Thursday, August 8, 2013

Prayers and Illness

by Dr. Margaret Aranda

So many people don't know what to do when some one close to them gets sick or injured. Whether it's a neighbor, a colleague at work, or a family member, all of a sudden we wish we had paid attention every time we had heard the words "brain injury" or "diabetes" all our lives, as if we could go back in time. We don't have to carry that guilt, because every day is a new day and even if thousands of miles separate you from the person you love, let me tell you that there is nothing stronger than prayer.

I was raised Catholic, and even though I am now Lutheran, I still love to say the Rosary. For those of you who do not know how to say it:

1. Start at the Crucifix, stating your belief in God, in Jesus, the Resurrection, and life eternal;
2. The lone bead is always The Lord's Prayer;
3. The next 10 beads are always the Hail Mary;
4. Go around the whole rosary saying each prayer, until you are back at the Crucifix again.

I find comfort in The Lord's Prayer. He taught us to be grateful for what we have, to forgive others, and he let us know that we will be judged by the same measure that we ourselves judge. Scary thought. I'd better be more forgiving. 

I know there were many people praying for me while I was destitute and in bed for 6 years. I know that when I had a 'cerebral event' in January that landed me flat on my back again, that people were praying for me again. And I know that without those prayers going up as a sweet scent to Heaven, I would not be here. Intercession is a powerful tool, and we are so blessed that God is a persuadable God. Don't you hate it when you want to persuade someone into doing something with you? And they say no and they won't budge? Well, God isn't like that. He listens. He considers. He loves His Children.

So the next time you feel sad and lonely, pray. Pray out loud and thank God for what you do have. Because I'm grateful for my brain, my fingers, and my computer and the chance to talk to all of you. No matter what else happens, no one can take my computer away from me. And I know that God can turn this superficial 'curse' into a miracle and a blessing for many. So I trudge on, day by day. And I take one day at a time. And day by day, week by week, year by year, I will become what He wants me to be. Because I have asked him to mold me, to make me into what He wants me to be. And all good things come to those who love the Lord, to those who are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28).

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