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Covid-19 Devotionals

Praying for One Another

I write this daily note because of the concern of my condition by quite a few people. My apologies in advance … this is all about me … sorry! Jenny and I are truly humbled by the prayers, messages and calls we have received due to my illness. We so appreciate the family of God, for we know that our dependency is on God alone and our Kingdom Family’s support in our need.

As a pastor, one’s concern is always for others. Yesterday and today, we experienced others’ concern for us coming from the USA, UK and different parts of our country. It is so touching … although it has happened before, this time and the magnitude of this time is extremely special because of what happened.

Let me explain. I woke before 4am yesterday morning needing the toilet. Between 4am and 6am I went for protracted periods of time. During this period, a pain developed on my right side, slightly in and under the rib cage, which eventually became excruciating, reminding me of when I had a kidney stone over twenty years ago. I started to sweat … an ice-cold sweat literally bucketing down. I was dizzy and weak.

By 6.30am, I asked Jenny to get dressed and take me to the hospital. I then went for a shower, battling with pain, sweat and exhaustion. After the shower. I could not dry myself properly so I lay the towel on the bed and lay on it. I lifted my right leg towards my tummy and drifted into a daze where I was sort of sleeping yet conscious enough to pray.

I got up at 8.30am, and guess what? I was totally well. No pain, and the swelling of the tummy had gone down. We had an 11.30am appointment followed by a lunch date. I had a toasted bacon and egg sandwich.

By 2pm, the pain started again, and by the time we arrived home I was in agony, but not as much as the morning. I again lay down and spent the rest of the time until 4am this morning sleeping and praying.

Going slightly backwards, at 3pm I took a laxative that ought to be anal but I used it orally as per the doctor’s recommendation years ago, mixed with apple juice. Absolutely nothing happened. Jenny was wonderful in her care for me.

At 4am this morning, I got up and had my devotions and started working on the sermon for Sunday because we may gather as a church again.

At 7am, I called the doctor’s rooms and made an appointment. I explained everything above to the doctor, adding I felt there was a blockage somewhere. He agreed and sent me for an x-ray.

Praise the Lord there was no blockage. What happened was me having Ileus, which is a temporal paralysis of the intestine (probably the small one), preventing movement. I googled this … and found:

Ileus is the medical term for this lack of movement somewhere in the intestines that leads to a buildup and potential blockage of food material. An ileus can lead to an intestinal obstruction. This means no food material, gas, or liquids can get through.

The doctor says they don’t know what causes this. The cure is being put on an IV drip to correct any electrolyte imbalance with a nasal suction to relieve the buildup of gas and liquid. This is done in a hospital, and they might need to use electrical stimulation to encourage movement in the intestine.

But remember, it’s COVID time … and no beds are available in hospitals. The next option is self-help! No food until there is a movement … though the good news is I may have smoothies, milkshakes and water. The doctor also gave me medication to relax the intestines. The whole process could take up to three days to normalize.

Remember, my last meal was yesterday at midday … this could be a golden opportunity for weight loss! After my first milkshake, I needed to run and the same after every liquid intake since, so something is happening. The pain has gone, though I have a slight uncomfortable feeling of “rawness” in the tummy. I’m not hot anymore, no sweating … just a little dizziness with my strength returning. Thank you for praying. Thank you for supporting us … and praise the Lord that no surgical intervention was needed.

Not knowing where this was going, I once again made certain I was right with God, dealing with any sin that might be hidden away in some recesses of the soul and thanking the Lord Jesus that I have been so blessed to be one of His “chosen before the creation of the world.”

But once again, I have been reminded of Body Praying … of the support of the beloved in Christ. The beautiful thing about prayer is that we are able to pray wherever we are in the world for someone and something anywhere else in the world and our God, who reigns, hears and answers according to how He deems best for us or the environment we are praying for. Prayer expresses our dependence upon our Lord … and He delights in this, for it raises Him high and exalts Him when His beloved, blood-washed saints trust Him. Did our Lord Jesus not say:

Mt 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

And did not Peter write under inspiration:

1 Pet 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

I want to encourage you to be in prayer for each other. Try to find out how a person is doing and whether they have prayer requests. These might be for physical relief, as in my case. It could be relational, emotional, financial (work), sin-related problem, marriage-related problems, schooling- or work-related problems, loneliness, depression, anxiety or the loss of any ability.

But remember that prayer is not just on the “negative” side … there are “positives” too. We need to pray for the salvation of the lost as well as the spiritual maturing of the saints. Pray that we grow in Christlikeness day by day. Pray that we will understand Scripture and expositional preaching better. Pray that we will dig deeper into the heart of our Father as we prepare for glory.

Dear Blessed and Precious Lord, thank You for the Body of Christ, who support each other in prayer. Help us to be more and more a praying community as we support one another before Your Throne of Grace. Amen.

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