Prayer…does it really help?

Many of my friends have prayed for my eyes, my vision, my spirit over the years.  While I am grateful, I must admit that often I have doubted the effectiveness of those prayers.  One minute I am up because of good news, the next I am down because of bad.

Faith is something I have wondered about and have decided that God does what He wants to do.  It may surprise you then, when I say that this does not deter me from having faith.  My reasons are personal and close to home.

For nineteen years my Mom was plagued with MS (multiple sclerosis) and I saw her body grow weaker, her need for rest, and the various confusing symptoms that MS can bring.  I also witnessed a miracle at a large church service.  My mother went up to pray and from my seat in the back of the auditorium, I could not wait to get to her at the end of the service. I can’t explain it to this day, but I knew that she was not sick any more, and when I found her in the middle of hundreds of people, she was crying and told me that while she prayed a warmth began at the top of her head and continued to the bottom of her toes.  MS was no longer a part of her life, not ever.  That was twenty-eight years ago.

On the other hand, my Dad, a pastor of a church has been prayed for on many occasions by well-intended people who believe that if you have enough faith, then God will heal you.  My Dad is deaf now.  Completely.  His deafness is a result of an injury on the firing range while serving in the army.  He has two cochlear implants which are miracles all their own.  (No more writing messages on white boards, or trying to communicate with the minimal sign language we knew).

While sometimes his deafness seems like a burden, it has been used for a great amount of good.  My dad is a social-networking kind of guy, and has been very active in the deaf and hard of hearing community.  He has been a major advocate for the use of technology in many arenas to help those who cannot hear be more integrated into society.

Sometimes it’s easier for me to believe in the effectiveness and even comfort of prayer for others than for myself.  But today, my doctor’s comment made me think that maybe all the prayers of my friends and family have more power than I usually give them credit for.  He told me that he is surprised by how much vision I have been able to hang onto over the years.  He said most people with my disease would already have had 5 or 6 glaucoma surgeries by now, not to mention cataract surgeries.

This made me pause, it humbled me, and it made me grateful for what I have.  I can drive, I can work part-time, I can see my husband and my children’s faces, some days I can still see to play piano music.  I might miss some of the details, like cobwebs in the corner of my living room, or bread crumbs in the corners of my counters, or wear brown lipstick accidentally.   I might pick up things with the vacuum cleaner that I don’t mean to, or need help clipping my toenails, but I can see sunshine, and sunsets, and sunrises, green grass, my dogs playing in the field.  And it makes me happy.

My prognosis is not good.  My disease has not gone away.  Does that mean that the prayers of people have been ineffective?  I guess you can be the judge.  All I know for sure is, that most people who have had chronic uveitis the way that I have, don’t see what I see.  Makes me think that maybe God does care about the prayers of people.

 

 

Please…feel free to ask a question.  Your comment or sharing a thought is also welcome.

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