Prayer and Praise

“The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”
Exodus 15:2

“Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.” James 5:13

Surgery. The orthopedic doctor’s verdict sounded, to me, like a death sentence. My mom had fallen and broken her hip. Eighty three years old with health issues, how could she survive surgery? Moreover, surgery is something she always said she never wanted to have. But the forecast was bleak without it – unable to walk for the rest of her days, bedridden and all the complications that came along with being in such a state permanently. We had a horrible decision to make: Risk that she may not live through the surgery versus the risk that she wouldn’t have much of a life without it. I was heartbroken at the prospect of losing my mother. The very idea reduced me to a little girl.

Initially, my reaction was “She can’t survive surgery!” But I gradually made my peace with it as I saw it was inevitable. I began to feel good about the surgery and her chances to survive it. I felt like my mom would be alright. Until the time came to schedule the surgery and the reality of our predicament hit me. They left the choice to us. I lost it then – I was a mess. I’ve already made plans to go into a catatonic state when my mom leaves this world. Whenever that day comes, it will be too soon. I cried as we considered the alternative – could we live with that? Could she? Whatever the outcome, it was an ugly decision. My mom agreed to the surgery, taking the decision out of our hands.

Her hospital roommate, an angel, heard us and comforted us, saying, “Your mother will be fine! We’re tough!” God bless her for those words. Being a mom herself, and having survived brain surgery, she could appreciate both sides of the situation. She said, “Kiss your mama and pray for her. She gone be fine!” I was reminded of who my mom, the woman, once was. And if my mom said yes to the surgery, she must have determined that she would make it. She was fighting to live and if she wasn’t giving up, neither was I. So I told the nurse to schedule the surgery. On the way home, I thought about my last article (see Family Ties) and my words came back to encourage me – family is strength. For many years, my mother poured her prayers and strength into her family. Now it was time for us to return the favor.

So I called my brothers, told them the deal and asked for their prayers. Then I called my children and friends. And I posted my prayer request on FaceBook. Soon, I had a great number of people praying that my mom’s surgery would be a success. I was comforted and more confident that she would be ok. I woke up early the next morning, determined to be present for the surgery when another dilemma presented itself. Surgery had been rescheduled to the afternoon. By that time, I was supposed to be an hour away with my daughter at her college luncheon. I can tell you, being a mother, daughter, sister and gainfully employed makes for some hard decisions. It sucks. Sometimes my children win, at times my siblings, oftentimes, my job and more recently, my mom. I try to make the very best decision I can and hope for the best.

Reasoning that I had really done all that I could do for my mother – I left my sister to stay with her and went ahead with our plans to go to the luncheon. My kids sometimes give up a lot and can be very understanding. But I didn’t want to let my daughter down. So I left a message with the nurse, hoping that the doctor would reschedule (again) and enable me to be there. My mother was never far from my mind. I continued to pray for her as I drove. My son joined us at the luncheon and I invoked the power of family again; the three of us prayed for her as the time for her surgery neared. I trust my kids to pray with me more than anyone. They are wise and spiritual (for kids) and I know that they understand the power of family prayer. They “get it”, having reaped its benefits, many times over. This time, we sent prayers UP the pipeline.

We left the luncheon as soon as we were able, leaving early. I thought about my mom and the fact that I hadn’t received word from my sister yet. As we got into the car, my daughter asked if I had heard anything. “No,” I replied. She asked if I would call my sister and ask about the surgery. No, again. I told her, if she has anything bad to tell me, she won’t call me. And if she doesn’t call me, I don’t want to know right now. I’m too far away to do anything about it. I thought to myself – I would know if something bad happened. I would feel it, I was sure.

As we hit the toll road I was suddenly cheerful as a song by Fred Hammond came to me. I sang it over and over, louder and more cheerful. I got my daughter to join in. We bobbed our heads to the song and I knew, it wasn’t just a song – something had happened. We were praising God:

For the Lord is worthy to be praised
His hand of salvation redeems us this hour
To the Lord, beyond the balance of our days
Be glory and honor do-minion and power!

My cell phone rang. It was my sister. Telling me what my heart already knew. My mom was out of surgery. It was successful and she was recovering just fine. Yeah, God sometimes speaks to me through songs. I delivered the news to my daughter and she began to make the calls, passing the good news along. When she finished, she began to sing a song by J. Moss:

There’s a praise on the inside that I just can’t keep to myself
A holler, stirring up from the depths of my soul
So excuse me if I seem a little giddy and maybe even strange
But praise is the way I say thanks …

Be blessed,


P.S. “Glory to God” is by Fred Hammond.

9 Replies to “Prayer and Praise”

  1. Absolutely wonderful article! Wow! Thank you!

    “I’ve already made plans to go into a catatonic state when my mom leaves this world. Whenever that day comes, it will be too soon.”

    Now I realize I’m not the only person that feels this way. There’s nothing like Mama Love…

  2. True dat! I’m just glad she’s still here – I’m grateful for all the prayers that went up for her sake. She doing well now and the therapist actually got her on her feet yesterday and walked her down the hall on her new hip! God is good.

  3. Loria your article took me straight back to Nov 2009 when my mother was in the hopital for 2 weeks and they wanted us to make life and death decision for her as well, even talking about sending her home under hospice,(code for the insurance money is running low and we dont know what else to doo) but God saw fit to take her in his own time. you know I can totally relate, I’m glad to hear your mother is fine, God is Good!

  4. Hey lady, it’s Lida. God is good all the time and all the time God is good. We only get one Momma. Cherrish her, enjoy her, hug and kiss her, and most of all LOVE her. I wouldn’t know what to do without my mom. Mom is my best friend and I know your mom is yours. Thank God for all moms. I will continue to pray for mom’s continued recovery. God Bless and lot of LOVE.

  5. Wow. Obviously, Mom is a fighter and got somethin’ else to do on this earth. “Sometimes you have to encourage yourself…speak a word over yourself…” You know the song.

  6. I do know that song and I’m thankful that I also know His word and His promises – they have been a continual comfort to me, as are you! Be blessed, my sister …

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