Matthew 6:7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.
As I rode in an ambulance with needles in my arm that I did not protest having been put there, and tubes in my nostrils providing oxygen which I happily breathed in and out, I wished I was back at work answering the phone that I hate for the afternoon, or at home telling my puppy whom I love (yes, I love a dog) I was off for the day, at which she would dance and spin in circles.
During my lunch hour, my whole day changed. It went from humdrum and normal to chaotic and strange. Suddenly there was a pain that took my breath. I made it to my chair and called 911, eventually ending up on my way to the hospital.
That Wednesday was simply another Wednesday. I got up and dressed for work. At work, the phone rang and rang and rang some more. I looked forward to lunch at one so I could go home and check on my puppy, as I do on every ordinary Wednesday
Unfortunately, that is not how this ordinary Wednesday proceeded. As I rode in the ambulance I said little. The only word I remember saying was a name, the name above every name, Jesus.
The EMT noticed my necklace which had belonged to my sister who passed three years ago. She, speaking to the other EMT, said, “Look she has blue bunnies on her necklace.” I whispered, “Jesus” again as I thought of my sister and all she went through with cancer. How many needles? How much oxygen? Jesus.
My spell, my incident, my I thought to have been my Fred Sanford “big one” warranted me being kept in the cardiac unit overnight for more tests. The tests were done and I fully expected to be going home that Thursday, but after the tests, the door opened and a man in green scrubs introduced himself as a cardiologist. He said the tests were abnormal and I would be taken shortly for a heart cath. What? Shortly? How shortly?
Heart caths don’t happen on Thursdays that follow Wednesdays that start out ordinary, do they? Things were moving way too fast for me. All I could think was that I needed prayer and needed it now. I frantically grabbed my phone and called “churchy” people who might pray as I repeated Jesus, Jesus, JESUS. No answer from the two or three for sure “churchy” people I had in my contacts. What to do? Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.
Two young men arrived at my door to “take me down for MY heart cath.” As they entered I thought of my big brother who I have had, to say the least, a strained relationship with through the years. I dialed. He answered. I asked for prayer. Boom! Done! In Jesus Name.
All went well. And I know it was because Jesus was with me. I don’t remember the words my brother prayed. I only remember the peace that came as he agreed with me that this wasn’t the “big one” and I wasn’t going to join anyone just yet. Prayer is powerful, yet at the same time simple. There need not be a lot of fancy words. All you need to know is THE NAME. JESUS. Call to Him He will hear. He will answer.