My mother-in-law suffers quietly from brain atrophy that has progressed to the point where she can no longer communicate. Her condition is now such that she cannot comprehend sitting up or eating. She's been under hospice care for almost a year and is now being transferred into a nursing home. This last Saturday was the last time I was able to try to help her get up and eat. But she just couldn't manage it.
Her face was constantly going in and out of grimaces, occasionally accompanied by jerks and twitches of pain. I turned to God and asked what to do. The answer was to pray for her. So I closed my eyes held her hand, and prayer to God for mercy on her. As I was praying for her my hand that was holding hers grew tense, then my arm, then my chest. I let go and tried to start over again. God was telling me to pray for her, but I had the hardest time. I thought I was doing the right thing until all of a sudden it hit me like a brick. I was supposed to be praying FOR her, not about her...not in intercession, but in her stead!
I asked God to forgive my ignorance and prayed as if I were she. I held her hand, put my other hand on her head, and lifted up the prayers that she would pray if she still knew how. In that process God granted a little miracle. As I prayed in her stead, I grew drawn, tense, and quaking in the Holy Spirit. I prayed like this for two hours, stopping to regain my composure and wipe my sweat 3 times. Then it was time to stop.
I looked at Maw's face and it had changed from one blanketed in agony to one of radiance and joy. Her glistening eyes were like that of an infant. Her twitching had stopped. She smiled, looked right through me, then closed her eyes. I knew then that God heard her prayers. Her pain was gone and she had peace.
She'll be going home soon. Of all the wonderful things she has done for me in her life, allowing me to converse with God in her stead was one of the most humbling and meaningful things I've ever experienced. Seeing her happy when all the medicine and caring staff failed to bring her relief provided me with this testimony glorifying Our Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.