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February 16, 2021: The Unexpected Prayer

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16, NIV).

At any time or any place, someone is praying. These are known as “expected prayers”—at church, before meals or during pastors’ visits. Such was the case when I visited a member the night before open-heart surgery.

We spoke and prayed over his concerns and the comforting hope found in his medical team and his faith.

I returned days later to hear, “Hello, Pastor. Thank you for visiting, but your prayer didn’t work! After you left, I fell asleep, but fear awakened me when I realized that in just hours my physician would be holding my heart in his hand as he performed bypass surgery. My door opened, and a lady came in, tidying, mopping and emptying the trash.”

She asked, “Are you having surgery today?”

“Yes, how do you know?” he asked.

“Well your eyes are wide open, and you can’t sleep. She then told me about the wonderful medical team that prays each morning for the patients, and then she prayed for me. Pastor, when she prayed, it was like an angel whispering in my ear. I slept like a baby.”

He reiterated, “Pastor, her prayer worked—your prayer didn’t!”

The unexpected prayer—the prayer of a caring person who took a moment to lift someone up to God; who stopped and did what medicine cannot do, and touched another’s heart and soul!

Thank You, Lord, that an unexpected prayer can move mountains. Amen.

Peter Bath is the vice president of Mission and Ministry at Kettering Adventist HealthCare in Ohio.

Read and share articles from the January/February 2021 Visitor: