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My sister and her husband lead a prayer group of 4 married couples. They are anywhere between mid 30’s to early 40’s. They call it “The Cell”, as in the cell of the body of Christ, the Church. These small sects meet up once a week, usually on fridays, and meditate on the last Sunday’s scripture, and recap the sermon. Then they share the events from that week, and pray together.
One of the members from the cell is going through some severe suffering right now. Her onset symptoms from hypothyroidism has been deepening, and on top of that, she started to develop new symptoms. As a result, the intensity of her depression and anxiety is more than she can bare, and she has been actively seeking out prayers. She calls my sister almost every day in tears asking her to pray over the phone.
I don’t know this suffering friend of my sister at all, but I know she has a very young daughter, only 3 years old. Her husband studied architecture, but he is working on part-time basis, setting the family up for the uncertain financial status. The wife, who has hypothyroidism, has a doctoral degree in her field, and she is a researcher at the center for the obesity study. But the work has been too stressful on her, especially with her physical illness, and she is about to lose her job. If only her husband had a steady job, I would see this as the best thing that could ever happen to her. She truly needs some rest, a time to recover from her ailments. But when she’s out of her job, there may not be any income for a while. She’s a struggling mom, a sick patient, a researcher about to lose her position, and a woman going through the crisis of doubt.
We’ve all been there. And it’s easy to tell her, “Just have faith. God will take care of you. He provides. Stick it out, and you will come out into the light. Keep praying.”
She worries that if she sticks out this situation any longer, death will be greeting her very soon.
She fears if she is facing the door of death.
She wonders who will take care of her small child.
So she prays, “For the sake of my baby, God, please don’t take me yet.”
I have never been a mom, and I will never feel the entire depth of her fear. I don’t know the heart of the mother, but I can guess how deep and fragile it could be. You have a life attached to you. You are committed to another human being in the most otherworldly ways.
But God knows her heart. I know that.
So I did one thing I could do. I wrote a prayer for her in what I now call “the miracle book”, after receiving all the answers for the prayers I have written in that particular book. It’s always on thursdays, after the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. After adoring my Lord, repenting my sins, and being loved by the Might One, I get up, bow, and then walk towards the door. In the back corner of the holy chapel, there stands a reading stand with a big book of prayer laying on it. All the prayers in the book are interceded by the nuns faithfully.
“Please deliver my sister in Christ from the grip of the world and set her free from her suffering and anxiety. Restore her body, mind and soul, and give her the gift of faith. Holy Spirit, be with us always, and go before us to prepare the way to the Truth. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, and our Savior, Amen.”
Then-Forgive me God– I have all forgotten about her. I got busy with my things, my work, my friends, my family, and my sister’s three wild children.
The evening came on the next day. My mom told me that my sister’s friend was doing a lot better. “I hear that last night her husband has changed his heart. He even sat down to pray with her, encouraging her, telling her that they shouldn’t be shattered by this trial but come out stronger in faith. I guess the support from her husband did a miracle for her!”
I quietly thanked God for the healing and changing of the hearts. Only He can do such a thing. Not her husband, not her medication, not her courage, not even the intercession book. All those instrumental things help, but without God acting through them, it just simply won’t happen. God is in the center of it all, He is the movement, He is the source of all good things.
My sister is getting ready to go to her church to meet up with the rest of her prayer group members. The suffering sister is coming, too, of course. They will worship God before the day breaks, and they will study His Word. In the divine silence, they will be filled with the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit will hear their heart-wrenching prayers. Lord Jesus will grant healing and restoration to His cell, and not only restore the suffering woman, but those who have prayed for her as well. These series of events did not take place yet, but soon, it will. I write down these unfolding scenes as they come up in my mind, and this is my prayer, because this is my hope. Our hope. When we hope together in His name, He will fulfill our hopes and dreams. Not because we prayed, but because He promised. It’s not our actions. It’s His promises that count. And God keeps His promises. Until the end of the days.
Only one of the days of these ending days,
only one of the prayers of this ending world,
only one of the cells of His Magnificent body,
but for Him–
It is always The Day.
It is always The Prayer.
It is always The Cell.
It’s so important to Him,
and He will undoubtedly keep His promise.
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17 God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. 18 So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. 19 This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. 20 Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.
– Hebrews 6:17-20
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“Because it is not us but that we proclaim Christ Jesus the Lord”