2019 closed with the heartbreaking loss of Olive Alayne Heiligenthal, the two year old daughter of Andrew and Kalley. They are active in Bethel Church in California, a faith community known for its focus on signs, wonders, and miracles. The founder of the church, Bill Johnson, holds to what he calls a “Jesus is perfect” theology and claims it is always God’s will to heal “someone who is ill, someone who has had an accident, or for that matter someone who is dead.” (To learn more, click here.) Bethel Church prayed for God to restore Olive to life after her death. He did not.
We all pray prayers that aren’t answered the way we hoped. As a special-needs sister and mom, as a pastor’s wife who often hears heavy stories from the lives of people I care about, as someone who does online ministry and talks to moms who want to see God move in specific ways—it feels like it happens daily.
In the last decade, since my son’s autism diagnosis, my prayer life has changed. After so many nights of asking for sleep and not getting it, after praying for help and not getting it, I find myself only asking for safe requests. Now I say, “Your will …,” “Your plan …, “Your purpose ….” I don’t want to demand what He isn’t willing to give. I don’t want to be disappointed.
My prayers have gotten so safe, I wonder if they are even worth praying. Then God led me to a passage that reminds me He cares what’s truly on my heart and mind.
And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way. (Mark. 10:46-52)
Source: Special Needs Parenting- Key Ministry