If you know me at all, it should come as no surprise that I’m a Christian. I mean, check my menu bar: there’s my testimony. While that’s not the only thing I talk about on this blog, I’m certainly not ashamed of it and am more than happy to talk about God with anyone, anytime. He’s my everything.
I wanted to dedicate a post to the amazing power of prayer, and the fantastic feeling of knowing that you’re being prayed for. Obviously, I can’t cover all of the emotions and details of prayer and what it means to me, but I just wanted to share a sweet story from about two weeks ago.
For the past year – off and on but lately ON – I’ve had pretty bad pain accompanying my four impacted wisdom teeth. Why yes, to the 100% of people that ask in disbelief, I did indeed reach the age of 30 with my four wisdom teeth still in place.
Two weeks ago, I was suffering badly, as in the worst dental pain I had ever felt. I was scheduled for surgery a week out, but I had no idea how I was going to get through the long days ahead of me – each hour feels like a day when you’re dealing with dental pain, am I right? *The crowd makes appropriate bemoaning noises*
On Sunday morning two weeks ago, eight days before my surgery, I woke up with the worst pain yet. I didn’t want to get out of bed or talk or do anything except sleep away the coming week. But as I lay there miserable, all I could hear in my head was, “You’re going to hurt whether you’re home or not. Get up and go to church.” I quickly shot down the idea and got up and made some iced coffee. As I was doing it, I heard that voice in my head again, saying the same thing. “Just go to church.” BAH, I thought, I’m not leaving this house. And then as I ate the softest, least-offensive breakfast I could find, I heard that head-voice one more time. And I finally gave in. “Screw it,” I thought, “might as well hurt among God’s people.”
Thirty minutes later I was at church, but hoping I didn’t see anyone I know, because the left side of my mouth was swollen shut from the impacted teeth and possible infection setting in, and the pain radiated up to my ear and down to my neck. I sat in my seat, glad to be at church and glad I had come, but also glad the lights were going down and no one would see me or try to talk to me.
The service opened like it always did with singing and praise, and I got so lost in the music and the praise team that I barely noticed the pain. “Ahh, this is why I needed to come,” I thought. “This is an amazing distraction.”
But then, when the band was through, the pastor did something he hadn’t done in any of the services I’d ever been to. (I’ve been going almost regularly to this church for about 6-7 months). He held up his hand and said, “Before we go any further, there’s something I want to do today, if you don’t mind. I want you all to bow your heads for a minute, and I’m going to say a prayer for every out there who’s sick or hurting.” He proceeded to pray for every person at the service who was in pain, hurting, sick, upset, etc. He prayed specifically and he blessed us all and he called on Jesus to help every single one of us who needed it. While he prayed, I also prayed, not only to be able to get through the next week, but for everyone else out there at the service who needed help.
Within an hour, my pain was almost completely gone and I could not only open my mouth all the way, I could eat and drink and talk just like normal. I even went by my mom and dad’s after the service and showed my mom. I probably looked like a dog that had learned a new trick: “Look,” I said excitedly, opening my mouth all the way. “This doesn’t hurt!”
Here’s the best part: the pain stayed gone for the rest of that week, up to the moment of surgery. That week was the most pain-free one my teeth have had in months.
Do I believe that the pastor of my church prayed that prayer only for me? No. I’m sure there were countless people out there who needed his prayer as much as I did, and probably a lot more. But is it a competition? Nope. Not at all. That prayer was for anyone who needed it, and I did. I know that God was probably figuratively wringing my neck that whole morning when He kept pushing me to go to that service and I was like, “Nahhh, I’m good.” But now I know why God didn’t take no for an answer and why He made sure I went to that service. And I absolutely believe that because of me and many others in pain in the congregation, God probably weighed on the pastor’s heart to pray that prayer that I had never heard him pray until that day.
Do you know how it feels to know that people are praying for you? It’s unreal. Whether you’re a strong Christian or someone who has gotten away from God or someone that doesn’t even believe, it’s still amazing to know you’re loved enough that someone would pray for you. I honestly can’t even count all the times in my life where prayer has led to exactly what I needed, whether I knew it at the time or not.
I also want any of you out there, believer or not, to know that if you ever need a prayer warrior – if you ever need prayer for any reason, private or public, I’m here. Just shoot me a comment or an e-mail or tweet me, and let me know you need to be prayed for. I’ll be all over it, no questions asked.
Look, I get that you may not believe me. You may not believe that this happened, and you may not believe in the power of prayer. And I get that you may not believe in my God. That’s your right.
But, man, you’re really missing out.