Does Prayer Really Work???
I just returned from my Saturday visit with my beloved wife. We are just a few short hours away from the 2nd week after Kathy was struck with the CVA (stroke) on Sunday, April 29th. As you have read in this log of Kat and Mike’s journey together A.S. (After Stroke), we are amazed at her progress. The pictures below show Kat just hours before she was stricken and 4 weeks prior while she and I were celebrating our anniversary in Maine.
Last night and again tonight, Kat mentioned an incident in Scripture found in Mark 2:1-5. This is the account of the paralyzed man with the friends who took him to Jesus for healing but they couldn’t get to Christ because of the large crowd. So the cut a hole in the roof and lowered him down. Interestingly, v5 begins “(Jesus) seeing their faith …” [NLT] – notice it didn’t say, ‘seeing his faith’! The paralyzed man’s faith was probably included in the group who brought him to Jesus. The point is God honored those who had concern for their friend. This impressed Kat. She said that the many who have been and are praying for her are like those four friends of the paralyzed man and God is honoring those prayers with His answer.
So does prayer really work?I spoke with her around 9:30 am. She had just had breakfast and was about to be wheel down to PT/OT. Hey – she actually called me on my cell phone. Normally, an outside call from the hospital/rehab has to be collect or by calling card. When we bought our Cingular plan a while back, the only numbers we could get were Concord numbers. So my cell and hers are local to the HealthSouth Rehab! As I went to lunch at around 11:30, I noticed she had called back and left a message before she went to her lunch. She said at OT the therapist put pressure on her left hand (the side w/no movement) and Kat was able to push her arm away with her hand and arm all by herself! YES! GOD DOES HEAR AND ANSWER THE PRAYERS OF HIS BELOVED!
When I arrived after work and supper at home (thanks Gail! supper was great!), friends Bill, and Denise along with her brother Jon and nephew Paul were visiting. Earlier, Annie visited leaving Kat a copy of Bebo Norman’s new CD with the song “I Will Lift My Eyes” (the one I quoted from in an earlier post) on it! What a blessing – Thanks, Annie! And even earlier Kat’s older sister, Beth and Mom came for a visit. Kat recounted for me in front of her visitors that with her Mom and Beth down at PT, her new therapist told her ‘today you are going to walk’! Kat thought no way! Remember, the prayer of the many — and I mean many! Both here and some outside of the USA (we’ve heard from Korea, Sri Lanka, Canada and just today Costa Rica!). So the prayer of the many are being answered! Yes! Kat actually walked 15 feet today. With her Mom and sister as eyewitnesses, Kat put full weight on her left leg while hanging onto the rail on the wall and she began to take steps. She lifted her right leg and when it moved forward, she said she dragged her left foot forward and on and on. Beth was behind her with the wheel chair in case she couldn’t go any further but Kat did go the full distance only stopping once as she began to sob uncontrollably (she asked to sit while the tears flowed). The theapist asked if these were good tears and Kat told her that she had prayed and wished for this moment all week! Wonderfully, she went 15 tile squres (each representing 1 foot), so she walked 15 feet! Mom clapped for her daughter, as would have I had I been there. Later Kat and I inwardly clapped for our Lord with words of praise for what He has accomplished! So you see how she used Mark 2 as an illustration of people praying as if holding her up on a mat and placing her before the feet of Jesus seeking His empowerment on Kathy’s recovery!
YES! PRAYER REALLY WORKS! Kat and I have both asked God to use us as missionaries (both at Mike’s work and Kathy’s Rehab facility). Our friends from Costa Rica sent a beautiful flower arrangement to her room with an awesome note that the nurse read to Kat. It was moving! Later as I was getting ready to wheel my honey back to her room for the night, she and I visited, hugged, held each other and prayed together. While going back to her room, Nurse Sylvia (remember the blog post about Kathy falling on her nurse? This is her) said she saw us close together in the other room. She spoke of her own experience with her husband who suffered a stroke a year ago. In tears she told Kat how special it was to have a husband who stayed by her side. At this point, she and Kathy hugged each other. It was obvious, Sylvia supported her husband during his ordeal. We both spoke of the Lord’s goodness to us, etc.
We have impressed on our Sunday Night Gathering how vital it is to be missional within your sphere of influence. God has been answering us as we’ve seen opportunities to show Jesus’ love and power at my job and in her Rehab rooms! Thank you, Lord!
Kat said tonight she wanted some butterfly stationary (Beck … Kat said you will appreciate this!) — because she feels like she is a butterfly waiting to come out of the cacoon she’s locked in! WELL, GOD IS ANSWERING YOUR CRIES TO HIM IN PRAYER! Slowly but certainly, the butterfly is breaking out of the cacoon. Her physical confinement will soon give way to amazing things as she bursts forth with more movement. Both Kathy and I sense the strength, power, might and greatness of God and we believe it to be a direct result of prayer. I’ve been a minister of the gospel for nearly 30 years and I’ve spoken in faith about prayer power … but now I can tell you about prayer power by experience. We both agree with Philippians 4:13, “For I can do everything through Christ, Who gives me strength.” NLT
The journey is still upward … probably a long way from peaking, but we can see the peak! It’s a way off but close enough to say, “it’s there”! Stay tuned, each day gets better and better …