A spoken prayer never hurt anyone, if anything it can heal
Her chin rested on my chest as tears streamed down her cheeks. It had been several days since my terrible motorcycle accident; I was recovering, but my wife Susan was having a “moment”.
Through occasional muffled sobs, she whispered, “I thought I lost you for a while.” I can’t bear the thought of going through life alone without you.
Metaphorically, it stabbed me in the heart.
The other occasion that stopped my mental gears for several minutes occurred a few days earlier. She gave me a detailed explanation of what happened at the scene of the accident since I was unconscious most of the day. As I prepared for the LifeFlight to Vanderbilt, every item of clothing was cut from my body.
The crew handed Susan my completely wrecked “Cadillac Lyriq” t-shirt, and she sobbed over it the whole time they took me to Vanderbilt University Hospital’s trauma center. It made me feel awful for causing him so much emotional pain, unintentionally.
Coming back to partial consciousness in this trauma center, one of the first things I heard was Susan’s voice saying “slow down; breathe in through the nose and exhale through the mouth. I was hyperventilating and my blood pressure was skyrocketing. I followed his instructions and my blood pressure came down. At other times, I heard: “now I caress your forehead; now I touch your cheek” — with similar results on blood pressure. She was good medicine.
It’s a shame that sometimes we really don’t know how much our spouses love us until tragedy strikes.
Unfortunately, the things that often take center stage in our minds can be the differing viewpoints, the occasional argument, the words spoken in the heat of the moment that we wish we could take back. All the things we have in common and the shared values can sometimes fade into the blurry background of ‘taken for granted’.
The other thing that really shocked me, about seven days after the accident, was when she suddenly sat up in bed one night and announced, “I feel like God wants me to pray for your head.
“Sure, go ahead,” I replied through my sleep-induced haze. It was a simple prayer for God’s healing, and I fell back asleep right away.
Upon waking, I noticed that the pressure in my head seemed noticeably less. The last three days had scared me. I could feel the pressure from the inoperable subdural hemorrhage I had and my heart seemed to be pounding especially hard. I could hear the “rustling, rustling” of my pulse beating in my left ear at all hours of the day and night; this made it very difficult to fall asleep. That night, my “internal noise” was noticeably reduced; the following night he was entirely absent. Within two days that uncomfortable pressure was gone and I felt much better.
Skeptics will pass it off as a coincidence; it doesn’t bother me at all. I’ve seen it happen often enough to defy the laws of random probability. As a Christian, if you ever feel like God is pushing you to pray for someone, don’t immediately pass them off as the voice of your own imagination. Take the social risk that someone thinks you’re “crazy” and follow it. What is the worst possible outcome? Maybe someone will think that you are “touched” but that you really have a heart of compassion for them? Has a spoken prayer ever hurt anyone?
Of course, God knows what we need before we pray; He just wants us to have an intentional relationship with Him. As a parent, you don’t automatically give your child everything he might want or need before he even realizes it or asks for it, do you? I hope not, or you’ll be raising a very spoiled child.
I am grateful for the excellent medical care I received at Vanderbilt; I am also grateful for answered prayer. If you’re married, give your spouse a kiss and a hug without notice today and let them know how grateful you are that they love you.
Be prepared for an unintentional fainting, just in case. No more head trauma, please!