I shouldn’t be surprised when God answers prayer. It’s not that I don’t get answers – I do, but there are some requests that I make that at the time do not seem to be answered. I am speaking of prayers for healing – the ones I pray for myself!
I can’t count the number of times when I have prayed over colds, sore throats and other aches and pains. I have always assumed that the nature of the illness was not that severe that time and nature would not do their stuff eventually. A sleepless night of coughing and spluttering were small in comparison to dealing with cancer or something.
There has, however, been something probably just as small, but infinitely more painful over the last few months. I have been waking up in the middle of the night with a feeling of being suffocated. It feels like tight band across my upper abdomen and I find it hard to breath. After a while, things begin to relax a little, but it is all very painful. I am quite sure that it is just a very painful episode of indigestion. I am not a doctor, so I could be wrong. After an hour or two of the cramps, a visit to the toilet usually sorts things out.
While I was away on holiday, visiting family, I had a very bad session. I was awake most of the night and eventually drove to an all night petrol station to buy pain killers and indigestion tablets which had absolutely no effect at all. That was after praying fervently for a healing touch that never came.
I was no better in the morning, the day we were due to come home, and was incapable of driving anywhere. The following day, having had to pay for an extra night at the hotel, I drove home. I wasn’t really up to it, but another night was out of the question.
I think it took a week to feel like myself again. That maybe sounds like something more serious the indigestion. Frankly I think it was the KFC chicken things. A touch of food poisoning perhaps. I used to have a steel lined stomach in my younger days, but as I get older, things don’t always agree with me. I know that you can have these allergy tests done, but I would be horrified to discover a list of things that I am allergic to.
Earlier this afternoon I felt the stirrings of another attack of indigestion. There was the same tight feeling of being unable to breathe and a severe pain that had me doubled over. It was bad. I am sure I was groaning loud enough to be heard next door. I will admit to taking a couple of painkillers just before I slipped onto my knees and prayed.
I don’t think there was anything different in the words I used, or my sincerity, or faith level. I just knew that I couldn’t do another week like the last time. There was absolutely no time for the painkillers to take effect. I had taken them some twenty seconds before I began to pray. I remember praying that the pain would leave just as swiftly as it had come, and that healing was part of the salvation package. And then it happened – just as quickly as the pain had come, it went away. Not after a while. Not a gradual feeling better. It really was instant, straight away, immediate – and I was amazed!
The sceptics would say that it was the tablets. The spiritually zealous would condemn me for taking the tablets in the first place. I say that God healed me!