Prayers Offered in Faith Will Make the Sick Person Well

"The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." - James 5:16

I’m struggling to find the right words for this. There just aren’t words beautiful enough to describe what happened today, but I pray that God gives them to me.

The last journal entry I wrote was on January 19 and I told God that I felt lost. I told him I was having trouble believing that I will ever be healthy again in this life and I didn’t know if it was ok for me to feel that way, or if I should keep hoping for health. I didn’t know if I was supposed to just accept what is, like a thorn in my side, and live my life as best I can, or if I should keep believing that God will heal me physically. Of course I have hope. Hope for eternity. But I ran fresh out of hope for health in this life. Honestly, I’m exhausted. I’m so tired of the fight. I’m tired of hoping for every appointment and every treatment, and getting my hopes crushed. I just didn’t think I could do it anymore. I told God the thought of continuing this exhausting fight for something that isn’t going to happen is unbearable and I prayed that he would give my feelings direction.

I think I’ve said here before that God speaks most clearly to me when he gives me songs. They are not my songs at all, but His. I would never be able to write them on my own. A new song is one of the ways I know that God is present with me. But I very briefly mentioned in a post on Monday that I hadn’t received a new song in awhile. Being the beautiful person that she is, my friend immediately sent me a card that said God is filling my heart with music and will bring me to song again soon, along with this verse:

"Shout for joy, O heavens! And rejoice, O earth! Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people and will have compassion on His afflicted." - Isaiah 49:13

What a beautiful, beautiful verse. Perfect for me, really! Here’s where it starts to get very obvious that God is working. Before I ever received the card, God heard my friend’s prayers for me and gave me a song called I Wait for You. A perfect song while I waited for God to answer my prayers about my hope. A song asking God to show me His glory. I thought the song was an answer to my prayers. Little did I know that God was only getting started.

My Rheumatologist had set up a Dermatology appointment for the next day (yesterday). I was supposed to get a biopsy to confirm the next illness they think I have – Lupus. However, I received a steroid shot at my last Rheumatology appointment and when I showed up at my Dermatology appointment, they said a biopsy so soon after a steroid shot would skew the results. Let me tell you, I was fighting mad! It was such a waste of time and money, just to have to go back and spend the same amount of time and money in three weeks, and my Rheumatologist should have known that! I was so angry! My lack of a job does not leave us room for errors like this! I was ranting about it to my friend, who then prayed as only a person of bold prayer would. She prayed that I would receive peace, but also that I would find a monetary treasure somewhere, somehow. Well, I did find a penny yesterday, which was a beautiful sign pointing me to what God was about to do, though I didn’t know it at the time.

Today, I received the card that my friend had sent me and was floored that God filled me with song even when I didn’t know she had prayed about it for me. She then came over to my house to tell me even more news. Her car recently broke down for good and she was cleaning it out to take it to the junkyard. She reminded me that she had prayed for my treasure, and then told me that she found my treasure in her car. She said I have to accept it because it’s an answer to prayer. What could I possibly say? I’m still so very overwhelmed by this whole story.

The nearness of God has been so real to me lately. He knew exactly when I needed hope. He knew exactly when I needed a song. He knew exactly when my friend’s car would break down. He knew when she put that money in there long ago and forgot about it, that it was meant to bless me. He knew she would immediately recognize the answer to her prayer and she would let him use her. He used her precious heart to bless mine with far more than money. He has shown me that he does care about the physical things. If he cares about money, he cares about my health. He does want me to hope for more than just eternity. He does listen to and answer our prayers. And he did show me his glory!

As soon as I started writing this, God brought to mind the verse that I put at the top of this post. And now that I look at it again, the previous verses just complete this story and confirm that God has had his hands ALL over us.

"And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." - James 5:15-16

My prayers offered in faith gave me the most incredible friendship when I needed it the most. I could really write a book about how I know that God gave her to me. The prayer offered in faith gave me a new song. The prayer offered in faith gave me a treasure. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well. We pray for each other, so that we may be healed.

"As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?' 'Neither this man nor his parents sinned,' said Jesus, 'but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.'" - John 9:1-3
"'Lord, the one you love is sick.' When he heard this, Jesus said, 'This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it.'" - John 11:3-4

Loneliness, a period without song, a broken down car, wasted money, illnesses. These all seem like bad things. But just look! Look what God has done and tell me! Tell me that you don’t see his Light shining in the darkness! Tell me that you don’t see His glory! There is beauty in the wait.

God, I do believe
That you're still holding me
And this desert path I walk
I walk with you
God, until the day
You reveal to me your ways
I will thank you for the gift
Of waiting for you.

There's beauty in the wait
So I will give you praise
Oh God, you will be my strength
Through the land of suffering
I will count all the blessings
And know that there's meaning
In waiting for you.

Amen.

Join me in the Facebook group, Beauty in the Rubble, for more encouragement.
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Dear Doctor

Dear Doctor,

Do you remember me? Did you even know me when I was your patient? Or was I just one simple problem to solve with one simple remedy? Did you ever even look me in the eye? I wonder what would have happened if you had looked me in the eye. Would I have looked as mechanical as the picture in your mind? Or would I have resembled an actual human with a heart and soul and, yes, a physical body?

Dear Doctor, you’re in too much of a hurry. I feel as though I’m interrupting your day when your day is supposed to be dedicated to people like me. But you don’t truly SEE me, do you, dear doctor? If you did, maybe you would recognize that my pain is real. Maybe you would see a whole body rather than an individual malfunctioning part. And maybe, just maybe, we could solve the whole puzzle. But you’re not interested in the whole puzzle, dear doctor. You’re only interested in the first diagnosis that comes to mind and you’re not open to anything else.

Dear Doctor, you’re not listening! Do you hear me?? Or are you already singing your one solution in your head while I’m telling you I dance to a different tune? Everyone is different. Why can’t you see that?

Dear Doctor, why do I have to beg you to listen to me? Why do you not want to hear from the one expert in my body? Should you not want to consult the expert? I know from experience what will or will not work but you care nothing about my experience. You don’t care that the potentially-harmful drug you want to put me on has given me awful side effects in the past. You belittle me and patronize me when I voice my concerns.

Dear Doctor, you made me feel guilty. I get enough guilt from the outside world that thinks I should be getting better by now. But you. You signed up for this work. You treat people who don’t often get better, and yet somehow I left feeling guilty that the medication you put me on didn’t help. I felt like I had to apologize to you for my body’s lack of response, which is utterly ridiculous. You pressured me and made me doubt myself.

Dear Doctor, you made me feel crazy. You and countless of your colleagues saw my history of anxiety and that’s ALL you saw. That’s all you cared to see. You lumped every problem I had into mental health. You made me feel like it was all in my head, because you refused to believe it wasn’t. You told me over and over again that I needed antidepressants. You didn’t listen when I told you why I didn’t want them. You ignored the tremor of sheer terror in my voice and frightened tears in my eyes every time I told you I didn’t want to take them. You didn’t care that I had been on them before and the side effects and withdrawals were nothing I can describe other than Hell on Earth. I told you this point blank multiple times and yet that continued to be your only answer to all my problems. And while I believe there is a place for antidepressants, I knew in my heart that there was something else going on inside of me, but you and your one-track mind didn’t care to figure it out.

Dear Doctor, did you know that I am not crazy? Did you know that it was NOT all in my head? Did you know I have real physical illnesses with actual physical diagnoses?

Dear Doctor, WHY? Why did you never do just a simple lab test? If you had, you would have seen the clear autoimmune markers. You would have seen that my Rheumatoid Factor is 780 when it is supposed to be under 14. You would have realized that my body is attacking itself. When I begged you to believe that it was not all in my head, you refused to look any further.

Dear Doctor, you messed with my mental and emotional health. You ADDED to my anxiety instead of helping me find the root problem, because you doubted me. You doubted my soundness of mind and, therefore, you weakened my soundness of mind. You made me doubt myself and your attitude stole from my overall well-being.

Dear doctor, you don’t think beyond a diagnosis. You don’t consider that there may be something else. You don’t care to learn from me and for me. When I told you my stomach issues are related to my autoimmune problems, you simply said that’s difficult to prove. And you, the Specialist who treats autoimmune diseases, simply said you’d see me again in a year. Well, guess what, I was right.

Dear Doctor, I finally found someone else. I found a doctor who cared. One who listened to me and spent time with me. One who took one look at me and knew I had Sjogren’s Syndrome. One who immediately ordered the right tests and took the right steps. One who LOOKED ME IN THE EYE and said with compassion, “I don’t know how you are still smiling”. One who made me feel human and let me participate in my own care.

Dear Doctor, you dismissed me. You dismissed me while I was still in indescribable pain and suffering. How is that healthCARE?

Dear Doctor, you’ve lost your compassion. You’ve forgotten why you went into this field. You’ve allowed pressure from insurance and drug companies, and your own habits to erode your concern for those you are meant to help. You were more of a hindrance to me than assistance. You took away from my life rather than adding to it.

So therefore, dear Doctor, I dismiss YOU. I dismiss your lack of care. I dismiss the patronizing looks, the passive-aggressive comments, the know-it-all attitude. I dismiss your cover-up ‘remedy’ and quick diagnosis. I dismiss the pressure, guilt and anxiety with which I left your office. I dismiss your one-track mind and my own self-doubt. It’s my one body, and it’s too important to allow you to participate in its care anymore.

I only ask, dear Doctor, that you refrain from treating others in the same way. I ask that you go pick up your listening ears wherever you dropped them. I ask that you remember your compassion. I ask that you return to the day you took the oath to “first, do no harm.” I ask that you keep learning, and what better source from which to learn than your patients? And I’ll even point you to the first step. Start looking your patients in the eye. I’m convinced that if you do that one thing, you will start to see them as human again. We are not a diagnosis. Please SEE us.

Sincerely,

Every patient who has ever been hurt
by someone who promised to heal

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