Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pray it Forward

Almost thirteen years ago our son Jacob nearly drowned and lay in ICU in a coma. Doctors didn't think he would live, and if he did live, they said he'd never wake up. He was fifteen.

I felt like someone had taken a meat tenderizer and pounded my heart, leaving me with a lump of raw pain feebly beating in my chest.

But God's people prayed. And, as the word spread, the small band of pray-ers grew into a huge chorus of voices rising before the throne of grace. I felt them, holding me up, shielding me, embracing me, keeping my feet planted on the rock. I sensed them flooding the space around Jacob's hospital bed, loosing God's great power to heal and restore.

It was a beautiful, humbling experience. And I wanted with all my heart to do something in return for the thousands who were praying. But what could I do? I didn't even know who they all were, much less where they lived. Then I remembered--I didn't know, but God did. So I simply asked Him to repay them. I prayed that anyone who entered His presence on behalf of my son and family would meet God face to face, that their own needs would be abundantly met, and that they would come away having experienced a deeper communion with Him than ever before.

It gave me great joy to pray that way, because I believed God heard. And in time He even allowed me to hear some stories of the ways He answered.

This Easter weekend I've been thinking about the body of Christ--the mystical but very real connection believers have with each other and Jesus. I think one of the best ways Satan works against us is by getting us to focus on petty, silly conflicts instead of loving each other, praying for (not against) each other, truly desiring God's best for our fellow Christians instead of competing with them.

As you celebrate the resurrection of Jesus tomorrow, I encourage you to think of the people who've invested time, love, and spiritual wisdom in your life, and pray it forward. By faith, get on your knees and usher them into God's glorious presence. If we all do this, we just may see some stones rolled away, some wounded souls revived, and some relationships restored. Who knows? God could move in such amazing ways, we'd even be as surprised as those disciples were on Easter morning.

He is risen, my friends. He is risen indeed!

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