Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. – Matt. 18:19
It was hardly the place for fellowship. The hard-back chairs, the families waiting, the tension in the air. Two of my dearest friends sat down next to me as we waited to hear news from the surgeon on their little boy’s progress. Just four years old but yet already so familiar with doctors and hospital procedures that he didn’t even try to cling to his parents as they bravely waved goodbye to him and went to wait. And wait. And wait. Nothing can bring as much torment and anguish to a parent as waiting. Waiting to know that your child is all right. Waiting to hear, “You can go see him now.” Waiting to hug him and hold him close and not let him out of your sight. Ever. Again.
Two of my dearest friends sat waiting and hoping and praying that their little boy would be okay. And I noticed the other families who were waiting. Some praying. Some talking on their cell phones. And some just thinking. I wonder if they all had the same hope that we did. Did they all know that God was holding their loved one in His hands?
One thing that Kelly said to me (as she kept glancing at the device that would alert her when her son was in surgery) was that she was overwhelmed by the love and support they were receiving. It wasn’t just her family and close friends who were praying. It was hundreds of people in our church. It was a few hundred more in her sister’s church. It was the lady she met online through a friend. It was her childhood church family. It was her neighbor. It was friends of friends of friends on Facebook. Every time she posted a status update, six or seven people immediately responded, pouncing on the opportunity to pray more specifically for just a moment more for her sweet James. It was as though the very hosts of heaven had stopped to pray for one small child, whose smile and quick wit brightens any room.
I looked around at the other people who were waiting. Did they have that kind of support? Were hands lifted up to heaven petitioning for their loved one? How do people handle these kinds of trials if they don’t realize that God is weeping with them?
It may not have been the “traditional” place to fellowship; but I could feel the fellowship of believers coming together across the country to pray for one of our family members, and I know that God heard us all as we breathed His name together.
“Our prayer must not be self-centered. It must arise not only because we feel our own need as a burden we must lay upon God but also because we are so bound up in love for our fellow men that we feel their need as acutely as our own. To make intercession for men is the most powerful and practical way in which we can express our love for them.” – John Calvin