“Prayers of a dying man”… well, the title may be a little dramatic, but I recently had a conversation with a man who was hospitalized because of Coronavirus. This is the first person I have personally met and talked to about their Coronavirus experience: He was admitted to the hospital several weeks ago from a variety of symptoms and labored breathing – he was diagnosed with Coronavirus, and luckily lived to tell the tale. As of today, about 3 months since our country was essentially shut-down, over 2 million Americans have tested positive and 123,000+ have unfortunately lost their lives because of COVID-19. He had already seen dozens of people die from COVID-19 because of his profession as a Rehabilitation Specialist in a skilled nursing facility. When his symptoms got worse, he was admitted into the hospital and had to endure the whole process alone (of course his wife, nor any loved ones, were allowed to be with him). He recounts his experience as he went through the lonesome process the first few days: after getting admitted, an attendant wheeled him to his room and held his belongings and water as the new patient made his way to his bed, trying not to fall because of his fatigue, weakness and struggle to breathe. The next thing he knew, the attendant had left – with his water. When he used the intercom a few hours later to get more water, the nurse refused this primal need for hydration, saying: “We don’t have enough PPEs to get you your water. Stop whining about it”. He didn’t get water until the next day.
He couldn’t sleep that first night in the hospital, time seemed to stand still as he was anxiously waiting for the sun to peek over the horizon for the promise of a new day. Deep into the night he struggled for each and every breath – he didn’t know if he was going to make it, when he said this prayer:
“Dear God, If it is my time, I repent to you all my sins so that I may come to you as your servant – clean and holy. God, please give my wife a man to take care of her, and bring my son to salvation.”
This got me thinking, I’ve never been on the brink of death – or had that unknowing moment if I was going to live or die… but what would my prayer be? What would I cry out to God? Many people ONLY cry out to God in their deepest despair – you know, that “Hail Mary” you see in the movies when the plane is going down, or the boat is sinking. And if you’re not much of a praying person, I can imagine these past few months have had you reevaluating all that. I recently was watching a ministry training video when the speaker said something to the effect of, “If God granted all your prayers from the past 7 days, how would life be? Would there be profound changes of peace, healing and miracles? Would marriages be mended, loved ones be cured and souls saved? Or would it be petty and superficial? Or perhaps nothing would change because you didn’t say one prayer?” I really appreciate this survivor’s honesty sharing such a beautiful moment; a moment of vulnerability, of love, care and concern for his wife and his son, and his ultimate desire for salvation.
Throughout his 6-day hospital stay, with no visitors and limited contact with anyone, he remembers how he felt as the nurses walked by, merely looking in the window to check on him (limiting contact in such an impossible situation with the lack of supply of personal protective equipment). He felt alone. He felt isolated… could you imagine what EVERYBODY who has been hospitalized these past few months has experienced? This pandemic has impacted each and every person in our country, and throughout our world, in one way or another. The ramifications of this storm we are all in, is far reaching and is going to have astounding implications – far exceeding our comprehension of it all right now (just look at the societal unrest that has exploded these past few weeks).
I want to report that his story still unravels as he deals with lung issues and will need to be checked every 3 months to make sure things don’t get worse – but he’s getting back to life and happily at home with his wife.
As we continue to battle this pandemic, the invisible enemy is still prevalent and pervasive across our entire world. Today, I am praying for you:
God hear my prayer:
“Heavenly Creator, I pray for every soul who has taken the time to read this. I pray that this has impacted them in some way, that their prayer life is invigorated, seeds are planted, and for a peace and love to overwhelm them today! Thank you for all the blessings in our lives, down to our very breath. Amen.”