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Monday, July 27, 2009

When Do You Stop Praying?

The doctor calls in the family. He tells them that her organs are failing and she doesn't have much time left. Hold the phone! The family calls the church and tells them to start the prayer chain. The say it isn't Grandma's time to go . . . even though she is 94 years old!

It is natural to want to grieve over your loved ones' passing. But, come on, Grandma has got to go some time. She we continue to pray for her at her age. Yet, if we say we shouldn't pray that Grandma will make it, at what age do you stop praying for people to live?

It is safe to say that God takes people at different ages. Some go when they are young. It seems cruel for young people to die when there was so much more life left before them. This had nothing to do with the good they are doing. They die while doing magnificent things.

I suppose setting an age to stop praying is not reasonable. The quality of life that stands before a person is more important. We should take into account whether their living will result in continued hardship. Will living cause them more pain? Will they be able to function in a way that they would want? Would it be better for them if they go to be with the Lord?

I was called to the hospital once to pray with a family whose child had been born without enough brain to keep it functioning. It was inevitable that the child would die but on the outside the baby looked perfectly normal. I prayed that the Lord would take this child. We did nothing to hasten the death but the child went to be with the Lord soon afterward. It was painful but it was also reasonable. God could have performed a miracle and grew a brain in that child. It was evident that this was not His will because He took the child.

I pray that my will is God's will. I pray that I can accept what He has planned. I keep praying for the young while there is hope. I pray for the elderly as long as they can function. I don't simply want them to live. I want them to have a witness.

All of us know there comes a time when enough is enough. The chemotherapy which wreaks havoc on the body needs to be stopped. The respirator has to be removed. The time has come for us to let go.

I pray that the person who is dying to go peacefully when it is evident that this will be better for them I continue to pray for them, even to the point of death. I thank God for receiving them when the expire.

I suppose you really never stop praying. However, your prayers do change. You quit asking for the physical life to be sustained and praise God that their lives do not end when their bodies no longer function.

The Bible says we should pray without ceasing. Yes, that is the answer. Never stop praying.

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