Last month I found out my 13-year-old son would need radical ear surgery. Stunned, I researched the condition hoping it was not serious and we could avoid surgery. Reading the outcomes if left untreated, I realized Samuel needed to have the non-cancerous growth removed from his ear.
As with any trial Samuel faces, I reached out to our church family for prayer. They have prayed for everything from a sniffle, cold and flu to his g-tube surgery when he was a baby. In an instant, I can text Samuel’s needs and this dear group of dedicated people who have loved our little guy from the beginning pray.
They have even prayed for the surgeon who did his tracheostomy surgery as a baby. You see, Samuel had so many folds, you could hardly see his neck. How would the doctor even find his neck to place the trach? Here is what the doctor told us when I asked if he had ever done surgery on a child with Thanatophoric Dwarfism before:
“No, I haven’t. I’ve done many tracheostomies and haven’t failed yet.”
That was good enough for me. I called the prayer leader, Linda and asked her to get the word out. After surgery, I asked the doctor:
“How did it go?”
“Your prayers were answered.”
Yes, God answered in a big way. Because of this surgery, five months later, we were able to bring Samuel home from the hospital. This same surgeon who my church family prayed over so many years ago will be the same surgeon doing the Canal Wall Down procedure next week. He will be twice prayed over.
As the surgery date comes closer and my anxiety rises, my need for prayer increases. The question becomes, how should I pray?
How To Pray: Specifically
I should ask God for specific requests. Why? Celebrating individual answers to specific prayers increases my faith. Not only my faith, but the faith of everyone who prays.
I wrote down ten specific prayer requests for Samuel’s surgery. Several of these requests can be used for any surgery and others are more specific to the Canal Wall Down procedure.
1. No Infection
2. No fever
3. No facial nerve damage
4. No ringing in the ear
5. No complications
6. No hearing loss from surgery
7. No dizziness
8. No pain
9. No overnight stay
10. Fast recovery
As I re-read this list, I know nothing is out of God’s ability to answer. This leads to the next way to pray.
How To Pray: Believing
Is it reasonable to ask God that my son would have no pain after surgery? Yes, because nothing is out of God’s reach. Even seemingly impossible prayers. After all, my son is a living miracle having survived his lethal form of dwarfism.
So when I pray, I need to believe God is able and willing.
“But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:6 NIV
Does this mean I have never prayed doubting? No. But God has an answer for my doubt. In the book of Mark, you’ll find a story about a father whose son was demon possessed. The father brought his son to the disciples to heal, but they couldn’t so they brought the boy to Jesus:
20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. 21Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. 22″It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” 23″‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 24Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:20 – 24 NIV
The answer to my doubt is to ask God to help me overcome my doubt. As I remember all the answered prayers, two miracles God has performed through my son and focus on God’s supremacy verses the circumstances, my doubt melts away.
This leads me to my final point of prayer…
How To Pray: Expectantly
Do you eagerly expect God to answer your prayers?
In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3 NIV
Looking at the prayer list for Samuel’s surgery, I am excited to watch God answer each one of these requests. And as you pray with me, we can all rejoice together when we see what God has done.Pray expecting God to answer. Click To Tweet
What is so exciting about praying expectantly is the joy and jubilation you feel when you see how God answers your specific prayers. Like when I asked God to bring my son home from the hospital and six months later it happened. Or when Samuel was able to come off of his ventilator…a miracle.
Another mom, Kristin Loucks, whose son Hezekiah Samuel has Thanatophoric Dwarfism also prayed for her son’s survival. And now he is seven months old and home from the hospital. Answered prayer.
These specific prayers offered in faith and expectancy are uplifting. They help us to be encouraged in through our trials and circumstances.
Are you praying specifically, believing, and expectantly? Comment below.