My heart feels heavy at the moment: I am praying for two friends who were recently diagnosed with cancer, and a young toddler who has been battling a brain tumour for almost exactly a year.

Praying simultaneously for the healing of these three precious people is a bit like a tug-of-war between ‘facts’ and ‘faith’, because praying for such a huge health issue is difficult.

But I also know that God can, and does, heal cancer. In fact, two of the stories in my book, ‘Light through the Cracks: How God Breaks in When Life Turns Tough,’ are stories about cancer – and you can also read other lightthroughthecracks cancer stories on my blog.

So I was delighted to discover that one of these friends has recently had an inexplicable angelic encounter. He directly attributes it to the power of prayer in Jesus’ name, believing it to be a sign of God’s protective care for him, during his cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Here’s what happened* …


When Robin suddenly senses his back giving way, the pain is excruciating.

At the hospital, he’s assessed, treated, and told that his spine has multiple fractures. But he’s also told that he’s got a myeloma – a type of blood cancer – in his spine. It is the latter which has weakened and compromised his back.

He and his wife emerge from the hospital in a state of shock, and brace themselves for further tests and chemotherapy treatment, which will start a while later.

A couple of weeks later, Robin struggles into hospital for a bone marrow biopsy, and is kept in because his levels of pain are out of control.

Lying flat on his back in his hospital bed, on the second night of his stay, Robin is struggling to drop off to sleep. It’s the most comfortable position he can find. Yet whenever he starts to doze off, his upper body and arms start randomly flinching and jerking, a common side effect of the pain relief medication he’s been given. Sometimes the jerking is violent, inflicting pain on his spine, and putting him at risk of injury against the sides of the bed.

Robin rings the bell, the night nurse soon attends, and he explains the situation to her.

“Why don’t you tuck your arms under your body?” she suggests.

He obeys her instruction, tucks his arms beneath his back, but it makes no difference. The moment he starts to drop off, the flinching and Jerking resumes, waking him fully, in pain and distress, each time.

Though he seeks to trust God in all this, it is not coming easily to him. He feels helpless, vulnerable, alone and even a bit scared about the situation.

The next he knows, the first light of dawn is visible through the window, and he wakes to discover that he’s lying in an unusual sleeping position, which he’s never adopted before. Curled up in a loosely foetal position, his right side against the bed sheet, his arms are firmly crossed, with each of his hands clasping hold of the opposite arm. Behind and before him, pillows have been tucked against his body. He is completely cocooned, comfortable and feels an overwhelming sense of peace.

Knowing that the spare pillows had been on the bedside cabinet, and on the bed next to his head, he assumes that the night nurse must have placed them where he’s just found them.

Later, he asks her. “Did you return and tuck me in to protect me?” he enquires.

She gives him a very strange look. “No, I didn’t,” she states.

When he presses her, asking whether anyone else could have done so, she assures him that neither she nor anyone else could possibly have visited him after he had spoken to her.

Keeping his thoughts to himself, and knowing that he could not have put himself in that position, or retrieved the pillows, he wonders whether God sent an angel to minister to him in the night.

“It would certainly explain the peace and calm that I felt,” Robin tells his wife later. “I don’t feel there’s any other explanation.”

“I can only conclude that the Lord, or one of his angels attended to me in the night,” he tells those of us who are praying for him, in a message sent to the group. “I rejoice that I belong to God, and that he cares so intimately for his people, including me. Please give him thanks, and continue to pray.”


In the Bible, Hebrews 1: 14 poses this question: “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

What a great question!

As a committed Christian, Robin believes that what he experienced during that night, last month, was an angel sent by God to minister to him in a deeply personal and intimate way, right in his moment of need. In place of fear, he experienced inexplicable peace. In place of pain, he experienced a soothing balm of calm. And in place of thrashing, he experienced restorative sleep.

What about you? Have you ever experienced a ministering angel, sent by God, in response to prayer in the name of Jesus? If so, what happened, and how did you feel?

If you don’t think you’ve encountered one of God’s angels, how about reading the other ‘lightthroughthecracks’ stories about angels, which are here on my blog?

As ever, all constructive thoughts would be welcome in the comments below.

*Huge thanks to Robin for giving me permission, and helping me, to write his story.

Photo by Bret Kavanaugh on Unsplash



  1. I don’t think I have ever (knowingly) encountered an angel but I did have a strange experience of listening to a story on Radio 2 about a lady who wanted to thank a stranger who came to her aid one day. As she talked through her experience I had a deep sense that it was an angel who had come to her rescue. I don’t know where that came from. But it was similar to your cycling / flat tyre story I think.

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