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By Dr. Harold Sala

Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!  John 9:25

There are some things that completely lack human explanation. I thought of that when my attention was captured by a news article that read, “Now, Tell Me Again, How Did You Get Pregnant!”  A team of researchers from Columbia University expressed amazement when they discovered that prayer–yes, prayer–appeared to double the chances of a woman’s conceiving a child of her own. Quoting the article:  “Of 169 women undergoing in-vitro fertilization in Cha General Hospital in Seoul, South Korea, those who were prayed for by people in the United States, Canada and Australia enjoyed a 50% pregnancy rate compared to a 26% pregnancy rate among those for whom no one prayed.” Those who were prayed for had no knowledge that anyone was praying for them.

The results, which were reported in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine, were so highly significant that Dr. Roger Lobo, the head of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, acknowledged that the results were not even borderline; they were conclusive.  “We spent time deciding if this was even publishable,” he said, “because we couldn’t explain it”  (Family Circle, 7/16/02, p. 41).

Neither could a man who was born blind who supernaturally received his sight, healed by God’s power at the command of Jesus Christ, explain what had happened.  When challenged by the authorities, he couldn’t explain it.  “One thing I do know,” he said, “I was blind but now I see!”

That’s the bottom line.  If prayer could be explained, it would cease to be supernatural.  No, I cannot explain why only half those who were prayed for conceived.   No, I cannot explain why God chooses to raise up some people who are at the point of death and allows others to die.  No, I cannot understand why some women go childless; but the fact is God has never given me the burden of having to understand but the yolk of obedience in following Him and trusting Him.

The study which was recently released is far from the first documenting the fact that people who are prayed for–even those who are of different faiths in different parts of the world, people who do not even know the one praying for them–are helped, and yes, healed.

Time allows just one thought, something that is undoubtedly part of the missing puzzle.  All answered prayer is based upon a relationship–the relationship of a father and his children.  Why should God answer my prayer?  Anybody’s prayer?  Does He look down and see the reflection of His gentle face in the shiny, bald spot of my head when I bow it in prayer?  Does he say, “Hey, Gabriel, do something about that sweet girl who is crying out for a baby as did Hannah long ago?”  No.  So why should He answer prayer?  Paul tells us that God reaches out and adopts those who trust His Son, bringing them into His family.  They become His children.  No, God’s grace is not limited to His own, but it’s certain He cares for His own, and because we are His children, we can cry, “Abba, Father!  Lord, here I am.  I’m yours, and I need your help!”

I’m always amazed when I see it.  A little child is playing at the beach amidst hundreds of other children, and folks listening to music, talking, and enjoying the sun.  Suddenly a child’s cry is heard.  “Help, mommy!”  And immediately a mother responds.  She knows her child’s voice, and in the time of need everything else is secondary.

If a mother has that instinct, never think it is too much for God to hear you cry, no matter how weak, how troubled you are, or how great is your need.

Resource reading: Galatians 4:1-7.