My aunt, Grace, shared with me how the doctors could not believe that she was the same person whose report they held in their hands. That was based on a scan or ultra-sound that was previously done for the heart condition for which she was about to have surgery. According to the doctors, she should have been a dead person, yet there she was singing praises to God. When it was time for her heart surgery, the porter taking her to the theatre wanted to know how she could be so cheerful knowing what was about to happen to her. Her response was, “I must have the Saviour with me, for I dare not walk alone.”
The day of aunty Grace’s surgery, God allowed her to witness to a lady who was about to undergo the same operation but hadn’t yet met Him as her Lord and Saviour. The lady was naturally frightened, anxious and very sorrowful. She had not been exposed to the God who gave that peace to my aunt. It was a divine calling and my aunt was able to witness to that lady who was receptive to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The lady died the following day but not before getting the opportunity to give her life to Christ and finding that peace and rest that only comes from Knowing God. We had aunty for a little while longer (just under a year after her operation) and it was nothing short of a miracle. She chose to believe the report of the Lord. She knew that God had dispatched His angels to carry out the surgery and so she was at peace; knowing God was with her. He honoured His promise never to leave her nor forsake her and that gave her courage to face that operation as she later faced death, without fear. Even on her death bed she was giving encouragement to those around her. She even knew that the time had come for her earthly life to come to an end and she said her goodbyes the night before she left us. God was with her to the very end of her earthly life. She lived a full life. To God be the glory!
The day of my aunt’s operation there were prayer warriors around the globe praying for the safe procedure of my aunt’s operation. I had sent out a text and Facebook (FB) message to my regular prayer partners who were praying and feeding through words of encouragement, via text messaging and on FB. The prayer team at my aunt’s church, in Jamaica, were praying; my church’s prayer team, here in the UK, were interceding on my aunt’s behalf and naturally, family members were praying. As my aunt shared her testimony with me, over the phone, I kept smiling and thanking God for connecting me with people who are caring, compassionate and obedient to His word to love one another. It takes the love of God inside of us to stop what we are doing when a text message comes in requesting prayer for someone outside of our immediate family circle. It takes the love of God inside of us to respond to that text or email or phone call with words of encouragement that will strengthen those who are going through their dark nights.
It is easy to pray with someone while they are in our presence. For leaders in the church, it might come easy to pray aloud with those standing before them who make that step to go to the altar for prayers. However, it takes discipline to stop what we are doing when we are carrying on our normal day’s work or relaxing at home or even after we have retired for the night when we receive such requests. It is a discipline we must develop as true followers of Christ. Galatians 6:2 tells us to “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ.” We are also reminded in verse nine not to become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Verse ten carries on by saying, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, Let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
Although it was my aunt’s testimony, it was quickly becoming the testimony of an answered prayer, to all those who took the time to pray. “…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16, KJV). I began to feel empowered by the word of God that commands us to pray one for another. I could only respond with a smile and keep repeating the words: “Thank You Jesus!” My aunt was an overcomer and that encouraged me in my faith. God said that He will never leave us nor forsake us and many times we expect Him to answer our prayer in a specific way but whichever way He chooses to answer us, He is still in control and He always has a lesson to teach us through that answer.
Looking back on the day aunty shared that testimony with me I recalled a song I learned a few years ago, derived from (Matthew 10:8):
“Freely freely you have received, freely freely give.
Go in My name and because you believe,
others will know that I live.”
Aunty went into the hospital in the name of Jesus, believing in His every word and placing all her trust in Him. It manifested in her countenance, her action and her speech. The lady could not understand the joy that exuded from my aunt who was about to have a heart operation. So she could not resist asking questions. My aunt was able to share the love of God with her, giving her the opportunity to respond to His love before it was too late. Because aunty Grace believed in the One, True and Living God, someone else believed and was convinced that Jesus is indeed alive! What a testimony! What a mighty God we serve! To see that calm and peace streaming from my aunt, that lady must have been puzzled. But God used it as an opportunity to bring glory to His name. Hallelujah!
As I think of the many things my aunt Grace has done for me and the various roles she has played in my life, I can look back and say that, she was a teacher who taught me by words and action; a mother in whom I could confide in; a big sister with whom I could share many laughs and a leader in my life from whom I could get spiritual guidance. She has departed this earth but will remain in our hearts. The warmth of her smile is like a spark which ignites the fire in our hearts each time we think of her. Indeed, her life has been a testimony of God’s amazing grace.
This article highlights the power of prayer in the life of my aunt and so it is fitting to end this article with the Scripture that teaches us about the prayer of faith: “Is anyone of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is anyone of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” — James 5:13-16, NIV—
Your sister in Christ,
Janice S Ramkissoon
2nd February 2013
Praise be to our God Almighty able and willing to save living out His love through the faithful that the full harvest may be brought in! Blessings to you as you follow Aunt Grace's finger pointing with feverish faith to the Savior of us all as she now rests in His encompassing embrace our souls will one day experience to the full. Love always! Jody