I have been ill the last several weeks. During my most recent stay in the hospital, I had an incredible experience. Not long after being admitted to a room, I got out of the bed to sit in the chair by the window. In that moment of movement, my heart stopped and I collapsed to the floor. Evidently, I was headed for a meeting with the Lord.
In the moments that followed, a couple of dynamics took place. One, as I understand it, was that a duo of nursing staffers found me passed out on the floor. They immediately employed CPR.
In the exact meantime, a friend of ours who lives about five miles away in New Haven, W.Va., Jenny Young, sat along the shores of Virginia Beach enjoying vacation time. She said she suddenly felt distinctly led of the Lord to pray for Pastor Ron. And, for the next two hours, though hundreds of miles away, and not knowing what was going on with me, she prayed for Pastor Ron because the Lord said she should pray for Pastor Ron.
In the meantime, I was placed on the ventilator in intensive care. Terry was called and told that she should quickly get to the hospital. Once there, she was informed about my situation: they were not expecting me to live.
But, on the shores of Virginia Beach during a stretch of two important hours, Jenny Young kept praying for Pastor Ron because the Lord distinctly led her that she should continue to pray for Pastor Ron.
This amounts to a compelling account that confirms an important spiritual truth. I understand clearly that the nursing staffers found me on the floor passed out and revived me by applying CPR. I am very grateful for that. But, I also believe that I regained life from the Lord and became sustained with life from the Lord because someone was compelled to pray for me simply because the Lord led them to pray for me. I am particularly grateful for that.
The driving lesson for all us is this: WHEN THE LORD SAYS WE SHOULD PRAY, WE SHOULD PRAY. We may not know why. We may not know what is happening. On the other hand, we may know all the facts. Regardless, WHEN THE LORD SAYS WE SHOULD PRAY, WE SHOULD PRAY, for He has a reason that we should pray for someone or a particular circumstance in important moments.
This experience of mine and the factors of it still amaze me. But, above all, I am compelled to emphasize the importance of intercessory prayer above what happened to me. Intercessory prayer is prayer on behalf of others or circumstances. It is an activity in which Christians should be involved faithfully. For example, sometimes, God wants us to pray for others, for as someone said, “Prayer moves the hand of God.”
Intercessory prayer is the one power on earth that commands the response of God from Heaven on behalf of others or circumstances. As a matter of fact, we live in a world with needs entirely dependent upon and waiting to be helped by Christians willing to offer up intercessory prayer.
The Apostle Paul is an example praying with intercession for the church in Colosse: “I do not cease to pray for you…” God continually looks for those willing to engage in intercessory prayer. Are you one? Are you willing to be one?
Now, I am thankful to Miss Jenny for praying on my behalf. And, I am grateful for those who worked the CPR on me. The only problem was that the CPR made me so sore in the chest and ribs area that it was a long time before I could do much.
But, I am most thankful to the Lord for granting me more days of life. After all, I am sure my family would miss me.
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.