Does God Answer Prayers

The radical change that took place in my heart was not from a rational decision but in response to an overwhelming Love that became rational

A Torquetalk YouTube Video

To watch it on YouTube click here

The God Who Hears When we Cry Out to Him

‘If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, that is, if we are vitally united and My message lives in your heart, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.’ John 15:7 (AMP)

Is that True?

I recently saw a patient in West Africa with a bilateral radial club hand, the most severe I ever had to deal with. (similar to the child on this picture but much more severe angles at the wrists - 120 degree angles with the side of the hand touching the forearm in the resting position). A very rare condition that some babies are born with.

I released the wrists and with a real struggle got both writs straight, in line with the ulnar bones and fixed it.

These patients have absent radial arteries and the blood supply of the hand depends totally on the ulnar artery which is usually well protected on the non-surgical side (of the two main vessels, radial and ulnar, that supply the hand with blood, the one, that is the radial artery, is absent).

After the surgery I was happy that the hands were in a good position I saw the patient in recovery some 20 minutes later and noticed the right hand was fairly white with a blue tinge and cold; not good. It indicated poor inflow of blood and venous drainage at the same time. We returned him to the OR when the circulation did not improve.

I released some of the sutures in the hope to improve the venous drainage but with very little improvement. As I released more sutures and inspected the wound I found to my horror that the ulnar artery was disrupted (the only blood supply to the hand), it was totally severed by the extreme repositioning of the hand that was necessary. There was a small 1-2 mm median artery present (normally not present after birth) along the median nerve and was functioning but in spasm. Some 4% Lignocaine to relieve the spasm was applied locally onto the vessel that somewhat improved the flow to the hand. The survival of the hand was now totally dependent on the blood flow of this tiny vessel. Fear gripped my heart. We set up a continuous Lignocaine infusion onto the tiny median artery to counteract the spasm. And I closed the wound. Hoped for the best. My heart was deeply troubled.

That afternoon and evening I repeatedly went back to assess the blood flow in the hand. It was very marginal and very worrying knowing that in circumstances like this the usual course of events is that it will just get worse until the blood flow finally stops. I had visions of a child leaving the ship without his hand. I prayed so much.

I did not sleep well that night, deeply worried. Often called to the ward by the nurses not sure about the circulation. The hand was rather white with a bluish tint. Still cold. Not good.

I get up at 05:00 in the mornings to eat breakfast, do some exercises, studying Spanish, quiet time, before I go to work. But this morning I could not get to my Spanish books. For an hour I prayed for this child.

God gave me Proverbs 12:18 ‘the words of the wise bring healing’ I knew God was saying to me that I had to pray for healing into this hand. ‘Wisdom is to fear God.’ Proverbs 9:10 ‘Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom.’ My reverential fear for the loving God, my words, my prayer to Him will bring healing and He will do it.

I started praying for healing into the hand and had so much peace in my heart but when I thought of the facts, a single tiny artery, the poor color and circulation of the hand, a cold hand, fear gripped my heart. Strangely when I sat down with this fear in my heart to pray, the first words that would come up in my heart were involuntary ‘Praise God!’ and peace that filled my heart.

On the ward round just after 08:00, the color of the hand was so worrying. I decided to prick the finger with a needle after the rounds as a final answer to what is happening. But it just so happened that I was so busy being pulled to the dressing room, calls from outpatients, the OR, I just could not get back to him. And I thought maybe God just wants me to keep on praying for healing into this hand and while doing surgery and every moment I had I prayed the words He gave me; Healing into His hand in His Name’

By 14:00, needle in hand, I could get down to the ward to prick the finger. By now I totally believed, trusted my God, that the hand will be OK and when I got there the hand was pink!! I did not have to prick the finger, it was so obviously fine. And my heart sang out to my God Who heard my cry.

Soon after He gave me Psalm 116:1 ‘I love the LORD, because He has heard my voice and my supplication’ Not the reason why I love Him, I love Him anyway but an expression like a husband, and a wife done a beautiful thing for him, and he says ‘Oh, I love you so much’

The patient has since been discharged from hospital with both hands healing well and I will see him again in January when I return.

When does God hear our prayers and then act

John 14:14 ‘Yes, ask me for anything in My name, and I will do it!’ (NLT)

But so important, God’s promises always have preconditions;

John 15:7 (AMP) ‘If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, that is, if we are vitally united and My message lives in your heart, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.’

1 John 5:14 Amplified Bible (AMP) ‘This is the remarkable degree of confidence which we as believers are entitled to have before Him: that if we ask anything according to His will, that is, consistent with His plan and purpose, He hears us.’

Faith is an absolute trust in God, to see the unseen, to know with certainty that what He promised will be seen. Like the certainty I had in my spirit that that hand will be OK against the facts.

Hebrews 11 Amplified Bible (AMP)

1 Now faith (absolute trust in the living God) is the assurance,  confirmation, of things hoped for, divinely guaranteed, and the evidence of things not seen, the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses. (but know that it will be and then see it as we trust Him)

Was it my prayers, God or the Lignocaine* that saved the hand, I was asked. Listen/watch the YouTube video above for a clearer answer.

Lignocaine* - this drug is a local anaesthetic and therefore also paralysis the muscles in the vessel wall, causing moderate vasodilatation but the main effect is to prevent vasospasm in blood vessels in the surgical field. It cannot explain a sudden generalised increase in blood flow to a limb/hand if applied locally on to a 1-2 mm blood vessel. It can only prevent the vessel from going into spam and keep it open in a dilated state.