and 4 years old he had heart surgery.  Needless to say, the word "surgery" causes my stomach to tighten up.

We met with a surgeon and were told that it wasn't an emergency, but we did need to schedule a date so it could be removed.  We decided to have it removed the week after Thanksgiving.  We wanted him to be able to acclimate to kindergarten before dealing with a surgery.  

The day of the surgery arrived and I was nauseous beyond belief.  Handing my child over to have a surgery is always tough for me.  I worry about his safety.  Will the people taking care of him love him like we do?  Will they be gentle with him?  Mostly, will he be ok?  Will he be in pain when he wakes up?  Will he be afraid if he awakes without his mom and dad right by his side?  The surgery went fine, but the surgeon told us that the cyst appeared to be a bit infected.  He would put Luke on some heavy duty antibiotics and he should be good to go.  Unfortunately, due to the infection, the cyst came back within a few weeks.  Apparently, if even the tiniest of cells is not removed the cyst will grow back.  

Luke had his second surgery two days after his sixth birthday in February.  This surgery was a bit of an emergency because it became pretty infected very quickly.  I hated that my child would have to suffer through recovery once again.  Because the incision was on his neck, it hurt to swallow, turn his head, talk, laugh, etc, etc, etc.... Once again, we were told the surgery went well and the surgeon was postitive everything had been removed.  He used wide borders and cleaned the area up very well.

Within weeks, his neck swelled up to about the size of half an egg.  I was heart broken.  I knew we were greatly blessed because our child didn't have a life threatening illness, but it still hurt this mama's heart to see her baby in pain.  I, of course, had been praying for him throughout the whole experience, but I bumped it up and began laying my hands on him while he was sleeping and praying for God to take this from him.  I prayed 2 Corinthians 5:7...For we walk by faith, not by sight over him.  Regardless of what his neck looked like, I knew God could do anything He wanted.  I prayed that God would heal him in such a way that we would visibly see the healing take place.  I prayed without ceasing.  I prayed at the grocery store, during my workout, as I was cleaning house.  My heart and soul were always thinking about my sweet, little innocent six year old.  This lasted for a couple of weeks. 

Onc morning Luke woke up for school and came downstairs with fluid running down his neck.  I would wipe it and it would just continue to flow.  My husband called the surgeon's office and we were told to go the hospital and the surgeon would meet with us between cases.  A peace washed over me like I have never felt before.  I knew without a doubt that God was doing exactly what I had prayed for.  I literally felt a huge weight being lifted off of our family.  The surgeon was completely baffled.  He had no explanation for what was happening to our child.  He called a neck specialist and sent us right over.  The neck specialist, too, was baffled.  He could not understand what was going on.  He finally said to us, "Well, I have no idea what is happening, but I can assure you the cyst will be back and require surgical removal."  I calmy (and very happily) said to him, "No, it is over.  The Lord has healed him just as we asked."  He looked oddly at me and I remember thinking -you just watch, we won't ever be back in this office. 

My sweet boy's neck never needed another surgery.  The Lord healed him just as I had prayed. The power of prayer is amazing!!  I am not glad that my child suffered, but I am happy to be able to share God's glory with anyone who will listen. My hope is that prayer never becomes just something we do.  May it always be something that we are.  May it comfort us, thrill us, and carry us.  May we know without a doubt that God hears every single one of our prayers.  There is no prayer too smalll for His ears.  He desires for us to approach Him with open hearts.  Prayer should come from our hearts.  It certainly doesn't need to be wordy or scholarly.  Remember, God created you.  He knows exactly how you think and He wants you to come as you are.  Just as our children's voices are precious to us, so are our voices precious to Him.