Knowing God Cares

Understanding Grace, Faith, and Foregiveness

Miraculous Prayers of Faith

Written By: - Mar• 09•14

When my daughter, Ashley, was 15 years old, she was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). At that time, she was the youngest person in the state to be diagnosed with this and, because of that, the experience of arriving at the diagnosis was quite traumatic. Ashley had fallen during cheerleading practice and had landed on her hands and knees. She moved her wrist back and forth and, realizing she was not hurt, continued practice.

The next morning, she called me from school to tell me that she was in so much pain it was making her sick. I picked her up and drove straight to the doctor where she was treated for a sprain. Three weeks later, her pain level had increased, and she could barely move her wrist. After being referred to a specialist, they arrived at the conclusion that she had a severe sprain, and that all ligaments were torn loose. I was somewhat perplexed but assumed this must be correct. The doctor opted to put her arm in a cast for nine weeks. Her pain level intensified, and I called the doctor numerous times. He would always respond in the same way assuming that Ashley was weak and was just wanting pain medication. She would sit and cry for long periods of time, and it would tear at my heart.

RSD-complex-regional-pain-syndrome-disability-claimWhen the nine weeks were over, we went to see the doctor so that he could remove the cast. I will never forget the look on his face or his first words when he saw her arm. A look of total despair swept over his face, and he never looked up. “Oh,” a pause, then, “Oh, this is bad. This is RSD.” Ashley’s arm was cold and blue from the tips of her fingers to her shoulder. Her muscles were rigid, and she could not move her fingers or her wrist at all. Probably because he knew the implications of his earlier misdiagnosis and poor attitude, he looked at me with an ashen face and began to explain what RSD is, how it progresses, and the treatment process. There would be a series of shots placed in Ashley’s neck. Each shot would be life-threatening but, without them, she would lose use of her arm and likely the rest of her limbs.

The next several weeks were horrible. I had to drive Ashley an hour to and from the treatment center three times a week. We would make each trip knowing the risks. She would cry. I would cry. Her brothers would cry as well. We would pray that God would keep her safe, and He would. The toll it was taking on my daughter, however, was tremendous. She became withdrawn, quiet and shy, very reclusive, and very sad. I was losing her, and I could not bear the thought. Then came our triumph.

It was the night before a treatment, and Ashley was in bed. I went in to say goodnight. As I sat on the bed she said to me, “I really don’t want to go tomorrow; I am scared. Do you think there is any possibility I might be better in the morning?” I asked her if it was feeling any better and, with tears streaming down her face, she told me that it was really hurting. I put my arms around her and said as boldly as I could, “Anything is possible with God. Let’s pray about it, and we’ll see how you are tomorrow.” We prayed together, and I kissed her goodnight.

All through the night I could barely sleep. I kept hearing my beautiful daughter saying, “I am scared,” and I could not help her. When morning came I went into herpsalm4_1 room and sat quietly beside her. I picked up her arm and cradled it in mine. For the next few moments, I praised God, repented of my sin, and thanked Him for His protection. Then, through my tears, I softly whispered, “Father, please heal my child. She is afraid, and so am I. Please take this from her so that she does not have to go back for another shot. Please. Please.” I gently placed her arm back on the bed and got ready for the day.

In a little while, Ashley came into the kitchen and said, “Do I have to go get a shot if my arm isn’t hurting?” I turned around excitedly and asked her if it felt better. She began moving her wrist, something she normally could not do without a shot. “Look, she said,” as she was smiling. I could not believe it. Immediately, I picked up the phone and called the doctor’s office. I told his nurse what was going on, and she placed me on hold. About a minute later, the doctor came to the phone and, after hearing the story, told me that answered prayer would be the only thing that would keep her from having to come for the shot. He told me to call him back in a couple of hours. Before the time was up, he called me. Ashley was still doing well, and he was getting optimistic. He was obviously afraid for her to go the weekend without a shot in fear that it might attack abruptly. Still, he told me to wait.

Later that afternoon, the doctor called to check on Ashley. At this point, her arm had regained its natural color and she had complete, pain-free movement. We were all ecstatic, including the doctor. He gave me his cell phone number and told me to call if I saw the slightest hint of color or if she had any twinge of pain. Needless to say, we did not need his number. God had chosen to heal her!

In the years since, Ashley has had several bouts with RSD. Now, though, we have been educated in what to do when the symptoms begin. She has not had to be treated again with shots.

So why did God choose to heal her? Numerous times a day people cry out to Him for healing, but He does not heal. They weep and beg and make promises to God if He will only bring healing. But He does not. What makes Him sometimes say yes, and sometimes say no? Like you, I do not have the answer, but I have a couple of thoughts.

This is not the only time in my life that I have asked God to heal when the doctors had said there was no hope. Each time He healed, the situation seemed hopeless. Each time, I was always drawn to the examples in the Bible.

Luke 5:17-25 tells the story of Jesus healing a paralytic man, but what is key is not the fact that Jesus healed him. The lesson is found in verse 20, “And seeing their faith. . .” Whose faith? The faith of the man’s friends. They had carried him there and placed him before Jesus.

raising-of-jairus-daughter-vasiliy-polenov-1871Then there was the story of Jarius’ daughter. In Mark 5:21-43, we see the story of the synagogue official whose daughter had become sick. Keeping in mind that the members of the synagogue were seeking to put Jesus to death, this man came and fell at Jesus’ feet and begged Jesus to come and heal her. Jesus left with Jarius and along the way, a woman touched His robe. Jesus turned and asked, “Who touched my garment.” After she came forward, Jesus told her that because of her faith, she was made well. In the meanwhile, word came that Jarius’ daughter had died. In that moment, Jesus told Jarius to believe. He continued to Jarius’ home where his daughter was brought back to life. We can infer that Jarius believed as Jesus had told him and, as a result of Jarius’ faith, his daughter was healed.

While all the stories are unique and meaningful, the ultimate story of faith is found in John 11. It is the story of Lazarus. We all know how it goes. Lazarus had gotten sick and his sisters had sent for Jesus, but before He could get there, Lazarus died. What we find in this text is one of the most memorable moments of faith ever to be witnessed. When Jesus arrived, Martha ran out to meet him. (Vs. 20) Notice the next verse, “Martha therefore said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” (Vs. 21) Then comes the amazing part, “Even now, I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give You.”(Vs. 22) As the story continued, Jesus told Martha that anyone who believed in Him would not die, and He asked Martha if she believed this. (Vs. 26) Martha openly confessed Who Jesus Is. “She said, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God.’” (Vs. 27) Jesus went forth and asked them to remove the stone, but Martha protested. At that point, Jesus reminded her of the conversation they had just finished. “Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not say to you, if you believe, you will see the glory of God?’” (Vs. 40) Though the text does not say this, I believe at that point, Martha stepped back and gave the okay to remove the stone, and because of Martha’s faith, Lazarus was raised, and God was glorified.

When and why does God choose to heal? Again, I do not have all the answers, and my heart breaks for those of us who have prayed earnestly and God said no. Is it because of a lack of faith? I think not. Probably, it has more to do with the fact that He had a different plan. What I do know is this. Any instance where He has chosen to say yes has been as a result of someone’s faith. Jesus told us repeatedly that we must have faith to accomplish anything. (Matt. 17:14-21; Matt 8:26) In fact, His entire ministry, the entire Gospel, the entire Bible is about faith. Since God has placed so much emphasis on faith, isn’t it time that we consider this principle? Faith is the solution to everything. This is the answer. Where is your faith? God Bless.

Thanks for Reading. I would LOVE your Questions or Comments.

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