When the youth pastor said, “If you’re comfortable, Jena, let us lay our hands on you and pray for God to heal you.”
What the… what? My stomach flipped and my heart raced. Fear enveloped me. All of those people circling around me? All of these kids focusing on me?
I’m more of a behind the scenes kind of gal. I like to be appreciated, but I don’t want public recognition. This was so far out of my comfort zone it wasn’t even in the same zip code, but how could I refuse prayer??
The worship team began to sing. At first all I could think about was How am I supposed to react? Do I sit, stand, look up, bow my head? What is the protocol for this? I felt vulnerable, exposed, unworthy, a shyster.
But these kids, ranging in age from 20 to early 30’s, completely erased my fears. They prayed so eloquently I later asked how often they’d done this before and was astonished to learn that I was the first recipient of this circle of healing prayer. Truly, the way they embraced me, each other, and God and just seemed to know what to do… I was sure they’d practiced!
As my fears subsided, the worship team’s lyrics came into focus.
What a beautiful name it is.
Nothing compares to this.
The name of Jesus Christ my King.
As the kids laid their hands on my shoulders and back, a flood of love overwhelmed my body. It was such a deluge of emotions, in fact, that I overflowed, tears cascading onto my red shirt.
“We claim healing for this warrior.”
“Lord, let her know that she is loved.”
“Cancer is not of you, Lord. We ask that you remove it from her body, God.”
I was no longer crying; I was weeping. Tears, snot, shoulders shaking. It was too much and yet just perfect. Their words gave validation to my fears and my hopes. The kids, most of whom had just met me, were genuine and fervent, each taking a turn at offering up prayers.
And I kept my eyes closed, head bowed, feeling their dynamic presence and sobbing as my cup runneth over.
I will never forget the flood that moved me when all of these young people prayed their own prayers together aloud, a murmuring of power and grace. Hope and conviction.
Their love for Jesus entered my body, fusing the broken pieces in my spirit. They couldn’t know what a spiritual healing I felt in that moment.
After, there were hugs and thank yous and “you’re going to beat this”-es. I overheard them talking to each other about how moved they were by the strength in their voices crying out to God AS one FOR one.
Young men told me of their mothers’ battles with breast cancer.
Each asserted that they would continue to pray for me.
I can tell you this, my friends. It was one of the most pure and profound moments of my life. I don’t know how God chooses who will get a physical healing, but if the sincerity of prayer is a factor, I cannot wait to see what God has in store for me.
He is making a way in this wilderness.