The elders at North Point Community Church pray over sick people when asked. I’ve participated in many of these prayer sessions as an elder. They are usually accompanied by an air of sadness, especially when the person is very sick . . . when their odds of healing seem pretty low.
As my adventure with Merkel cell carcinoma unfolded, it hit me that I should ask the elders to pray for my family and me. My first thought was, “Nah, I’m good. A lot of people are already praying for us . . . why trouble the elders? I might be healed with radiation therapy and never even get that sick!” But then I recognized the source of that message. It was pride, straight from the evil one. As is often the case, pride was standing in the way of obedience. James 5:14 is clear . . .
“Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.”
So I obeyed. I humbled myself, reached out to Terry, the elder prayer coordinator, and asked for the elders to gather and pray for me. She scheduled the prayer session and suggested I invite my family and close friends to participate.
I don’t have words to describe what happened. Friends, mentees, and church leaders came from all over the southeast. The room was full . . . the Holy Spirit, present and palpable. My kids and grandkids had a ringside seat to watch His church at work.
After the elders anointed me with oil, laid hands, and prayed for healing, my friend Larry gave everyone a card and a pen. He cited several verses but especially Romans 8:34b . . .
“Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”
He invited everyone to ask Jesus, “How are You praying for Regi and his family?” and to write down what was revealed. After everyone finished, we lifted the cards to the Father and placed everyone’s prayers on His altar. It was a beautiful thing. When Miriam and I read the cards later, I felt the overwhelming love of my Heavenly Father and my friend Jesus.
After hearing that, you might wonder, “Regi, what did you sense Jesus was praying for you?”
Clear as a bell, God gave me one word . . . live!
Easy enough, right? Sure, if living only means breathing, eating, and sleeping, that’s second nature.
But truly living? It’s tough when you’re distracted with cancer treatment, feeling the “now or never” pressure to spend time with family and do other important things, and rehearsing your demise over and over again.
And I think that’s why God gave me that word. It was an order. An instruction to obey. He always knows exactly what I need.
So, what does “living” mean to me? Staying focused only on today (Matthew 6:34), being “Kingdom-minded” in all I do (Matthew 9:37), and living with purpose, urgency, and positive expectancy (Mark 13:35).
The more I think about, the more I see that Jesus’ prayer for me is His prayer for all of His followers.
So, will you join me today (and every day) and . . . live!?
Scriptures: Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34)
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” (Matthew 9:37)
Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. (Mark 13:35)