Elder Prayer: Scott’s Story

It was a Monday night, one week ago. We had an elder meeting and as chairman, it was my responsibility to get us through the agenda, moderate the discussion, keep the peace, all that kind of thing. But I really didn’t want to go. Two weeks prior, I had strained my back and despite several visits to the chiropractor/physical therapist, along with lots of stretching and laying on ice packs, I was still in a lot of pain. I couldn’t sit for more than 10-12 minutes at a time which makes it hard to effectively run a meeting. What’s worse was that I had also gotten word from my dermatologist who had biopsied three suspicious spots on my temple, arm and back that they were all positive for skin cancer (1 basal cell carcinoma and 2 squamous cell carcinoma) and would have to be surgically removed. The one on my temple was to come off Tuesday morning at 7:45am and the other two Wednesday at 1:00pm. It was going to be a long and painful week. I was as low emotionally as I have been in a long time. In a sense, this was nothing new. I’ve been battling skin cancer for 30 years. If my quarterly check ups showed anything, it was usually one, or sometimes two spots that needed to be biopsied. But three, all positive for skin cancer, was just a shock. “Lord, what’s going on? What’s it going to be next quarter? Four? Five? More? Is this disease going to take me out sooner rather than later?” My mind was reeling as I considered the possibilities.

The meeting went OK, but I knew I wasn’t at my best. I was distracted and scared. When it came time to pray together at the end, I asked for prayer requests. When it was my turn to share, I told the other elders what was going on with my health and asked them to pray for me. They all spontaneously came to me, laid their hands on my sunken shoulders, and began to pray. They went from being my fellow elders to being my band of brothers in the Lord. I felt their love and the power of their prayers. Peace flooded my soul. I slept well that night, even as I meditated while falling asleep on Psalms 4:8, In peace I will both lie down and sleep because you, O Lord, make me swell in safety.

The next day while I was nursing the headache that came from the incision in my head, even as I iced my sore back, several of the elders texted to see how I was doing and tell me they were praying for me. Once again, the peace of God came to me in a way that was different than if I had been bearing this alone. Between the elders and my beloved wife who was right there to take care of me and was also praying for me, I got through the week much better than I would have had I been alone. Happily, the excision from my temple showed clean margins and I will get the results on the other two in about a week. And two days after my brothers prayed for me, my back pain started to subside. God answers prayer and He is utterly trustworthy. He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress. My God in whom I trust.” (Psalms 91:1-2)


If you or someone in your family/friend group/neighbor is hurting due to illness, life change, mental health concerns, grief, estrangement or other life challenges, please join us for individualized prayer with a Bethel Elder. A Bethel Elder will meet with each family/individual and seek the Lord together with you as you face whatever hard situation is happening. We are here for you and would love to care for you in prayer! 

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