Pathways through Lent

The Power of Prayer

Psalm 71:1–14 Isaiah 49:1–7 1 Corinthians 1:18–31 John 12:20–36

It all began with my search for someone to walk my new dog. Of the many replies I received, the one that stood out was from 18-year-old Jesse, whose father, he mentioned, was pastor of the Five Valleys Christian Church, which seemed an excellent credential.

Jesse’s story unfolded as I came to know the family. He was adopted at the age of 5, an adorable and lively little boy. Two years later, everything changed when Jesse began suffering the severe and uncontrollable tics of Tourette syndrome.

The family’s earlier days of happiness grew dark, and as time went on, Jesse fell into a downward spiral that would surely lead to his early death. They and all who knew them could only pray for an answer.

Then, when all seemed hopeless, they learned of a new method of deep brain stimulation being tried at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. With no assurance but faith that they could get an appointment, or pay for treatment, they prayed and boldly boarded a plane to Rochester. And they were not disappointed.

The doctor who performed this new surgery, with the family and Jesse’s full knowledge that it could fail, pronounced its success a miracle.

The outcome remains legendary at Mayo, as Jesse became the first patient to have a 95% recovery. His mind came alive again and began its return from the edge. He has since graduated from high school, run a marathon, and gotten a job and a driver’s license. He plans to enter university in the fall.

None of these things would have been possible earlier. So this Lent, my thoughts are on the boy who still walks my dog each morning—and my reinforced understanding of the power of prayer.

–Nancy Matthews

Missoula, Montana



1 thought on “The Power of Prayer”

  1. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet Jesse and his family and have seen the miraculous results. Praise to Him who heals all! I pray that others will enjoy the same kinds of healing thru His strength and guidance and the hands of the doctors around the world.

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