Prayers at the Bedside
Prayer can be hard. Especially when you don't quite see your prayers being answered. We want prayer to be like our own personal genie in a bottle, but more often than not, it isn't.
And I will be the first to tell you that I go through my fair share of seasons when I don't feel as though my prayers are fruitful.
But as I've almost reached my one year anniversary of being a nurse, I've seen many families' prayers not be answered how they probably would have hoped they would be answered. I've seen families and friends gather around their loved ones and pray for God to heal them - to wake them up, to make them better. Only to have to put their loved ones on hospice a few days later - or have them suddenly pass a few hours later.
These moments don't look like answered prayers.
They don't look like effective prayers at the bedside.
They look like wishes to a genie that left our side.
But as I've been reflecting on these moments - and the real challenge that they can bring to people of the faith and moreso to people who already doubt the power of out great God - God gave me wisdom from His word that gave me a new perspective.
The wisdom came from the gospel of Mark, when Jesus heals a man who was born paralyzed.
At first though, Jesus doesn't tell the man to get up and walk.
No, the first miracle Jesus performs is an "invisible" one. He tells the man that he is forgiven.
Only when the Pharisees doubt whether or not Jesus has that power does He then tell the man to get up and walk (the visible miracle).
And it would be so easy to become like the Pharisees. It would be so easy to challenge God, to demand that He make my patients, family members, and friends better if He really is the God He says He is.
But what God reminded me of in this devotional I read, is that, He is constantly at work in both the visible and the invisible.
Death and sickness are a part of this world.
But the resurrection is a part of our future world.
In this world we may get to witness awesome visible miracles like the birth of a child, someone come to know Jesus and be transformed by the Holy Spirit, or even get to see God provide for His people in ways that would otherwise not seem possible.
But it's the invisible miracle that we have hope in.
The miracle that even though we face trials and death and the devil tries to tell us that our prayers at the bedside aren't working, that He has overcome the world. And that He will wipe away the tears. And we will be made new.
God wants us to keep praying - at the bedside, at work, and at home. He wants us to knock, and ask, and seek Him (Lk. 11:9).
But it is not so that all our wildest dreams may come true.
God wants us to pray because He wants a relationship with you.
Our God has told us, that in this world, we will face trouble, but He also promises to never leave our side.
Prayers at the bedside are not only effective, they are vital. And though death will always be a part of this world, we can still have hope in the resurrection.
Take heart, have hope.