Friday, April 16, 2010

Thoughts on prayer, chronos, and kairos

The sheer volume of prayers that have been lifted up for Patty (and the rest of us too) is almost staggering. I know of groups of people gathering to pray specifically for Patty in almost every town in Southwest Georgia. This prayer is working. The timing (chronos) of some of these is also interesting. On Sunday, around 40 members of our church gathered in the chapel to pray for healing for Patty. What they did not know was that at the exact time they were sending up those prayers, the surgeon was installing a tube into Patty’s chest wall. That procedure was a success and continues to serve its purpose in Patty’s recovery. Later on Sunday I came out of the ICU and was told by Drew that there had just been an awesome group prayer in the waiting room. What that group did not know was that at the exact time they were sending up that prayer, Patty was being attached to the dialysis machine in an attempt to remove some of the fluid that was gathered in her chest cavity. That procedure was also a success. On Tuesday just after lunch some trauma, possibly a blood clot, caused Patty’s blood oxygen levels to suddenly and sharply bottom out. This was the most frightening hour of my life to this point. She had to be removed from the ventilator and manually bagged for an entire hour before becoming stable enough to go back on the ventilator. That was when Dr. Hicks told me that we needed a miracle. So many prayers were going up you could almost feel them in the air. One lady, whose son has been in this ICU for five weeks, told me later that she felt that it would have been impossible for anything bad to enter this ICU there was such a movement of the Spirit going on. After that crisis the doctors did not offer much hope. Dr. Woolf said that he needed a CT scan of Patty’s lungs to aid in his evaluation, but that getting a scan was out of the question because he simply did not think that she could survive the trip downstairs to radiology. But on Wednesday morning Dr. Hicks came in smiling. We got our miracle. Patty’s oxygen levels had improved. Later on Wednesday morning I received a text message from Tim Bell that the Seminole County Ministerial Association had just had a healing prayer for Patty. What they did not know was that at that exact time, Patty was being moved downstairs to have the CT done. Another success.

Which brings me to the conclusion that the chronos (timing) of these various prayer events were actually kairos moments.

Chronos is the Greek word for time. It is used throughout the scriptures in verses such as Mat 2:7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time (chronos) when the star had appeared.

Chronos denotes a particular point in time, such as 12:35 PM, Tuesday, April 13, the exact time when Patty’s oxygen levels dropped.

Kairos is another Greek word for time. Kairos is also used in scripture. Mar 1:15 …., "The time (kairos) is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news."

Kairos denotes the perfect time, or God’s time, the opportune moment. At chronos 12:35 PM on Tuesday, many prayers were delivered kairos, at the perfect, opportune moment.

Not only have your many prayers led to great results for Patty’s physical recovery, they have had a profound effect on my emotional well-being. I have to admit that this has been the most traumatic event of my life. I never saw this coming. For the first several days I was filled with dread. This was probably the nearest I have come in my life to a broken heart. But yesterday afternoon something happened. A peace came over me. I no longer have any sense of dread and am convicted that this event is going to have a hallowed outcome. The only explanation that I have for this peace is that it is another result of your many prayers. You have called the Spirit down on me. The Spirit has witnessed with my spirit….

Rom 8:11-16 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you. …….. (14) For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. (15) For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, "Abba! Father!" (16) it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

So we begin Friday, the fifth day on the ventilator with the knowledge that God is doing something. Dr. Woolf says that he sees signs of improvement in Patty’s lungs.

Thank you for all you prayers and please, please continue to pray without ceasing.