Against All Odds

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Do you really believe your prayers can move mountains?  Our Editor Dan shares a testimony of God’s incredible provision and favor when he prayed for his boss at work.

I really have the best boss in the world.  When God blessed me with this perfect job out of nowhere about a year and a half ago (a story in its own right), not only did He rescue me with a stable job in an incredibly uncertain and volatile job market, but He put me in a group of incredible people – rare in the entertainment industry.  When God came through for me, He attended to every last detail in perfection, as is His way.  

He placed me under the supervision of my current boss, who is intelligent, warm, empathetic and truly invests in not only the careers, but also the personal lives of everyone in her department – from the senior executives all the way to the filing clerks.  She goes to bat for us.  When things go wrong, she is the first one to take the blame on herself and to shield us from criticism, even if it was our fault.

So when I heard the news this week that my boss’ cancer treatment had taken a turn for the worse I was devastated.

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On Monday morning she asked me to come into her office and close the door.

“I’m not doing well,” she said.  ”My treatment is not going well, and recently it’s taken a turn for the worse. I have no energy, and I need to take a leave of absence from work for at least two or three months to see if I can get better.  But I really don’t know how this is going to turn out.”  Her face was worn, cast down.  The color and joy in her face was drained out.  It was like a dark cloud had covered the room.  

“I was supposed to be in this clinical trial for an experimental treatment regimen,” she continued.  ”And for the longest of time I thought my spot was reserved, but now out of the blue the drug company is making all sorts of excuses and telling me I might get replaced by other patients, that others might be a better fit for the program.  I was really putting my hopes on this clinical trial.  I don’t know what to do if it doesn’t come through.”

I didn’t know what to say.  It’s sad, but in corporate America, it’s really frowned upon to share about your faith.  To many people, the name “Jesus” is more controversial and taboo than even the foulest swear word – especially at work.  I had been burned before trying to talk to people about God at work.  In my last job, my co-worker even scolded me angrily saying “you really need to stop trying to proselytize me” when I tried to encourage her with a scripture and an offer for prayer in a time of need.  And she had grown up in a Christian home.

You never know how someone could react when you talk about God, and when it comes to your job a lot of Christians just don’t take that risk because too much is on the line.  That’s your meal ticket right there – for you and your family.  Maybe it’s not worth it, the discouraging thoughts always say.  So as I was sitting in my boss’ office, I had to pull up the courage to share my faith.

“I’m going to pray for you,” I blurted out.  I even surprised myself as I started speaking.  ”I’m going to pray that you will get into that clinical trial program, and I’ll have my church pray for you as well.”  I almost cringed.  What if she gets offended, I thought.  She’s not a believer.  What if I made this bold statement and God doesn’t come through for her?

To my surprise, she was really receptive.  ”Actually,” she began, “that would really mean a lot to me.  Because more than anything else right now I could use your prayers.  Thank you so much, please do pray for me.”

So I went back to my office and started to pray.  ”God all things are possible for Him who believes Lord,” I said.  ”I declare in faith in Jesus name favor for my boss and that you will open wide the doors of that clinical trial for her.  That no door that we open for her will be shut in Jesus name. I also pray for complete and total healing of all cancer and that you use those doctors in that program to completely free her for all sickness and infirmity.”

I rallied my usual prayer warriors, texting my wife and asking her to pray, asking my pastor friend to pray, and posting a message to our house church’s prayer page.  I was so encouraged – friends and family in Christ started praying for my boss, even some friends from overseas.  They had such faith.  I made a plan to pray for my boss every day until she got into the program.  I even wrote it on my daily planner for each day that week, circled and in all caps so I wouldn’t forget.

Five days later, my boss walked into my office again.  There was a long pause.  And then a huge smile came across her face.

“I got in,” she said ecstatically.  ”I got in!  I’m into the clinical trial.  THANK YOU!  Thank you so much for praying and for your church praying.  It really made a difference.  I’m really fortunate and lucky you know.  There are so few people that get in.  Total – and I mean worldwide – the clinical trial only takes 85 people, and that’s it.  I mean what are the odds?  I’m really thankful I got in.”

“I’m so happy for you,” I said.  ”I’m so happy to hear the news.  Thank you for letting us pray for you.”

“No, THANK YOU!” She said.  ”Thank you for praying for me, seriously, it means a lot to me, and it made a difference.”  She was smiling ear to ear.  There was hope again.  The prayers had been answered, and the tide had turned.  A glimpse of Heaven and the Kingdom had come into my workplace.

We live in a world where we have nothing to give sometimes but our prayers.  But that’s what people need the most.  As the leader of our bible study always says, when you pray you can make the impossible possible.  Pray the impossible prayers. See that God is good.  See the mountains move.

I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. – Jesus (Matt. 17:20 NIV)

Image credit: Flickr / uglyagnes