When Prayer Actually "Works"
A few years ago, when my brother was diagnosed with a serious brain tumor, I thought a lot about prayer. People prayed all the time for my father, but he died of cancer. If it didn't "work" for my dad, why pray for my brother to be healed? If my brother were to make a full recovery, what about all the people that die from the same sickness? If Karl were to be healed, how could you claim it isn't just a random luck of the draw?
Then Karl did actually get healed. This conversation suddenly became a bit "stickier." For whatever reason, something miraculous did happen. What if prayer actually had an impact, even a minor one, in Karl's recovery?
My old basketball coach (this guy), used to talk to his teams about the importance of praising the Lord after someone that you have prayed for is healed. He would remind us how "easy" it is to pray for someone that is sick--we do it all the time; it's much more difficult to attribute healing to God (and not simply to medicine, doctors, incorrect diangosises, etc.). I know I do this all the time.
Given Lukas' past week, I've been thinking about this again. Maybe the doctors just feared a worse case scenario (stomach malrotation), but really he was fine. Or, maybe, the people that prayed and prayed and prayed for Lukas might have actually had some sort of impact.
I still don't know why bad things happen to good people; but I think an equally tricky question, is why good things also happen. I still don't know how prayer works, but I'm also pretty sure, prayer actually does "work."
I just wish more people could report similar miracles. Something I felt quite poigenantly as I walked through the childrens' hospital in Boston.