I am part of a four-person prayer team. My pastor is one of the members as well. This has been a wonderful, powerful prayer experience and I have truly been blessed to be among the other prayer warriors. Any of us can add a person to the prayer list as we feel called by God to pray for people. Our team meets weekly, where we pray together, and then we each pray at home daily for all of the people on our confidential list.
I had spoken with Tom who had shared a story with me about a woman of great faith: 104 years old and diagnosed with lung cancer. Although she was 104 years old, I felt called to pray for her. Who knows? Maybe God will touch her with his healing touch and give her 20 more years?! I had understood Tom to say that this woman was the grandmother of Nancy, his girlfriend.
Our team prayed diligently for this woman for about a month. We prayed together and individually. Then I spoke to Nancy at church.
" Hey Nancy! How is your grandmother?"
Nancy shot me a quick glance before looking at Tom with a longer, more deliberate look. She continued to look at him without blinking, while she spoke to me. "She is fine," she answered as she continued to look at Tom as if to say, " What have you been saying now?"
Tom glanced at me, and then Nancy and back to me. I frowned.
At this point, most people would have changed the subject. But not me! "I thought your grandmother had lung cancer..."
Nancy looked like she had been hit in the face with cold water. She quickly raised her eyebrows, as her whole body jerked to attention. (Note to self: Ask Nancy if she has ever been in the military. But save that question for another day.) She glanced at Tom again; as did I. Tom looked as if he were really confused.
Again, I continued..." Isn't she 104 years old?"
With a wrinkled brow, Nancy said, "My grandmother is in her eighties and she is fine."
"Oh, Ok. That is great to know! Apparently, I got something really confused." (What in the world am I going to tell the prayer team? Who had we been praying for?!)
Thankfully, Nancy walked away as Tom and I were left to talk. I slowly turned my head to Tom and said, " Uh, Tom, didn't you tell me a story about a woman who was Nancy's grandmother and was a woman of great faith, who was diagnosed with lung cancer at the age of 104?"
"Uh, Yes I did, but Kathy, remember, that was not Nancy's grandmother. That was the grandmother of a friend of mine that I used to work with. But that was a long time ago. She has been dead for about 10 years."
I almost fainted. How do you break the news to your prayer team that you have had them praying for healing for a woman who has been dead for ten years? How would I tell my pastor? Is that grounds for being kicked out of a church?! Glad the pastor is out of town!
"Oh, sorry Tom. I got that all confused. I thought you had said that it was Nancy's grandmother! Sorry about the mix up!" (No need to tell him about the prayer list.)
"No problem, Kathy!"
The following day, I was at the prayer team meeting reviewing the list with my prayer partners. We got to the name of our 104 year old dead woman. Well, actually, I guess she would be 114 now. "I have an update about this lady. We can quit praying for her now. I really owe ya'll an apology. Apparently, I got a story confused that someone told me and this lady has actually been dead for ten years. I am sooooo sorry"
"You mean to tell me that you have had me praying every day for a dead woman for the whole last month?!" exclaimed Prayer partner #1.
"I am afraid so." I dropped my head.
Then the snickering started. Then the laughter. I said, " Surely this is not the first time that this ever happened in the history of the world. What does God do when this happens?" I asked. " I mean, the whole time we were praying, he knew that this woman was dead!"
Prayer partner #2 said, "I think he just probably looks down on us and laughs like we do. I really believe that we have a God that can laugh with us."
Prayer partner #1 agreed with her. "Yes, I truly believe that he can. We will just remove her from our list and if the pastor asks what happened with her, we will simply say, 'She is at peace now' and just leave it at that"
We all laughed together.
Prayer partner #1 did tell me that they would never let me live this down and anytime in the future that I wanted to add someone to the prayer list, they would ask me specifically if I knew this person personally or if this was from something I had heard about somewhere.
I have enjoyed laughing about this story, although I have been terribly embarrassed at the same time. I once knew a lady who used to say, " The only people who don't make mistakes are people who don't try!" I think I can comfortably modify this saying to: "The only people who don't make mistakes with prayer are people who don't pray!"
Thanksgiving Challenge and Joy Dare--
Today, I am Thankful for:
147. Trusty shoes.
148. Hoop earrings
149. My prayer warrior friends.
150. Heat-Might as well be, because that is what we have in Texas right now.
copyright 2012 by Kathy Robbins