Because we live in the South, a phrase like soakin’ prayer isn’t all that unusual. But let me explain how it became very real to us.
A lady we know well began to notice that at times she was beginning to see double. It was a nuisance around the house, but when she ventured out on the highway, it would create some significant complications. At times it seemed there were two cars coming toward her but she couldn’t tell for sure which one was real.
It got serious enough that her doctor made an appointment with a neurologist who scheduled her for an MRI study so they could determine the cause. The report came back that there was a small tumor – a meningioma – behind her right eye. Ninety percent of such tumors are benign, but still… We saw the pictures – the meningioma was plain to see.
Kay (I’ll call her) was scheduled for more pictures, on a more sophisticated machine for the next Tuesday. On Monday a close friend from a nearby church phoned and said, “Kay, on Monday night every week we have what we call a ‘soakin’ prayer’ meeting at church. We meet for the specific purpose of praying for the sick and other acute needs in our community. We call it that because we just come together and kind of soak in the presence of God. We’d love to invite you and your husband.” So they met with a small group – a dozen or so – that very evening.
It was a unique event. Quiet; solemn; reverent. One of the group led in a brief devotional on the subject of God’s desire to be a God of healing for His people. Then those wishing to be prayed for sat quietly and those who felt led came and stood behind them. Placing their hands on their heads, they prayed, silently, in turn. There was not a word spoken audibly in the worship center. No music. Just the unmistakable sense that the entire group was “soakin’ in prayer.” When it was over they left. Later, Kay would say that in spite of the uncertainties ahead it gave her the most extreme sense of peace she had ever known.
The next morning Kay and her husband kept their appointment with the neurologist. Carefully he and his team took her through the series of procedures they had scheduled. Within a couple of hours they were on their way home.
Late afternoon Kay’s cell phone rang. It was the neurologist. His first words were, “It’s gone!” “Pardon?,” Kay responded. “It’s gone…the meningioma isn’t there. I looked at the pictures we had taken earlier and anyone can see it. But it’s not there now!”
Can God do that? Of course. He is identified after all as the Great Physician. I sense He may be eager to do it even more often than we ask. Remember, it was Jesus Himself who said, “You have not because you ask not.” I see that as an invitation.
By Don Jacobsen