Prayer is a cry for help

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The heart monitor by the bedside is beeping and keeping rhythm.  It reassures that life is still here, still being lived.

How many surgeries has it been?  Is this the fifth or sixth?  A close relative I know has had over twenty, which I can barely imagine.  And then, one week later, and I’m in another hospital, at another bedside, a completely different set of circumstances but another heart monitor, another intensive care room visit.

The cries go up to God.  “Help, Lord!” “Heal, restore complete health!”  “Please take away the pain!”

It’s clear that we need help.  When I ask if it is okay if I pray for the patient, there is no resistance at all, just a welcome relief.  “Yes, please pray for me!” is what the silent eyes say.

And I learn again what prayer is and what it is for.  It is a time to draw close to God, to ask God to come near and to make things better, to heal, relieve pain, to restore and forgive and put things right.

Before this month, it has been a long time since I have been in a hospital.  The patients I saw did not really want to be there, and I don’t wish it upon anyone.  But I thank God for using these circumstances to teach me, draw me close and show me again what prayer is.  Visit the sick, and take a moment to pray for them, pray with them.  Let your prayer be an honest cry for help, and trust in God who always hears and deeply cares.