My son wasn’t healed—not physically.
Steven was treated for leukemia, first with chemotherapy and then with a bone marrow transplant. He relapsed, and we were informed that he was terminally ill.
In the last weeks of his life, my faith was threatened. Did I still believe? Did I trust God’s love? I needed the faith of my believing friends to sustain me. Their prayers were vital.
Steven’s illness took place more than thirty years ago. My heart has healed with a little scar. There have been other health issues in our family and friends have prayed with us. The church, the community of people joined in faith and prayer, has been essential. Jesus instituted the church for our support and growth. In the New Testament, the church is mentioned 74 times.
The first mention takes place after Peter confesses with faith that Jesus “is the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Then Jesus says, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
The church is built on faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
In the book, Prayer in the Night; For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep, Tish Harrison Warren wrestles with times when God seems distant. She writes about the prayers and traditions of the church. When we pray the prayers we’ve been given by the church—the prayers of the psalmist and the saints, the Lord’s prayer, the Daily Office—we pray beyond what we can know, believe or draw up in ourselves.
In the past few weeks Warren’s book has been a soothing read. It has reminded me of ways that I have been blessed by the church.
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