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Is God Telling Me No?

The Power of Prayer: No Matter His Answer


My wife was in the kitchen one night making dinner when I happened to walk up and see our youngest, five-year-old son, Jordan, running around like a chicken without a head in the backyard. My wife ran outside to find in horror, that the skin on his arms was bubbling.


Our back door opened to a small set of stairs. Directly next to those stairs, was our grill. Jordan thought it would be a good idea to jump over the grill but didn’t know it was turned on. When he jumped and realized he wasn’t going to make it full over the grill, he braced himself by putting his arms out in front of him and covering his face, falling onto the searing hot metal of the closed grill.


I called 911 immediately. An ambulance came, and they put my little boy in that ambulance. Before they closed the doors — because my wife was going to go to the hospital with him while I stayed back with my other two kids — he looked at me with eyes full of extreme pain. As a father, it ripped me.


When the ambulance pulled out, I went inside, gave my other kids dinner, and got them ready to go to the hospital. But before we left, I knew there was something I had to do. I went downstairs to my computer and started sending emails out to everyone I knew, asking for them to pray.


When we got to the hospital, both of Jordan’s arms were wrapped up like a mummy. The doctor told us it was going to be a difficult night and a difficult time ahead because Jordan had gotten some severe third-degree burns. The doctors worried the burns had done damage to some of the nerves in his wrist.


We went home that night and put him in the tub. No problem there. We put him in bed. No problem there. We figured we were going to be up all night. He slept through the night; a very peaceful night.


The next morning, we had an appointment at the burn center. As we were getting ready to leave, I turned and saw Jordan riding his scooter! He couldn’t bend his arms; he had third-degree burns, but he was riding a scooter, seemingly in no pain. And then, out of nowhere our neighbor, who never ventured from his house, walked over, not knowing what happened, and said, “Everything's going to be okay.” It was all a little too strange. He was supposed to be in severe pain, and why did my neighbor choose right then to finally walk over and talk to me?


At the burn center, they told us that one particularly severe burn right on the underside of his wrist could likely minimize the use of his hand and that there would be scars.


Jordan was five then. Today, he's 27. Though he burned the undersides of both his forearms, he only has one scar behind his wrist and full use of his hand. We believe that one scar is a reminder that God was greater. It’s a little scar left to remind him of God's mercy, God's goodness, and the power of prayer.


James 5:16 says, “The prayer of a righteous man is effective and powerful.”


I'm challenging you today, whatever is going on in your life, pray. And don't just do it alone, but ask others to join you in prayer, and believe that God is greater than your circumstances. Believe that He is good and that His answer will be for your good and His glory, even if it’s not what you wanted.


Years after getting burned, my son began experiencing back problems. We prayed and prayed for God's healing. But it did not come. Through high school and college, Jordan experienced debilitating amounts of pain which often precluded him from playing a sport he loved and being as active as he liked.


In less than six years, he underwent two surgeries on his back. God did not answer our prayers the way we wanted Him to, but He has answered, I believe in the way that was best for Jordan’s soul and for His glory.


God does not always answer our prayers the way we’d like. That’s not the power of prayer. The power is welcoming God into our midst, and expressing our dependence on Him. We can trust that whatever happens and however He chooses to answer, He will walk us through it. I would have rather my son not get burned. I would have rather my son not endure back surgeries. But we don’t stop praying because it strengthens the relationship with a God who has promised never to leave us or forsake us and to use everything for our ultimate, eternal good and His glory.

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