When You're Too Sick to Pray for Yourself

Healing is a gift. Claim those prayers from others and then someday return the favor.

Posted in , Sep 17, 2018

Praying for the sick

Three years ago in September I landed in the I.C.U. with a mysterious lung infection that threatened to take me out. Every breath was a struggle. The doctors hooked me up to some oxygen and tried to figure out what was wrong.

Word got out—through church, through the emails my wife sent out, through social media. And the prayers came back. Prayers for a complete healing.

I felt so rotten I couldn’t really pray for myself. I learned that when someone says “I’m praying for you,” that phrase has a double meaning. They’re not only praying for you they’re also praying for you because you can’t.

My spirits were pretty low for those first 24 hours. And then something happened.

The second day I was in the hospital, nothing really had changed about my physical shape but I knew—somehow knew—that I was going to get out of that hospital. I wasn’t sure what kind of shape I’d be in, whether I’d have to drag a can of oxygen around for the rest of my born days, but I would go home.

Two weeks later I did go home. On my own two feet. Without any can of oxygen. It was another three weeks before I was back at work and another two months before I was up and running around the park…slowly.

What I have learned and what I keep relearning is that healing is a gift. You can ask for it, but it comes unbidden. We do all we can to stay healthy but weird things can come out of left field without any warning.

So claim your good health. Claim those prayers. And return the favor. Pray for those who for so many reasons can’t pray for themselves. “I’m praying for you” has two meanings no matter how you put it.

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