One of my fears is that in my prayers I am ‘putting God to the test.’ Sort of, ‘Show us, God’. I am aware of the somewhat related danger of using God as the ‘great vending machine in the sky’, where we pray only when we need something, thinking that if we put in a prayer the answer we want comes out. I try to stay away from that danger, not always with success. I do try to follow the ‘ACTS’ model of prayer: Adoration; Confession; Thanksgiving; Supplication. It is based on the model Jesus gave us in the Lord’s Prayer. What comforts me is that Jesus prayed for outcomes too, hence his inclusion of ‘give us our daily bread’ and so forth.
In the end I believed that it was right to ask you to pray with all of those who were praying for Tony to receive a new liver. In the course of several days Tony’s family was blessed with answers to prayers. First there was a shower of gifts, a downpour of love gifts, in the middle of a rare April snowstorm, which will relieve the family’s financial pressures. The women who organized the fundraiser saw their very hard work get rewarded in ways I am sure that exceeded even their dreams.
The second answer to prayers came a few days later when a liver became available and it was a match for Tony’s body. The fact that a team of medical professionals can work 12 or so hours straight on a task which requires exact precision and unparalleled focus is another feat in which people with spiritual eyes can see God at work. The surgery was complicated, and there are many steps in the healing process yet to come. Still, the hundreds, maybe thousands of prayers for Tony received God’s resounding ‘YES’!
It was a lifetime’s worth of miracles in the course of a week. I thank God for giving us this glimpse into his magisterial power and abiding love, for showing us that God does care for one person and one family in this way, and for letting us be reminded that God still uses human instruments, like you, to pray dreams into miracles.
To God be the glory. Great things God has done! Amen, Amen, Amen.