By KEITH WOMMACK — The jubilation from Louisville’s victory over Duke’s basketball team was overshadowed by Kevin Ware’s on-court injury on Easter Sunday. Ware a 6-foot-2-sophomore guard broke his leg in two places.
It was a disturbing picture. Players and fans immediately started praying. Across social media, people spontaneously began sending Ware messages of support. Professional athletes joined the chorus.
Michael Jordan tweeted, “Prayers go out to Kevin Ware. No athlete wants that to happen to anybody.”
Robert Griffin III tweeted, “Prayers up for Kevin Ware, his teammates, & family.”
When accidents and tragedies happen, the use of the word “prayer” multiplies. This begs the question, “Does prayer help or is it just a kind word we utilize in times of suffering?”
It’s been reported that forty-nine percent of Americans say they pray when it comes to health issues. Thirty-six percent say they‘ve witnessed the healing of an injury or illness because of prayer.
Since there seems to be a correlation between prayer and physical betterment, hopefully, when “prayer” is mentioned, people will follow through by actually praying.
This brings us to the next logical question, “What is prayer?”
“There are four basic prayers,” Rabbi Marc Gellman once said, “Gimme! Thanks! Oops! and Wow!” Wow is a prayer of praise and wonder at the creation. Oops is asking for forgiveness. Gimme is a request or a petition. Thanks is expressing gratitude.
In order for prayer to improve health; it seems logical that prayer be tied to something wiser and superior than our own minds. Some find it helpful to consider that prayer is the utilization of the love in which God loves us.
My friend Cory and his family certainly do.
Cory, a sophomore pitcher from The University of Texas Longhorn varsity baseball squad was a student in my Christian Science Sunday School class. I had the opportunity to watch Cory pitch several times. One day, during a game, a ball was hit directly at him. Cory caught the line drive with his bare hand.
The next day a coach noticed that his hand was swollen and he couldn’t grip the ball. An x-ray revealed a fracture. Cory was scheduled to pitch again in four days. He wanted to be healed, and knew from experience that a prayerful, spiritual approach could enable him to quickly recover. His family prayed for him. He prayed too.
Cory had planned to take a seven-hour trip to his girlfriend’s cottage. Despite the injury, Cory followed through with his plans. While he travelled, he prayed, and as he did, he was convinced that changes were taking place. When he arrived, he knew the healing was complete. He went swimming and fishing, and wrestled with his girlfriend’s brothers.
To satisfy his coach, he went back to the doctor who had x-rayed the hand. The doctor said he’d never seen anything like it. The hand was totally healed. When he pitched a few days later, he struck out seven of the eight batters he faced.
Cory and his family have confidence in spiritual power to be able to care for bodily needs. People of many faiths take solace in Biblical promises. The book of Jeremiah assures, “I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, says the Lord.”
When others are in need of help, if you move beyond merely social pleasantries, regardless of the kind of prayer you utilize, it appears as if you have the opportunity to watch God’s love at work. You have an opportunity to really pray.
– Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s columns originate at: KeithWommack.com