You may notice that I am off the prayer request list! I am so very grateful and happy to report that my challenges with long Covid and the diseases it induced have been reduced to a manageable point (and are nearly gone), and I can now do most things in life again. Among the greatest of joys of returning to normal life has been seeing you all at church. There is nothing like seeing all of your smiling faces, both the familiar ones and the new.
I can’t tell you how very much I have appreciated your prayers, and especially for such an extended period of time. Like so many health conditions, long Covid is incredibly isolating. Knowing that so many of you were praying for me was incredibly powerful, not least of all because I felt closer to you all, I felt remembered, and it reminded me that I was still with you all as part of the communion of saints and not so alone after all.
Additionally, your prayers came to mean a lot to me because I knew among other things you were praying prayers of intercession for healing for me that I did not feel called to pray for myself. Instead, each day I simply continued to pray in the manner I have for some time, offering myself, all of my concerns (including my health), and all of my gratitude to God, asking that He would do in and through me whatever He would, and that He would grant whatever was necessary to help me carry out his will for me that day without asking for any particular outcome for any of the concerns. (I do want to confess here that one day when I was completely exasperated and at my wit’s end I did ask for healing, but I felt like I missed the mark that day.)
Recently I mentioned some of this to a close family member, and they were perplexed as to why I wouldn’t ask for my own healing. And all I can say is that no matter how badly I wanted to be healed I continued to believe that no matter how terrible things got I continued to trust that God’s will for me was for the highest good of all, even when I didn’t understand it, even when I didn’t like it, and even on occasion when I would become really angry at God, because I believe God loves me (and everyone) infinitely.
But I still very much wanted to be healed! And your prayers brought a relief that’s hard to articulate that this was being prayed for. Healing was (and is) central to so much of Christ’s work, and there is much said in the Bible about praying for healing. And yet, we also have Christ’s ultimate example of praying, “Thy will be done.” So to me there is no one right way as to how one is “supposed” to pray in these (and many other) situations. And, frankly, at the time I just kept praying as I was guided.
Recently, I’ve thought more about why I didn’t feel called to pray for my own healing, and I’ve come to believe that it was the Holy Spirit prompting me to pray only for God’s will. I believe that the prompting itself was an act of divine grace and mercy when I most needed it because every time I prayed I was reminded that I (imperfectly) trust God absolutely and that he loves me infinitely. As much as I wanted and needed to be healed, I needed to remember that even more.
Thank you, again, for being on this year-and-a-half-long (and lifelong) journey with me.