What is the meaning of the apostle Paul’s words “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)? This article will tell you the answer and how to pray without ceasing.
An Unexpected Miracle: My Daughter Survived a Cerebral Hemorrhage
“Ma’am, Xiaowei had a brain hemorrhage. She’s in the hospital right now, and the doctor says they need to operate immediately …” I was shocked when I received a call from my daughter’s friend in Thailand. No wonder I hadn’t been able to reach my daughter on the phone the last few days. My daughter was sick, and very seriously.
In the moment, I didn’t know what to do. When I put down the phone, I quickly went before God and prayed, “God! My daughter has had a brain hemorrhage in Thailand and needs surgery. You know that I am small in stature, and I don’t know what to do about such a thing happening to me. I can only look to You and entrust this to You. My daughter’s life and death are in Your hands. Please enlighten and guide me as I rely on You.”
Before long, my phone rang again, and my daughter’s friend hurriedly said, “Ma’am, Xiaowei’s condition is very serious, and she may not make it through the surgery. You should open WeChat to see her one last time!”
When I heard her say this might be the last time I saw my daughter, I suddenly panicked. I felt myself go limp, and tears flowed from my eyes. I quickly opened WeChat on my phone and saw my daughter lying in a hospital bed connected to an oxygen machine. I was stunned, and my whole body began to shake. I kept asking myself, “Is this really the last time I’ll see my daughter?”
Joy and Sadness as I See My Daughter Clinging to Life in a Foreign Land
The next day I went with my niece to apply for a passport. On the evening of January 31, we took a plane from China to Thailand. I was confused, and prayed silently to God, “God! I am worried about my daughter. Was her surgery successful? Will I arrive to see a living daughter? God! I’m very confused right now. Please keep my heart quiet in Your presence.”
After praying, I thought of these words of God: “Because I am your Father, I am your strong tower, I am your shelter, I am your backup, and moreover I am your Almighty One, and I am your everything!” Yes! God was my backing and my greatest support. Whether my daughter was healthy or unhealthy, and her life and death, were in God’s hands. God is omnipotent, and I should entrust my daughter to God. Gradually, my panicked heart calmed itself.
Early on the morning of February 1st, we arrived at the hospital in Thailand. My daughter was lying motionless on the bed, her eyes were closed, her face was yellowed and thin, her hair was completely shaved, and the wound where she had been cut open was sewn shut with dense stitches. The sight of her made my heart ache. I touched her hand with mine, and when she didn’t react, tears burst from my eyes. My daughter’s friend said softly to console me, “The doctor said Xiaowei’s operation was very successful. She simply has a bad headache, and she didn’t sleep last night, so she needs to sleep for a while. You should also go get some rest.” Hearing the news that my daughter’s surgery was successful finally alleviated the anxiety in my heart.
A little over two hours later, I returned to the hospital. My daughter was awake. She saw me and said with a weak voice, “Mom, what are you doing here? I’m not dreaming, am I? Mom, please help me, I’m in so much pain.” I lay down next to my daughter and said with concern, “Honey, people’s lives are in God’s hands. Call out to God, and God will help us.”
In the Revelations of God’s Words, I Discover My Intentions in My Belief in God Are Incorrect
After that, I looked at my daughter, who still seemed to be in great pain, which was very upsetting for me. I thought to myself, “I only have one daughter. My husband and I both believe in God and do our duties, and no matter how many brothers and sisters we need to receive, we are happy to expend and pay the price, so why could such a disaster happen to us? If anything happens to my daughter and she dies here, my life will be meaningless, so I might as well die here too.” The moment I had the thought, I felt I was in the wrong state. I realized that this was blaming and misunderstanding God, and falling into the snare of Satan’s temptation. I quickly came before God and called out, “God! Please keep me, so that my heart may be still before You. No matter whether my daughter lives or dies, I believe everything is in Your hands. No matter what You do, it is righteous. I know that Your good intentions are behind this matter, so I ask for Your enlightenment and guidance, so that I may understand what lessons I should learn from this.”
Later, I saw these words from God: “You hope that yourwill not entail any challenges or tribulations, or the slightest hardship. You always pursue those things that are worthless, and you attach no value to life, instead putting your own extravagant thoughts before the truth. You are so worthless! … What you pursue is to be able to gain peace after believing in God—for your children to be free from illness, for your husband to have a good job, for your son to find a good wife, for your daughter to find a decent husband, for your oxen and horses to plough the land well, for a year of good weather for your crops. This is what you seek. Your pursuit is only to live in comfort, for no accidents to befall your family, for the winds to pass you by, for your face to be untouched by grit, for your family’s crops to not be flooded, for you to be unaffected by any disaster, to live in God’s embrace, to live in a cozy nest. … I give you the true way without asking for anything in return, yet you do not pursue. Are you one of those who believe in God?”
After reading God’s words, I realized that what I pursued in my belief in God was blessings from God. I wanted to use performing my duties, forsaking, and expending as things to exchange for God’s blessings. This was attempting to trade with God. Usually, when everything went well, my family was safe, and my daughter was healthy and not in danger, I never raised conditions as I expended for God, and I thought that I possessed real love and obedience for God. But now, seeing my daughter in danger, I was afraid of losing my daughter, so I misunderstood God, blamed God for not keeping my daughter healthy, and I even thought that if my daughter died, I would end my own life as well. I swore a death oath to force God’s hand. I was entirely unreasonable. At the same time, I also saw that I lacked any real faith and obedience to God. Believing in God this way, I would never gain God’s approval! God speaks in the last days to purify and change the satanic corrupt dispositions within us, to allow us to genuinely obey and love God, and finally to be completely saved by God. But, even though I believed in God, I didn’t know God, and I was still attempting to trade with God. Without being revealed by God, I would never have realized my mistaken views and ideas about belief in God or my own selfish and despicable satanic nature, which would have doomed my belief to uselessness. When I recognized these things, I quietly swore an oath in my heart to entrust my daughter’s life to God and obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements.
Following this, I prayed to God every day, and I also taught my daughter to sing hymns of God’s word, told her about God’s authority in creating everything in the heavens and the earth, and told her about the miracle Lazarus’s resurrection by the Lordafter being dead for four days. My daughter listened quietly, and also learned to . Seeing my daughter’s illness improving every day, her headaches go away, that she could speak normally, and was able to eat again, I was very happy, and thanked God in my heart. I was hopeful that my daughter would survive.
As My Daughter’s Condition Deteriorates, I Am Revealed by the Facts to Still Have Demands of God
A week later, the doctor came to remove my daughter’s stitches, and she was in great pain. Unexpectedly, after the stitches were removed, my daughter began to have a fever that became worse and worse. It was impossible to touch her face without feeling a burning heat. The doctors gave her a 24-hour IV drip and used ice to suppress the fever, but her high fever did not retreat. Her body was covered in red marks, she had a headache, and her voice was hoarse. Weakly, she would call out, “I don’t want to die here, I want to go home. Please take me back.” Finally, she lacked even the strength to speak.
Two days prior, I had happily hoped that she would survive her illness. I never expected her condition to deteriorate so suddenly. As I watched my daughter on the brink of death, tormented by her pain, the misery I felt was indescribable. I was very worried that my daughter wouldn’t make it through, that she would die in a foreign country, and I felt very sad. I continuously cried out to God, “God! Save my daughter! I put my daughter’s life in Your hands!”
But no matter how I called out, my daughter’s illness didn’t improve. Instead, it became more and more serious. I became weak again, and I again misunderstood and blamed God. If my daughter were to die in a foreign country, I really don’t know what I would do. I silently prayed to God, “God! When I saw hope for my daughter to survive, I was grateful to You, but now her condition has suddenly worsened, and I’ve lost faith in You. I didn’t recognize Your authority and power in dominating all things, and I lack genuine obedience. I see that my previous understanding of You was merely an understanding of rote letters and doctrine. The facts have revealed my real spiritual stature to me. God! I ask only that You give me faith and strength….”
My daughter’s condition, rather than improving, continued to deteriorate. Her electrocardiogram readings were extremely unstable, her life indicators continued to drop, and the doctors still wouldn’t come to the ward. I went to the doctors, but they couldn’t understand what I said. I was so anxious that I was running around the hospital in circles. Later, we found a nurse, and by translating Chinese into Thai with our mobile phones, we were able to speak with the doctor. The doctor said my daughter couldn’t be saved, and that they had tried their best. The nurse also asked whether we needed her help. I said through my tears, “As long as my daughter has a breath of life, we won’t give up, so she will need care.” As she lay weak and limp in the hospital bed, on the brink of death, receiving IV drips every day, I gave her body massages to promote blood circulation. Whenever I saw my daughter barely clinging to life, I couldn’t eat, my mental state collapsed, and sadness and helplessness overtook me.
After Completely Letting Go of My Incorrect Intentions, A Miracle Happens
I realized that I might never hear my daughter call me “mom” again, and the thought left me in deep anguish. But, the sight of the liquid dripping down from the IV bottle proved my daughter was still alive, and I could still feel a shred of hope in my heart. Every day, I wiped the tears from my eyes at her bedside as I massaged her. I didn’t dare to sleep at night, because I was afraid she could leave me at any time.
In the midst of my torment, I remembered God’s words, “While undergoing trials, it’s normal for people to be weak, or have negativity within them, or to lack clarity on God’s will or their path for practice. But in any case, you must have faith in God’s work, and not deny God, like Job. Although Job was weak and cursed the day of his own birth, he did not deny that all things in human life were bestowed by Jehovah, and that Jehovah is also the One to take it all away. No matter how he was tested, he maintained this belief. No matter what kind of refinement you undergo in your experiences from God’s words, God requires mankind’s faith. This way, what is perfected are people’s faith and aspirations. You cannot touch or see it; it is under these circumstances that your faith is required. People’s faith is required for when something cannot be seen by the naked eye, and your faith is required for when you cannot let go of your own notions. When you are not clear on God’s work, what is required is your faith and that you take a firm stance and stand witness.” The guidance I found in God’s word made me remember Satan’s temptation of Job, when he lost everything. Job didn’t complain. He maintained true faith in God, and said in witness, “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21), which humiliated Satan. Finally, Job gained God’s approval and blessings, and his faith in God was greater than ever. I saw that God’s permission for Satan to tempt him was meaningful. It was meant to perfect his faith. In the same way, God had allowed my daughter to become so seriously ill to inspect whether my faith in God was genuine, and whether I could stand firm, testify for God, and defeat Satan. When I understood God’s will, I prayed to Him through my tears, “God! I’ve been foolish and ignorant. I have lacked true faith in You. My daughter’s life is in Your hands, so I entrust her to You. No matter whether she lives or dies, I will obey Your arrangements. I wish to stand firm, bear witness, and glorify You.” After I prayed, I felt faith and strength in my heart.
Once I became willing to stand firm and testify for God, I saw God’s miraculous work: My daughter’s high fever suddenly receded, her erythema gradually disappeared, and she regained consciousness. I was so excited that tears filled my eyes, and I felt gratitude to God for which words were inadequate. The doctor came to see my daughter and said, “Given her serious condition, even though she has improved, she won’t be able to walk. She’ll have to sit in a wheelchair.” After I heard the doctor, I silently prayed to God, “God, even if my daughter will be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life, I will obey Your arrangements. I believe You are a righteous God, and I have no complaints.” My daughter urged me to buy a wheelchair, but I said to my daughter, “Whether or not you are paralyzed or confined to a wheelchair isn’t up to the doctor, it’s up to God. After all, God dominates everything about us, and we should rely on God at all times. I won’t buy a wheelchair until the day we return home.”
After another two days, I saw another miracle. My daughter was able to get out of bed, and I was indescribably happy. In my daughter I saw God’s authority and power, which shattered the determination of science and rebuked the doctor’s point of view. Because everything in heaven and earth is in God’s hands, God has the final say over everything. As the word of God states: “, the Head of all things, wields His kingly power from His throne. He rules over the universe and all things and He is guiding us on the whole earth.” As her condition improved day by day, the nurses and doctors gave us a thumbs up, and I thanked God with all my heart. I knew that all this was all possible thanks to God’s miraculous works and blessings!
When my daughter went to her rehabilitation exercises, she met another patient who was hospitalized. When she saw that my daughter could walk, while she herself couldn’t, she said enviously, “Your daughter’s condition was very serious a few days ago. How could she suddenly be walking after so short a time?” I testified God’s miraculous works to her. It was God who brought my daughter back from the brink of death. My daughter was discharged from hospital on February 19, and the patients all watched us with envious eyes. It was nothing less than a miracle that my daughter could escape from the brink of death and recover so quickly.
This special experience allowed me to see that I believed in God only to pursue blessings, that pursuing trade with God was a mistaken idea, and that believing this way, I would never gain God’s approval. After I had, little by little, abandoned my incorrect intentions in my belief in God, completely entrusted my daughter to God, and become willing not to blame God no matter whether my daughter lived or died, I witnessed a miracle from God, and my daughter made a wondrous recovery. I truly experienced the power and authority by which God dominates all things! From now on, I wish to obey the Creator’s orchestrations and arrangements, and fulfill the duties of a created being to repay God’s love!
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