We briefly lost my dad last week. His heart stopped for about a minute before being resuscitated. He had just come out of a successful eight-hour heart surgery and was being situated in his room for recovery when “code blue” was announced. My sister and I were in the hallway when we saw the medical team jump into action, the crash cart being pushed to his door.
As we walked closer to his room and began to realize what was going on, thoughts and emotions started to swirl. It seemed surreal but was as real as it could get. Disbelief gives way to fear as the realization becomes clear and the imagination torments with projections of what this might mean. Every thought, emotion, prayer, hope, fear and instinct occurs all at once in a single second and then they happen again.
In that critical moment, there is no time for the medical team to get trained in CPR. They are either trained to the point of instinct or delay will bring disaster. Without knowing the exact cause and effect of their efforts, they begin to perform the emergency procedures.
In that potentially helpless moment, there is no time to put on the armor of God talked of in Ephesians. You are either dressed and ready or left scrambling for your belt of truth to hold your pants up. Without claiming that I know the exact cause and effect of my prayers, I began to swing my sword.
I prayed in the Spirit, I prayed in the natural. I prayed asking and I prayed declaring. I prayed broken and I prayed with authority. I prayed for supernatural healing and I prayed for the doctors. I spoke life and I rebuked death. All in a few seconds.
Frankly, I prayed despite my fears. I was flooded with emotions and thoughts and would either drop down in a puddle on the floor or lean into faith. The equipping for the moment was the past fifteen years, otherwise, I’m toast right there and then.
Over the following days, there were ongoing prayers that came as different emotions were processed. Those emotions of my soul were submitted to the Spirit of God within me and He was able to comfort, heal, encourage and subdue emotions that otherwise become crippling. I was challenged with fear, grief, doubt, discouragement and other very real and very human reactions.
Those things weren’t ignored or fueled; they were acknowledged and submitted. They were real and in need of attention. I needed them to be redeemed and the good news is that I know the Redeemer. Emotions are part of our experience and they are meant to be felt. Feeling them through His filter of love requires an agreement with His heart of truth. Agreement is prayer. His heart and my dad’s heart are good.