“Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray.” James 5:13a
Well, that was exciting! I just dropped my son off at tennis practice and on my way back home to start dinner (which I never just leave him at practice, I always stay too), just outside the park was a man laying motionless on the side of the road next to a motorcycle with another man crouching down next to him and a woman standing nearby on the phone – I’m assuming to 911. I swung my truck around and parked in the nearest parking lot, jumped out and ran down the sidewalk to the scene, but I never even got up to him before others started swarming around him. A nurse from the clinic across the street, an EMT that had been walking down the road (I had passed her on the way TO the park even!) and several others were able to reach him before I could even OFFER to help. For a BRIEF moment I felt useless. But then I glanced across the street to the clinic parking lot and saw my son’s Christian Kindergarten teacher standing there, holding her hands up to oncoming traffic to slow down for the accident. I darted across the street to her and asked her if she would pray with me for the man. And we did, her still slowing traffic, and me praying anything that God put into my mind for him. Within probably 2 minutes, time is hard to track in those situations, I had run out of things to pray! I couldn’t believe it! ME! I NEVER run out of things to pray! But I had. At this point the sirens were roaring all around us, bright red emergency vehicles blaring in, and I knew that my job there was done. I had prayed the things that needed spoken immediately, that the doctors would be able to help him, that God would direct their steps and that they would know how to help him. It felt so pitiful, but yet I had meant it and believed that God was already answering it! His accident happened ACROSS THE STREET FROM A CLINIC FOR PETE’S SAKE! With a first responder literally walking down the street nearby! HELLO!
Anyway, as I jumped back into my truck my 4-yr old, asked about the sirens “Mommy, what IS that noise???” and God said to me, “help is on the way”. So that’s what I told her, the sirens were to let us all know that help is on the way.
When I got into my house God reminded me of something that He had told me earlier in the day. “You don’t need to pray a lot of fancy words to get the job done. Simple prayers are the best. Lift the person/situation up to Me, and then let me deal with all the details from there.” And I realized that that is precisely what I had done, through instinct. (Thank You Holy Spirit!) I had prayed what needed to be said, and then left the rest up to God and His perfection. No elaborate drawn out pleas for help and healing and salvation, just simple words spoken from a pure heart of absolute belief.
Sometimes, no actually, most times the things in this world that leave the biggest impact on those around us, are the things that are the easiest for us to do. It took me at MOST 5 minutes of my precious time to stop and offer to help. And at first I felt helpless as I realized there was nothing for me TO do to physically help him. But after a quick survey of the situation I quickly realized God hadn’t placed me there to help him physically, but to help ALL involved spiritually. I was the ONLY one there that was focused on prayer, everyone else was too busy attending to his immediate physical needs (and they were great), but that’s not what God called me to do. He called me to PRAY! And while so many people would see that as pretty much useless, I know that it wasn’t! Because I was seeing the prayer fulfilled with my very own eyes, immediately as I was speaking it! From the nurse, to the police officers, ambulances and even fire trucks, God was providing this man with the help that I was asking for. The help that he NEEDED!
Some may even say that even if I hadn’t been there he still would have gotten all those things. Well, maybe, but we’ll never really know will we? But I think it’s pretty fair to say that God answers a heart that believes. And I believe that while all of those things WOULD have come to him… eventually… they came faster because God had me pray. And those that did come will be accompanied by angels assisting them in letting them know PRECISELY what this man needs to survive. That the people who come to his aid will better be able to serve him because I asked God to help them serve him, giving him a greater chance at survival.
By the time I left the man was talking and possibly trying to get up I’m not sure, but he was already improving from the first moment that I laid eyes on him and his arm fell limply to the ground when lifted up. I believe that he will be fine, in due time.
When in doubt… PRAY. It IS doing SOMETHING, especially when it doesn’t seem like it, because that’s when the Enemy wants you to stop praying!
“Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain and the earth produced its crops.” James 5:13-18
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they thing they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” Matthew 6:5-8
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:26-28
“Pray continually” 1 Thessalonians 5:17