God Answers Prayer
Wednesday, 5 December 2012
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for praying for me. I went into hospital on 19 November to have surgery to reconstruct my right shoulder. I firmly believe that the reason that I have made a good progress since then is because of your prayers. I hope you find this encouraging.
My start in the ward was not particularly encouraging. I had only shortly arrived when a man clenched his large fist and threatened to knock my ****** head off! When he offered to do the same to two other men in the ward I realised it probably had little to do with me. The first night was distinctly lively and the man had informed us it would be the longest ******* night we would ever experience. He was not wrong.
As time went by I got chatting to this man. As I got to know him better I discovered he was depressed because no one came to visit him during visiting time. (Hardly surprising given his level of aggression). Maggie went over and chatted to him on the second visiting time as did the relatives of some of the other men and he really appreciated that. I also discovered that he was beginning to give up and was wondering when he would get out of hospital. But because you were praying for me, through the long hours of the night and beyond, I was able to pray for the needy men around me and especially for this man ... that God would reach out to them.
In answer to prayer the second night was a complete contrast and far more peaceful. Apart from one hiccup, the man had a better night and felt better. As I lay there thanking God for answered prayer I thought God should be getting the credit for this. Eventually I plucked up enough courage to go over to this man and to explain to him that I had prayed for him and his recovery. His face lit up and he pulled out a little wooden crucifix which the hospital chaplain had given him and he told me that the chaplain had prayed for the healing of his leg. He thanked me profusely but seemed to think I was responsible for his feeling better. I tried to explain that it was the ‘man upstairs’ who had done it. I could see he was beginning to understand this. I was giving one of my neatly packaged theological explantations that God didn’t always answer prayer in the way we expected. It was either then or a short time afterwards that a member of the medical staff came along and said to this man, “You are going home tomorrow”. (He had been in the ward for almost four weeks and this was in a ward where there was rapid turnover.) This was too much for him. He started shouting, “Jesus has healed me! Jesus is wonderful!” I can’t imagine what the other men in the ward thought! But this man didn’t care. I found it most moving. Here was a man who a few hours before had been effing and blinding who was now praising God and giving credit where it was due.
And why do I tell you all of this? It is because I firmly believe that because you were so faithful in praying for me, that God’s love was freed up to work in that ward and reach out to those needy men. This is the power of prayer. We have a mighty God who is faithful to him promises and who hears the cry of his people. Keep praying and thank you.