Not long ago, the church I was attending put something in the bulletin that just struck me as odd. Here's a little background:
One of the members of the church has a grandson who suffers from seizures. He was currently in the process of doctors trying to figure out what to do. Was medication going to help? Was he going to need surgery? What kind of surgery? Well, in the bulletin, a little about his story had been posted along with a picture and the phrase "Pray for a miracle."
I found this to be a very strange request.
It's not that I don't believe in miracles. I do. I've seen God perform them. But is it my prayers that determine if God is going to work a miracle? No. Ultimately it's God's Will as to whether He chooses to work a miracle. And what if that miracle isn't what I was expecting? Is it any less a miracle?
So what do I pray for? I pray for God's Will to be done. I know that is kind of difficult to understand, especially when I've seen God work so much in my daughter's life. But, to be honest, even when we were in the middle of the NICU and later the PICU, I never once prayed for a miracle. Don't get me wrong. It is miraculous that Princess doesn't have any lasting effects from her prematurity and didn't have any of the scary things like brain bleeds or lung issues or anything else happen. But that wasn't because I was praying for a miracle. I was simply praying that God take care of her. He told me He would. It's also a miracle that we got the diagnosis we did when we did. If there is a rare disease that is better to have than another, PHA2 falls in that category. There's a treatment for it. So many rare diseases don't have treatments.
So when someone asks me to pray for a miracle, I just find that to be rather strange. Having a special child and having followed several special children online, praying for a miracle just doesn't seem right. What exactly are you praying for when you pray for a miracle? Chances are, people are praying for a spontaneous, miraculous healing. But what if that's not what God wants? What if God wants to use this illness, injury, or other trial or tribulation to strengthen someone? What if God wants to show how He works through surgeons and doctors and technology and other advances? What if God needs to call this person Home because their work on Earth is finished?
I find the last question especially poignant when I think about sick children. But at the same time it's still a miracle. God has decided that yes, they do need a miraculous healing, but it won't be here on Earth. Instead, they will get their perfect body in Heaven.
Another thing I prayed for while we were in the NICU and PICU was the other children. When Princess was in the critical room, I didn't see many parents in there. I don't know if they just couldn't bring themselves to walk into the hospital knowing their child was so ill or if they were afraid to grow attached only to lose them. But what I did was I prayed for all those little ones in there. I prayed for the doctors to have the wisdom to know what was wrong with them so they could help them. I prayed for the nurses to notice when something wasn't right so it could be taken care of promptly.
I don't know. Maybe having spent time with Princess in the NICU and PICU, two places I NEVER thought I would be as an adult, has changed me in more ways than just what other parents who've been there say. Yes, I treasure every milestone Princess has. I pray for yet another day with both my kids. But having been through the most scary thing as a parent you can go through and coming out the other side with my faith in tact has allowed me to grow. Not just as a person, but as a Christian. When you finally realize that prayer isn't a laundry list of wishes, but that it is a conversation with God, the Creator, then things happen in your life. You can really let God handle all those things He has told you He would handle if you would just let go of them. Even though God has given us Free Will, ultimately it's His Will that will act in your life, if you let it.