Saturday, November 22, 2008

Industrial Strength Prayer

Today’s Reading: John 18:1 (NIV)

1 When He had finished praying, Jesus left with His disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was an olive grove, and He and His disciples went into it.

Good morning!

At 6:30 yesterday morning, I found myself trying to find a comfortable position to lay on the gurney at the outpatient surgery center, where I was waiting as patiently as any patient can to have surgery on my foot. This gurney was more comfortable than most – it seemed to have some padding underneath the fitted sheet, but the angle in which it was raised was giving me a terrible backache. At one point, I looked at my husband and said, “This is simply not working out. I’m ready to go home now.” I really didn’t feel all that nervous about the procedure itself. I was more concerned about the recovery period that would follow. This is a very busy time of year. Thanksgiving is next week and I’m in the final four weeks of my 9-hour cluster at Lindenwood University. My work is also extremely busy right now; I’m so grateful to have a job in the midst of an economic crisis. Yet, I found myself second-guessing whether I had made a wise decision about having this procedure right now. Of course, had I waited, I may not have been able to walk at all. I needed to hear a strengthening prayer from my pastor and spouse, so I asked him to pray. I have been reading a collection of personal testimonies on the power of prayer, and in the book, I stumbled across the phrase, “Industrial strength prayer,” in a piece written by Nancy Chapman Monroe. Her sentiment made perfect sense to me for a moment like this.

Just before Jesus took His disciples through the Kidron Valley, He finished praying what I would coin an “industrial strength” prayer. He had prayed that the Father would be glorified through the Son, and that His disciples and all future believers would believe because of the sacrifice He was about to make for the sins of the world. His Word is timeless. It is one of my favorite prayers printed in Holy Scripture and knowing that Jesus Christ prays for all believers, gives me great hope for the future.

I looked around in the OR as two very kind attendants wheeled my gurney in Suite 3. In a very bright and sterile environment, I paused for a breath prayer just before I was given anesthesia. I could almost see my frozen breath in the air as I whispered these words to my Savior: “Lord Jesus, I want all of you in my life. Come and live in and through me today. May I be fully healed by Your holy presence and miraculous life-giving miracle power. Amen."

This morning, the pain block that I received yesterday in the OR and the anesthesia I had been given has definitely worn off. I know without a doubt that the One who healed me yesterday, who heals me today, and who continually heal me in every tomorrow, is the One whose heart I long to please. This is a holy reassurance that can only come from praying industrial strength prayers.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO

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