A few weeks before Christmas, the husband of an old friend, is rushed to hospital by ambulance. He has been experiencing chronic pain in his abdomen and pelvis, which is not subsiding with rest and painkillers.
Scans quickly revealed he has pulmonary embolisms – blood clots that are getting caught in the arteries that go from the heart to the lungs. He has also developed a rare form of peritoneal cancer, in the thin layer of tissue that lines the abdomen.
My friend, his wife, does not hesitate in asking people to pray.
Early in the New Year, a specialist surgeon is about to operate. Knowing I will not be able to make a visit in person, I decide to write out the prayer that I would have prayed in person, and I send it in an email. I think little of it.
About a month later, I can’t believe what I’m reading when I receive this email from my friend:
” … I have been meaning to message you to thank you for the prayer you sent. I read it aloud to [my husband] when he was still very poorly in hospital, and something quite profound happened. He got a little emotional and, in the thirty years I have known him, I had never seen him cry – until that moment. But he said afterwards that when I read this part of your prayer – “I ask for angels, in the name of Jesus, to come, right now, and stand at the head and the foot of the bed, that they might minister to him and guard him” – he had an incredible sense of angels surrounding the bed. It was, and remains, a very special ‘God moment’ for him, and he asked me to say thank you … We are so grateful for praying friends … “
This story is far from over, but it reminds me that we have authority, in the name of Jesus, to ask God to send angels when and where they are needed, to minister and guard, and to do His bidding. We may not always see them, hear them or sense them, but their presence is tangible, for as Hebrews 1:14 says:
“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”
I share this because sometimes, when we are asked to pray for people who live too far away for us to minister to them in person, we can wonder whether our prayers will still have an impact. If that is you: Be encouraged! Be bold! Ask for angels! God is not confined by place or space.