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The Thrill of Hope & Power of Prayer

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Has there been a time in your life that God and His hope felt so far from your reach? He’s always near, but we don’t always feel it, do we? I was in constant pain starting in the 5th grade. It was not supposed to be that way. It was great pain, and when it wasn’t, it was a constant dull pain, never far from coming back with a vengeance. I had scoliosis and as I was growing rapidly, the curve in my spine was following suit. The doctor put me in a back brace to wear 23 hours a day… for my 6th and 7th grade year. As if junior high was not awkward enough! I did, however, get a waterbed out of the deal which delighted me to no end. (Hello, 1990s. Do they even make those anymore?!)

Unfortunately, the brace didn’t keep my curve from getting worse like they hoped. By 8th grade, at 13 years old, I needed major back surgery to fuse titanium rods and hooks to my spine to straighten me out. The final straw was that my ribcage was turning, which could puncture a lung, which could kill me. Kill me? Hard to hear as a 13-year-old. I felt hopeless.

I was terrified, but my parents knew it was something I had to do, and deep down, I knew too. When the day came, my parents and many friends from our church gathered in the waiting room to pray for me, for the doctor, and for healing and I was being rolled back to the operating room for the 10-hour surgery. At one point, I was left alone in the hallway. Suddenly, it felt as if an oil was being poured over me. From the top of my head to the tips of my toes, I felt a peace that I had never felt before. God’s peace. A glimmer of hope in one of my darkest moments, at the very time they were praying. Prayer is powerful.

Surgery went well, and though I was in excruciating pain, it was different pain from before. A glimmer of hope. I had to work hard to relearn to walk with my new bone placement and build muscle in new ways. Often as I slept to heal and recover during the hospital stay, my mom would cross the bridge from Texas Children’s Hospital to St. Luke’s Hospital to visit a woman, Patsy, from our church who was hospitalized for her breast cancer. One day she told my mom, “For some reason, the third day after surgery is always the worst, so tomorrow, on Amy’s third day, I will be praying that God give me all of her pain and that she will not have any.”

On my 3rd day, the doctors and nurses were astounded that I was doing so well. They said that third day is usually the hardest. That is the power of prayer, y’all. But Patsy? She was very, very sick. When my mom told me about her prayer, it struck me. This is what Jesus did for me. It felt so huge, so moving, so impactful, but really it was only a fraction of all that Jesus did going to the cross for a sinner like me. It opened my eyes to see Jesus in a more tangible way that ever before. It gave me a new hope. A new relationship with him. The depth of his sacrifice, the power of prayer and his hope become so clear, as if a veil had been lifted. All Because of Patsy’s sacrifice, a woman I barely knew, I learned the THRILL of hope and how God answers prayers.

If you look hard enough, you will see His Hope, and you know what? It is not just a glimmer, but a thrill! His hope is always around every corner as He carries you through the twists and turns of this life. It is His great joy to bring you Hope and show you the power of prayer. He will and He does. Don’t miss it. Patsy’s favorite verse also became one of mine 25 years ago, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6. Oh, how she lived this well. I pray I do too.


God is calling us, the people of Irving Bible Church, to become a multi-ethnic movement of missionary disciples, formed in the way of Jesus for the sake of the world.

We want to be a transformed people who experience vibrant spiritual growth together. We want the Spirit of God to shape us more and more into the likeness of Jesus as we follow him.

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