READ : Luke 18:1-8
Jesus used a military term when He said we should keep on praying and never lose heart, thus abandoning the battlefield. In prayer we seize the shield of faith to protect ourselves and our loved ones from harm. The Psalmist says that because we have set our love on the Lord, He will protect us from all harm, and from the pestilence that stalks in darkness (Ps. 91).
Medicine, for all its wonderful accomplishments, is subject to human error. According to the American Medical Association Journal, 180,000 hospitalized Americans die each year because of errors caused by hospital personnel. With downsizing, nurses are overworked and spread too thin.
Our daughter, when five, needed a tonsillectomy. We explained what the doctor would do, in order to allay her fears (and ours). We told her Jesus would be with her. “If I talk to Jesus with my mouth moving, my eyes closed and my hands folded, will they think I’m praying?” she asked. We said it didn’t matter what they thought. She came out of surgery saying she wasn’t afraid, so she didn’t need to pray. But we did!
A five-year-old in the next bed also had a tonsillectomy. She began to hemorrhage. Because the alert parents notified the nurses, she was rushed in for emergency surgery. We need the shield of faith, as well as our own attentiveness.
Lord, we take the shield of faith for the sick, praying persistently and watchfully, for Your grace and protection. Amen.