I stood at the edge of the room, overwhelmed with the grandeur. I’d received the invitation, but couldn’t believe I should have.
As my eyes scanned the magnificent room, it was obvious that royalty presided here. Lofty arches, splendid tapestries, and fresco paintings lined the walls. Gilded sconces bordered the edges, reflecting light from the carefully placed mirrors of ornate gold-leaf. I shielded my eyes from the brilliance as I looked upward to the lofty ceiling where multiple, magnificent chandeliers hung, heavily laden with brilliant diamonds and carefully-cut crystal. Everything within my vision spoke of untold wealth and unlimited resources.
Pushed back along the marble walls were heavily carved but unused chairs, crafted long ago from some exotic wood. As I marveled, I noticed that although many attendants stood in hushed tones around the perimeter, only two individuals sat on expansive thrones, presiding in regal majesty and resplendent glory from an elevated platform. Above them, a singular crown hovered overhead, a perfect replica of the ones worn by the aristocracy below. Jewels without number studded their crowns, blazing with flashes of rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and topaz as if ignited from their own inner fire.
My pupils widened as I grappled to take in the opulence of the scene. Despite the extravagance of the view, the royalty themselves were what soon riveted my attention. Both King and his Prince wore snowy robes that trained into the room, glittering and radiant from a splendid, unknown fabric, stitched with threads like pure gold. Although stately in appearance, the two were somehow personable as well, as if they truly enjoyed one another’s company. Intent together, they discussed matters of state, pausing to ponder and nod before resuming with a touch of a sleeve.
I guess there is truth about the power of a gaze, for although I remained tucked into the background, I caught the Prince’s eye and he shifted to look directly at me. The whispers around me silenced as all attention turned my way. Caught inadequate, my knees went limp and I dropped trembling to the ground, in a prostate position. I knew I shouldn’t have come.
For the longest moment of my life, I lay quivering, trying to pray. Then a hand touched my shoulder and gave me the strength somehow to stand. Assuming I was being ejected, I kept my head down, to avoid further humiliation.
Yet, instead of rough jerk, a gentle hand cupped my chin, raising my face to eye level. There before me was the Prince himself with eyes burning from a flame of love. “Come, My sister,” He said and gripped my shaking hand with His firm, steady one. As if in a dream, we moved toward His throne and He motioned for me to take a place beside Him on His own cushioned seat. Confused and keenly aware of my own glaring imperfections, I looked into the King’s face, searching His for disapproval.
“Relax, My child,” the King smiled, nodding His approval. “Bring her a regal robe of wisdom, righteousness, and holiness,” and within minutes, I was clothed like royalty itself. As I marveled at my new position there between the two of them, they leaned forward and continued the dialog of which I was now included. “We were just talking about your world,” the King said directly to me. “Would you like to join us?”
“God… seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus…who is at the right Hand of God, interceding for us” (Ephesians 2:6; Romans 8:34).
Sometimes, we are presented by needs that are far beyond our understanding of just how to pray. A debilitating accident, a robust friend discovering cancer, a teenager who survived heart surgery with flying colors, but within days had to have a brain mass removed.
As I struggle through prayer, maybe my ramblings could be used as your own template for how to pray in a very difficult health situation. It could also apply to a friend who has lost a job or a wayward child you may know.
If you do not have a situation that is currently causing you to groan your prayer, will you join me for my friend Justin — the twelve-year-old young man mentioned above who is recovering from brain surgery? His family are missionaries, coming off the field together for his heart surgery a few weeks ago and now finding this. Justin is in much pain, having difficultly lifting his head, and recently discovered that the drain tube in his head may have to be replaced through more sedation.
There are times in prayer when I truly don’t know what to say. My mind is spinning. My emotions are reeling. And the whole situation honestly seems far bigger than either You or me. _______’s (Justin’s) situation of one of those. Somewhere in the recesses of my spirit, I know that a health situation can’t be bigger than You— You are greater than anything that is in the world (1 John 4:4). I choose to believe that with You, nothing is impossible (Mark 10:27).
I don’t know where to start with this heart prayer that is more anguish than words. I am comforted knowing that You not only are well acquainted with these kinds of prayers, but that these are the very sort into which You involve Yourself. When I don’t know what to say, You take up the intercession on my behalf (Romans 8:26). You are the very best prayer partner I could ever ask for (Romans 8:34). Thank You for that.
While Your Son was on earth, He asked two blind men, “What do you want Me to do?” (Matthew 20:32). Could it be that You would simply ask me that same question as well? “What do I want?” Well, I want ______ (Justin) to be healed — completely, fully, wholly and miraculously. That’s what I want. You said to “Ask, and it shall be given,” so I start there by simply asking that You step in and heal (Matthew 7:7).
You said that “If two of (us) agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them” (Matthew 18:19). Well, I know that there are more than two of us asking about this, so I’m sure that prerequisite is fulfilled. You said that You will accomplish whatever we ask for in Your Name in order that You may receive the glory (John 14:13). As I stand here with Jesus praying alongside me, I know that this surely counts toward that purpose. Your Word says that “mountains melt like wax at the Presence of the Lord” (Psalm 97:5), so I ask that You melt away the mountains of distress and exhaustion for this dear family.
I don’t understand what form the healing (or job search, or recovery from addition or….) will take. It could be instantaneous, but yet You may choose to allow a process. Irregardless of Your method, the _________ (Freeman) family is going to need peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7). Despite whatever medical professionals tell them, they are going to need a heart that is confident in You, without fear (Psalm 27:2-3). Grant them that, will You? Flood their souls with the comprehension of Your Love and fill them up with all Your goodness (Ephesians 3:18-19). Renew them daily in the spirit of their mind that they can see past the shock into the depths of the spiritual (Ephesians 4:23; 2 Corinthians 4:18). Give them rest of soul despite what they get by the bedside.
Hear the voices of those crying out on ________’s (Justin’s) behalf – be gracious to us and answer (Psalm 27:7). You have instructed us to seek Your face and so, we come to do so (Psalm 27:8). Remind us to keep on asking (Luke 18:1-8). As our feeble hearts seek, be our Help, for we have no one else to count on but You (Psalm 27:9; 121:1-2).
I’ve submitted all of these requests on Your spiritual work order just as You have asked me to do. I now push the work order across the table to You. Release the resources. Discharge the supplies. Meet the needs of this family, O Lord. Please note that this work order doesn’t have my signature, but the authority of Jesus’ Name. So be it.