When my older sister Evelyn was 16, she suddenly began experiencing excruciating pain in her lower-right abdomen. As the pain intensified, she began running a fever and vomiting. I remember the anxiety and desperation we all felt as my dad rushed her to the nearest hospital.
A doctor in the emergency unit discovered a large gangrenous cyst in Evelyn’s abdomen. The cyst had twisted, cutting off blood circulation and causing the extreme pain. Time sped by in a blur as she was hurriedly prepared for emergency surgery. At home, the rest of us prayed fervently, asking Jesus to protect, comfort, and surround her with His loving presence.
It was nearly midnight when Evelyn was wheeled out of the operating room. The surgery, it turned out, had been performed just in time. The cyst had already begun to leak toxic fluids and destroy the surrounding tissues, but she was alive and safe. We thanked Jesus for that.
During the five-day hospital stay that followed, I wished I could be there around the clock to help in some physical way. But I found that even after visiting hours were over and I had to go home, my prayers could do more for her than my physical presence could have. For example, when Evelyn suffered serious allergic reactions to the intravenous painkillers, I believe my prayers were much more of a help to her doctors’ finding a solution than whatever comfort I might have been able to give her had I been there.
Our family’s and friends’ prayers surrounded her every day until she returned safely home, and they continued throughout the weeks of her recovery. “I always knew you were praying for me,” she told me after the ordeal was over. “That gave me strength for the difficult things I faced, as well as peace that Jesus was in control.”
Do you know someone who is struggling, whose load can’t be lifted with human hands? Do you have a loved one who is hurting, whose pain you cannot ease by human means? Do you long to be there to help care for them, yet you don’t know how? Then pray. Jesus hears, He cares, and His power—activated through your prayers—has no limits.
You hold amazing power to help those you love, to span the gulf between you, and to bring them the best possible support and care. Surround your loved ones with prayer.