Last Updated on March 20, 2018

The phone rang at 8 p.m. I heard the broken voice of my son’s best buddy, and he said that his grandfather was really sick and wanted to know if we would please pray for him. This boy needed to know we would be praying for his pap. We did.

The next morning his mother called me to explain that, indeed, her father was gravely ill and in the hospital. Mind you, this was an illness that came on suddenly.

One day he was a healthy, tough Texan; the next day he was feeling a little under the weather, and soon after he was in intensive care in the hospital, fighting for his life with illnesses that are too complicated for me to figure out how to spell at the moment.

What’s been amazing as my friend has gone through the month-long process of staying at the hospital and caring for her father is the need she has had: to know that others are praying for him — a need shared by her own sweet son in that telephone call to us, the family of his best buddy.

Jessica, her mother, and her siblings have all been taking turns staying at the hospital and working with the staff to see to all of his needs. The days and nights have become one, and sleep is fleeting for everyone involved. In those moments when she or her sister do have a coherent moment, their need is to connect with others on the Internet by giving us updates on their father’s condition, and sharing with us the ways we can pray for him and for the family and staff caring for him.

I’ve sensed as I read on my screen the words they type, the connection they feel with those clicking the keys on the other end, is like a lifeline to their heavenly Father. Jessica and her sister need to know we are praying for their dad, and every now and then they check and make sure that we are praying and praying hard.

I found it interesting that this morning when I was reading my Bible I came to Mark 14:32–41 and there I read of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. It struck me that the need Jessica and her family have — to know we are praying for them — was a need also felt by Jesus. When Jesus was not in deep prayer with His Father and he had a coherent moment, He went to His disciples and implored them to pray for Him and for themselves as they waited in that garden.

I have learned that by not earnestly praying for their friend — their teacher — the disciples missed out on a major blessing. As I have been lifting up fervent prayers for this precious family, I recognize that through the process I am gaining much. I have shared some amazing intimate moments with my Father, and He is using this opportunity to grow my faith in Him.

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