I hope you have someone who is praying with you during your cancer journey or whatever trial you’re facing—not just for you, but right with you so you can hear your needs lifted to Heaven. Even though I have been privileged to pray with cancer patients and their caregivers for the past 25+ years, I never cease to be amazed when I see God answer. It’s always especially exciting when patients tell me it’s the first time they really heard from God.
Maureen was one of those patients.
It’s easy to remember when I first met Maureen and her husband—it was the first anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
What a rotten day to have to start chemo, I thought as I talked with the couple in my office. Maureen was forced to reschedule this first treatment because the week before she had had to go to Nebraska where her mother took ill while visiting relatives.
As I explained my job of offering emotional and spiritual support, I could see that Maureen was especially anxious regarding all that lay ahead. She said that she and her husband had gone to church early that morning to pray. I thought perhaps their visit was prompted by the day’s special significance to our country, but she said they made the same visit most mornings before work.
But Maureen admitted that she didn’t feel she heard from God the way other people seemed to hear Him. Her husband concurred that the amazing things that happened to other people never seemed to happen to them.
I didn’t have any answer to their dilemma but asked if I might pray for them before Maureen’s first treatment began. They readily agreed, so we held hands and I prayed a prayer of blessing over them.
When I finished, Maureen had a shocked look on her face.
“I can’t believe what you just prayed!” she said.
Oh dear, have I made some theological mistake? I wondered.
“Why? What did I say?” I asked her.
“You prayed that I would have ‘strength, courage, and peace’,” she said. “Those are the three things I have been praying for, in that exact order, every day since I was diagnosed with cancer.”
“So much for not hearing from God!” I responded with a smile. “I don’t think there’s any doubt now that He heard your prayers!”
I was pretty excited at God’s amazingly fast answer to this couple’s desire to hear from Him, but He wasn’t done with them yet that day.
Maureen went to get her I.V. hooked up, and I went into an exam room to talk with a patient named Dee. She told me she wanted to loan my first book to her next-door neighbor’s daughter who was recently diagnosed with cancer. Dee added some details about how her neighbor had become ill while she was in Nebraska.
“Wait a minute,” I said, stopping her story. “What’s your neighbor’s daughter’s name?”
“Maureen,” she replied.
I quickly dashed into the chemo room and asked Maureen for permission to introduce her to her mother’s neighbor. Within moments introductions were made between the two women who had heard much about each other but never had met. The veteran patient, Dee, hugged the novice patient, Maureen, and assured her she had been praying for her.
“I am so excited,” Maureen kept saying. “Things like this never happen to me!”
And that’s how Maureen learned for sure that God really did hear her prayers and that His amazing power wasn’t just something that happened to other people.
I don’t know if you hear from God everyday or if feel you’ve never really heard from Him, but I promise you that He wants you to draw close and hear His voice.
Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of the rains in early spring. Hosea 6:3
You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior. You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas. Psalm 65:5
If you have someone who will pray with you, ask that person to help you hear from God. If you don’t, please allow me that privilege right now: Father God, My friend needs to hear Your voice today. Will You please some how, some way speak to my friend in a way that will show You do faithfully answer our prayers. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.