Answered Prayer

I had the faith of a child long after I was past the age of reason.

I grew up on stories of faith healing.  At least once a year there was a faith healing service.  Of course, there were testimonies before and after.  

The most dramatic was the time someone had a heart attack.  The hundreds of us gathered stood and prayed while the EMTs rushed in.  I was told the person had died.  While the EMT’s did resuscitation, we stood and prayed some more.  Every time I looked back down the aisle I felt guilty since everyone else had their eyes closed and looked ahead.  The person was rushed to hospital and later discharged.  We praised God.  

If God could bring people back from the dead, why couldn’t other more trivial things be fixed?  When I twisted my ankle, I asked for prayer.  Mostly because I wanted to play baseball and basketball.  My ankle remained sprained.  I was sincerely surprised that the prayer didn’t cause the swelling to shrink.  But, this forced me to help out with the children’s events instead of sports so I’m sure it built character.  It was God’s will.  

Another service was held after the young people had gone sledding down a ski hill.  I had started from the top, tore through some bushes, and then collided with a group that had prudently started halfway down the hill.  After regaining consciousness, I found I had also bruised my kidneys.  Because of that, I was a little sore during the service and lay down beneath the bench while everyone else was in front of the alter.  (Which looked suspiciously like a speaker’s podium.)  The other teens surrounded a friend with a disabled arm.  I could hear her screaming with pain and everyone praising God.  Her arm apparently grew while they put their hands on her and prayed.  I couldn’t see but I believed.

An elder came over to me, as I looked like something was wrong.  He asked what he could pray for.  I asked for God to heal my body, from my aching torso to my poor eyesight.  

I believed God was totally capable.  I couldn’t think of any reason why not to.  I had faith.

The elder laughed, condescendingly or nervously?  He told me that he would ask god I’d gain confidence instead.

I got that at least, albeit a decade later.  And no thanks to either of them.

4 thoughts on “Answered Prayer

  1. TWF says:

    I always enjoy your tales of your early church life. Mine was so bland by comparison. Maybe because of that, I’ve always been fascinated by the micro-cultures of different particular churches. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. Donna Banta says:

    I agree, I like these posts. Some years ago when we were living in Dallas, an LDS missionary was brutally beaten in a random attack. I remember being told that he was recovering because he was given a blessing. Of course, I’m thinking–why did God let this happen in the first place? Missionaries are given blessings when they begin their missions…

  3. I’m curious, Prairienymph, when the person with the heart attack recovered, did anyone think to thank or praise the medical people who saved his life? I don’t mean my question to be taken in accusatory manner. I’m just genuinely curious whether giving at least some credit to the medical people crossed anyone’s mind?

  4. prairienymph says:

    I really don’t remember if the medical team were thanked publicly. I wonder what went through their minds as they worked surrounded by what must have looked like a group of zombies groaning (we were praying in tongues).
    Medical professionals were praised but always with the greater glory going to god, or with the preface that god had worked through them.

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