About 6 months ago, I had a leading to begin to pray with a friend weekly for her mother’s health. My friend’s mother had been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease and I felt such a burden for her. And so, we began praying every Sunday evening for healing. When we started, I felt so strongly that before the end of the year, she will be healed and there will a miracle. Our spirits were up and so hopeful, but as we got into the third month with no clear or visible signs, the doubt started to creep in.
The question on both our minds was when we would stop praying and see the physical manifestation of the healing. I recall one evening when my friend told me she was trying hard not to be despondent about the situation and I tried to encourage her with words from the Bible, which I just conjured to give some hope. While we religiously continued praying, I thought so much about the efficacy of prayer – could it bring about the healing we wanted to see. I was looking for answers.
In my quest for answers, I asked a certain religious leader about it, and she told me that most times in the issue of healing, one had to have some form of “jurisdiction” over the person who is being prayed for, for effective prayers. I had to have some sort of personal relationship with the subject. She went on to explain that I wasn’t sure what sort of words the person who was being prayed for had spoken in terms of the illness (which could be contrary to what I was praying about), I should just thank God for healing. I was not satisfied, because I knew God’s will for everyone is to prosper and be in health.
My best friend has also been recurrently ill in recent months too. As we got closer to the source of the illness in recent days, he says he is overwhelmed with dread and dreary aloneness, of his nightmarish fear about the possibility of incapacity or death if a miracle is delayed. Every day, there are shrieking pangs, and beyond the physiological demands are the emotional tolls of fighting alone and the frightening reality that he is just a tiny speck in the vast daily motions and actions of men. For while he grapples with his pain, people must face, and continue to fight, their own daily battles. Wellness cannot come any faster!
As I write, I think of Abraham who must have prayed for decades for just one son – the son of promise. I believe people would have given him various hypotheses about whether his prayer would be answered or not, especially because the physical manifestation was not yet seen. The truth is when we pray, according to God’s will, the prayer is heard immediately the request is made. That is what the word says (1 John 5:14, John 14:13-14). Believe it. From the first time Abraham asked for a son, he already had it. The time of physical manifestation could differ in our realm of time. Like Abraham, we must learn to be in hope against all hope. I would not change my confession and keep praying for my friend’s mother or my best friend, because I believe in God’s ability to complete what He has started in their lives.
Going forward, we would pray that, in these connected stories, in these illnesses, the kingdom of God comes, and His will be done in their lives. In sickness or health, I believe that God loves her and my best friend, and His perfect will be done. We won’t relent despite not yet seeing that which we hope and believe for. And as you read my note this morning, I want you to spare a moment; to find the courage to knee, to bow your heart, to clasp or fold or lift your hands, to close your eyes, to find your voice of faith and trust for the healing of any ailing loved ones. It is the season to stir the fire of hope.
That is the color of our hope: to hope against all hope!