Through the Legends group in Menlo Park, I learned about a tragedy where a young man named Ben was shot in the head in San Francisco at a Halloween party. It turns out that Ben was friends with a colleague of one of the guys in the prayer group. Actually he was friends with a colleague of the host of the group, and that colleague, knowing that there was a group of men who came to pray in the office Tuesday mornings, asked the group to pray for Ben, who was in deep trouble.
I got a text while at the New Canaan Society weekend retreat in San Francisco, just a day or two after the shooting, that invited a group of guys to go to the hospital to pray for Ben. A car picked us up and off we went to pray for a young man none of us knew personally. On the way to the hospital we received a text from the colleague that Ben's condition had worsened, there was some kind of infection so that he was put into a unit we could not enter. The best we could do was pray in the hotel lobby.
And so we entered the hospital, got as close to Ben as we could in the Intensive Care Unit, and we began to pray. Pastor Shodankeh Johnson was with us--a powerful man of prayer I wrote about here--and he led us in prayer. We had prayed for five or ten minutes when a few young adults walked by us. I can't recall how the exchange happened, but we learned that among the group were the siblings and a close friend of Ben. We shared that we were praying for him, and they said they might be able to come back later to have us go in to see him.
We prayed maybe ten minutes more, and then we left and went back to the retreat. Then the amazing reports began to trickle in...
First, an email from the colleague that said,
"Great report. The initially diagnosed "highly contagious bacterial infection" somehow"came up negative" today."
Then, a few days later, a note:
"a good report re Ben this afternoon. Fluid in the lungs receding. Doctors are optimistic on his prognosis!!!"
A week or so passed, and another note:
"Thank you so much for your prayers and support!"
I am so happy right now I am literally crying. Ben is now awake and is able to move around. His voice is faint (given all the tubes he has had for the last several weeks) but he is able to comprehend and keep conversation! The power of prayers.
I cannot express how thankful, happy, and relieved I am. I have so much to be thankful for this thanksgiving.
Please pass on my thanks to your prayer group and the priest that went to the hospital.
Then, we received an update that the press was beginning to cover this miracle:
Check out the links below. It's not only us who are declaring this a miracle! Local news is also reporting on Ben's recovery.