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Prayer answer – WHATS IN THIS BLOG:
• When pain is so bad you cry out in the night
• Special song
• God-intervention — a prayer answer
• Disappointment before joy

We pray about things. And sometimes, when it’s serious, we pray and pray and pray. And sometimes no answer comes from God. Or it appears that way. A recent book called God on Mute  explores unanswered prayer in an honest and refreshing way. The book may shake up our glib beliefs about prayer and the role of suffering.

While I was reading this book, and engaged in wrenching prayer, God provided an answer. I wanted to document it as an engineer would. I am an engineer after all.

Click image to review or to order this book (then back-arrow to return to bog).

Click image to review or to order this book (then back-arrow to return to bog).

WHEN PAIN IS SO BAD YOU CRY OUT IN THE NIGHT:
My good friend Mary Ann lives in Kansas. She was having migraines when I got in on the story……pounding migraines that completely immobilized her. She could do nothing but go to bed. This went on for almost two months. The migraines appeared like clockwork….every three days.

During this time she discovered that Excedrin Migraine helped, and helped a lot…..two tablets took away the pain in about 30 minutes and she could function again. But Excedrin is a mix of Tylenol and aspirin and caffeine, and the aspirin can tear up your stomach. Mary Ann found this out one bad night when she had a migraine and became physically sick and spewed up blood.

She was rushed to ER in Bartlesville where they did a CAT scan of her brain, and gave her anti-nausea medicine. They found no tumors pressing on the brain, which at least was good news. No more Excedrin, was the instruction, but this meant there was nothing to take away the intense pain of the migraines.

As a result Mary Ann had to be taken by her family to the Urgicare clinic several times, where Toradol was administered, This is the standard treatment for migraines, but it can take hours to click in before it knocks you out eventually. The migraines kept coming every three days. The only exception was that Mary Ann got a cortisone shot from a neck specialist, and for four days she was pain free and rejoicing. But then the migraines came back…..one every three days.

During one migraine on Wednesday 9 December, fibromyalgia set in as well, and Mary Ann felt like she wanted to die. Her daughters rushed her to Urgicare where she was treated between 8 and 9 pm CT. Even with the Toradol she was unable to sleep until 3 am. But here is a key part of the story: the Urgicare doctor recommended a chiropractor, and how often does that happen?? The doc related how the chiro had previously helped her own father when he had migraines.

SPECIAL SONG:
When this last incident took place I was in Albuquerque and I went to the Living Free service at my church on that same Wednesday night. Although I was unaware what Mary Ann was going through at the time I prayed for her during the praise part of the service, when the band and singers filled the stage with glorious songs and choruses. Although this was an uplifting experience, I sensed there was something else to come. After the message the band returned and sang one more song called Always by Kristian Stanfill.

This had special meaning for me, because I had previously sent this song to Mary Ann and her daughter Staci when Staci was dealing with breast cancer. When the song played, I lifted my hands in praise and tears flowed as I lifted up Mary Ann in prayer. In that moment I felt distinct reassurance that it would be alright with Mary Ann. The time was 7:30 pm MT which is 8:30 pm CT.

Mary Ann at Hidden Beach in Oregon in 2015 (click to enlarge, then back-arrow to return to blog).

Mary Ann at Hidden Beach in Oregon in 2015 (click to enlarge, then back-arrow to return to blog).

GOD-INTERVENTION?
How do we know when God intervenes? It’s often a subjective experience, and not amenable to objective proof. However time coincidence can be attributed to God with more certainty in my experience.

To illustrate, the song Always which gave me definite reassurance was sung at 8:30 pm CT time, when Mary Ann was at the doctor’s and when the doctor recommended the chiropractor. Yes the same day and the same hour. This was Part A of the answer to prayer.

Another coincidence: The next day, Thursday 10 December, Mary Ann called about seeing the chiro, but wasn’t able to get in until Friday morning. On that same Thursday 10 December, in the afternoon, I sent out an SOS text to friends in Albuquerque who know how to pray. Friends of Mary Ann’s in the Kansas area were praying hard also. I think these diligent prayers may well have contributed to what happened next.

When Friday arrived, Mary Ann walked in to see Dr Null the chiropractor. She had a neck ache as well as a headache. He immediately took X-rays of the neck, which she always thought was the source of the migraine, and adjusted the top spinal vertebra which was pressing on the spinal column nerve. Mary Ann felt immediate relief from both neck and head pains. This was Part B of the answer to prayer.

DISAPPOINTMENT BEFORE JOY:
But it didn’t last. The next migraine came on three days later! Another adjustment by Dr Null, the chiro, who explained: “We nudge it back in. But then it can pop out again. So we nudge it back in again. And gradually, the misplaced vertebra gets used to staying in.” This gave us all hope. Meanwhile when she slept Mary Ann started to wear her old neck brace, left over from a previous neck fusion, to help keep the vertebra in place.

In early January she went 9 days without a migraine, which finally broke the three-day cycle. As of January 20 she has been migraine-free for 16 days, another record. This was Part C of the answer.

TAKEAWAYS:
• To an engineer this looks like a three-part answer from God. Especially because there was huge uncertainty about what triggers the migraines, and anxiety amongst all of us about whether we could find any kind of solution. The regular GPs were at a loss, despite the high-tech X-rays of Mary Ann’s neck at their disposal.
• An alternative treatment appears to have solved the problem. And this was truly an integrative approach: the GP recommending a chiropractor. Further, the chiro took and interpreted his own X-rays, and saw an irregularity that the GP’s and the medical specialists missed.
• Sincere thanks are due. To God first…..thank you, thank you, thank you God (for the three-part miracle). And also highly important….to all the folks who were praying hard for a solution to Mary Ann’s migraines….our heartfelt thanks.

POST-SCRIPT: another miracle intervention which involved poisoning by carbon monoxide, is documented in another blog (if you go there, you need to minimize that article to get back to this blog).

Please forward this blog to folks who might receive an uplift from this story. Email or Facebook is fine: just click on the appropriate box on the right side of the screen.

Comments? Your comments are always encouraging. Please add them to the Comment box at the bottom of the blog.

The Gray Nomad
Probing the practice of Christian believers……

Then they came to Bethsaida; and some people brought a blind man to Jesus and begged Him to touch him. Taking the blind man by the hand, He led him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, “Do you see anything?”  He looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking around.” Then again Jesus laid His hands on his eyes; and the man stared intently and his sight was completely restored, and he began to see everything clearly. And He sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.” [Book of Mark, chapter 8].

Leave a Reply

8 Responses to Prayer answer – documented by an engineer

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  2. Mary Ann Pollock |

    Thanks for sharing about my migraines that totally immobilized me. It was a burden on my kids having to stay with me and not knowing what to do.
    Sometimes I would be in bed for 3 days in a row waiting for my migranine to go away. Thank God for the Doctor recommending Dr. Null, a Chiropractor to treat my neck. I have gone 2 weeks plus without a migraine. Thank you Ian for all your prayers and help during my 2 months of migraines.

    • I think this is a perfect example of integrative medicine, which Dr Andrew Weil instigated. A doctor trained in traditional medicine administers Toradol, but also recommends a chiropractor who adjusts the neck based on his X-ray views. The third side of the triangle is diligent focused prayer going up from family and friends.

  3. Sheila Thompson |

    Wonderful story and testimony Ian. Thank you so much for your faithfulness and persistence in prayer and seeking the Lord for Mary Ann. She is a precious friend and I hate to see her suffer so much. Praise God for answered prayer with the healing. He used you, Dr. Null and many others who were praying for her. You are a faithful friend. Thanks again for sharing this good news.

    • I agree Sheila that in this case there were many components to finding a solution to what was a baffling and taxing medical problem. Problems where we can’t find an answer are high-stress problems, as you well know. Thank you too for caring and praying diligently for Mary Ann…..you are a role-model for all of us in this regard.

  4. Thank you for sharing, Ian. I have neck pain as well. Have been to a chiro (multiple times) and a massage therapist who helps make a difference if even for a while. Both are priceless when the pain is intense. Staying active helps. I use mindfulness at times when I can’t sleep. My focus is an image of Jesus as I saw him in a framed picture my grandmother had above my bed every time I stayed with her while on vacation. It helps to lull me to sleep. Being mindful of Christ in our lives makes all the difference.

    • Hi Patti. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience and what’s valuable to you. I love your meditation on Jesus as in the childhood picture. Although I’ve not tried that, I do say the Lord’s prayer slowly and mindfully when I can’t sleep, and this helps. I insert my own words and thanks into each section of the prayer.

  5. Joshua R Ellison |

    I was the gentleman who stuck around for conversation after your seminar to the civil engineer students at UNM, but I didn’t have questions. I just became a believer on June 28th, 2015. I sure do love stories in which God’s grace can be articulated. It was pleasure to meet you and I look forward to your blogs.

    • Hi Joshua. I happen to think that grace is a hallmark of Christian faith, but one that is not well understood. I’d be interested in discussing more about this sometime if you are open.

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