In her job as an Emergency Medical Technician, my daughter was often the first professional on the scene of an accident or health emergency. The EMT’s job is to assess the situation, administer immediate life-saving techniques and stabilize the patient prior to and during transportation to the hospital. The first medical response to an emergency is crucial to the survival of a patient in a life-threatening situation. Often, it is the quick reaction and skilled care of Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics that saves people’s lives. These “first responders” are an important part of the total equation. Their immediate work helps to ensure that the further medical care provided by the waiting physician at the hospital is successful.
Just a little over a week ago, I received an urgent message from my sister that she had just called 911 and an ambulance was on its way to her home. My brother-in-law was suddenly struck with severe pain in his body and had become gravely ill. When I put down the phone and told my husband, we knew that our first response was to pray. A. J. Gordon once said, "You can do more than pray after you have prayed; but you can never do more than pray until you have prayed."
As we come alongside God in prayer, He allows us the incredible privilege of being participants in His answer. Through Him, our prayers have power. “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results” (James 5:16). Prayer also calms our spirits, eases our fears and enables us to think more clearly in an emergency. Through prayer we know that God is listening and is already at work in the situation. Our hearts are comforted and we find the strength to handle anything that is put before us.
So often we can feel helpless in a situation like the one that happened to my brother-in-law, but, by relying on God and coming before Him in prayer as our first response rather than our last resort, we will see His mighty hand do great work in our lives and in the lives for whom we pray. God’s word tells us that we can come before Him with confidence and assurance that He will intervene in the situation. He invites us to be part of the answer by laying our requests at His feet. “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
I am happy to report that my sister’s husband is recovering well. Thanks to the grace of God and the first responses of all those involved, he will soon be up on his feet again. As friends and family, both near and far, responded to this emergency in prayer, God gave us all the sweet blessing of being active contributors to His answer right from the beginning. We were not merely observers, but rather were a united, active link with our great First Responder.
Living for Him,