Six years ago, for Lent, I made a commitment to pray for Superman for 40 days. I got up 45 minutes early each morning (4:30 am) to cover my soulmate in prayer. I’m not talking a typical quick “Please bless Superman” prayer, but a thoughtful, desperate plea for the Lord to heal him. I created a private prayer blog, something I could go back and read to remind myself of what the Lord had or hadn’t done. It was something new for me…making those moments the center of my day, the most important thing I did each morning. I mean, I regularly pray and read my Bible, but never anything like this. There were days when I truly felt the Lord was listening to me, answering my cry for help. There were other days, however, when I wondered if I was wasting my time by praying. Here’s a sample of one of those days:
“Lord, I’m feeling discouraged. Is it worth it for me to pray? It seems that Chris is just as bad now as he was 26 days ago when I started praying for him. Last night I begged you to help him wake up this morning feeling energetic and encouraged, and that his inflammation would be better. Lord, what is the purpose of his pain? I know you don’t have to answer me, but I am so frustrated. I feel like it is pointless for me to get up early each morning and pray for him if you have no intention of healing him. Am I wasting my time? It hurts me to see him so discouraged and beat down. The poor man is at his wit’s end. Please, please, please help him! Help him to at least see a glimmer of hope at the end of this trial, Lord. I know you are Lord of all, and you have plans to prosper Chris and not harm him, but I feel like I (and he) need a little bit of encouragement. Are you still there? Do you care that he is suffering? Please, Lord, give us some guidance. I love you and we just want to be in your will. Help us to have clean hearts that can hear you speaking to us. Take away anything that may be hindering us from that closeness with you. Thank you for all our blessings. Help us to remember gratitude even in the midst of discouragement.”
There were mornings following sleepless nights, when I wanted to turn off the alarm and roll over in bed. There were even tears of discouragement, feeling as though my prayers were being shot off somewhere into space, floating through the unknown. I ultimately knew I needed to press on; I knew the Lord had not forgotten me or my requests. He’s all about HIS timing, not mine. All I needed to do was put Him first, and He would take care of the rest.
So pray I did. And by Easter Sunday, Superman was having more “good” days than “bad.” It wasn’t an overnight healing miracle. It was a gradual transition that would probably have gone unnoticed if not for our fervent unrelenting prayers, and our conscious attention to the details. He still wasn’t 100% healed. However, this portion of my “Eve of Easter” prayer sums it up:
“…Lord, this night concludes my Lent commitment to rise early each morning and pray for Chris’ healing. Although we may not have seen a dramatic healing miracle overnight, I thank you for the obvious strides he has made over these last 46 days. Thank you for healing him piece by piece, bit by bit. Thank you for giving us encouragement when we felt as though all hope was lost in regards to his health. Thank you for reminding us that you are fully in control, weaving an intricate tapestry, and we are merely the tools you use to accomplish your tasks. Lord, I pray that you would continue to heal Chris’ body. I pray that you would continue to bless me with the commitment and energy to get up early until we can call his body “healed.” Please, Lord, help us to notice positive changes in Chris’ health and to give you and only you the glory. May we never forget who healing comes from and never be shy about sharing the good news with those around us. I pray that Chris would feel your presence so evidently that he can be nothing but joyful when he wakes up each morning…”
He wasn’t healed overnight, but Superman woke up Easter morning and said he felt better than he had in a decade. For the first time in years, he was pain free. I didn’t know whether that would last or not, but I did know that he was on the healing track. I knew he was being healed, it was just happening on the Lord’s timetable. So, I was patient. I kept praying early every morning until we got to the point a few years later when we felt we could actually use the words, “Superman’s healed!”
Sometimes, it takes God longer than we want to answer our prayers. Sometimes he never answers them in the way that we want or expect. But no matter the timetable, He is always faithful.
It took Chris three years to be “healed.” It was a long, arduous road, but praise the Lord for his patience with us while we tried to rush His will. If you’re in a waiting season, hang in there, friend. If you are wondering if your prayers are randomly flying through space, find comfort in knowing that they are going straight up to God like incense. If you are wondering if God will ever answer your prayers, know that He will answer them according to His will and purpose, which is so far better than ours.
Stay faithful. Stay committed. And most importantly, stay close to Him. It’s the only way you will make it through the dark wilderness and into freedom and light.