It was just a simple prayer, but it communicated more than words alone could ever express. Our daughter, Meagan is in her final year of medical school and doing her rotations in various specialties at Texas Tech University Health Science Center. I was in Lubbock to help our son, Ryan move in to a house after returning from Italy. As we were working, Meagan said, “Daddy, I have a favor to ask you. Would you go to the hospital with me to pray with a man in Spanish?” She explained, that a man in MICU and his family had been asking for a Spanish-speaking priest who could pray with them. They had been able to find a priest but he only spoke English. I couldn’t refuse my daughter’s caring request.
Meagan entered the room first and told the patient that I was a minister who spoke Spanish and would like to pray with him. She asked permission to tell me the details of his medical condition. She explained to me that he was in his 50’s and had a terminal illness. He had never been in the hospital before. We put on gloves and gowns before we entered his room. Two family members were with him and I asked permission to read and pray with him. He could not talk but shook his head, “yes.” I read Psalms 23 and prayed for healing, peace, faith and grace.
I learned a couple of lessons in those few short minutes. First, I was taught by the faith, compassion and persistence of my daughter. As I prayed, she looked into the patient’s eyes and said she could only see fear. We both were touched by his desire to have a connection to his Creator at this time full of uncertainty. It is true that no matter where we have been in life, when we come face to face with our mortality, we search for our Heavenly Father. The second thing that I was reminded of was the power of a simple prayer in one’s heart language. He could not talk but his request spoke volumes. I don’t know his standing in his relationship with the Lord. I will let the Lord be the judge. However, the patient’s request reminded me everyone’s need to hear from and be heard by their Father.
Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:13-16