I never understood prayer the way I encountered it on August of 2013. Everything that I had known from Sunday School and Seminary did not quite prepare me for a most staggering encounter.
It was C. S. Lewis who once said: "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."
I just came off from an involved 12-hour surgery. With my face swollen to a watermelon, and about seven tubes of blood rushing, I was wide awake at the ICU of Baylor Hospital. I was quietly alone. I could not move my face. My leg was tied to a machine while throbbing. I just lost my lower jaw and my fibula, but not my spirit. I was wide alert, thinking of family and church.
Since I was not able to sleep, I turned to my usual conversations with God. I told him that since I had so much time in my hands, maybe He could obliged me with a long chat.
What ensued was intensely alien and holy.
With eyes wide opened, I was ushered into a vista much similar to the dark battle of The Lord of the Rings. There was a surge of hideous monsters rushing with fury. The army was so thick, it seemed like the onrush of an ominous cold front. As I prayed, I was overwhelmed by the virtual transformation of my uttered words to balls of fire. Each time, I versed a prayer, a giant ball catapulted to the enemies. They were so scared of the meteor-like push. They were retreating in droves. And thus, I prayed and prayed. Names of persons were being downloaded to memory as I engaged in what has turned to an exhilarating offensive.
While all this was happening, I noticed a man standing about 3 inches next to me. I never saw such creature before.
About 9 to 10 feet tall. His face was about 2 feet long. His was the most beautiful facial symmetry I had ever seen; eyes were brown/blue. There was no smile, but serious delight. His body was so buff. Absolute zero body fat. No human skin but feathery-like eagle tone. No wings but strong and stable. His legs were massive like pillars. He was looking at me and was communicating not with words but through mind: "Continue your prayers. Do not be afraid, no one will harm you, I am assigned to protect you."
I was smitten with abiding peace.
The occurrence started at around midnight, when I roused Dr. Oxford was on his early-bird rounds. The surgeon asked how my night was. I was hardly able to mutter any words. I was too intoxicated with wonder.
Since that day, I never took prayer playfully.
Just last Wednesday, at the church prayer meeting, a young father was praying for a young teenager. I stood from a distance shooting the picture of a raging invisible combat.
At the center of it all, is our LORD who guaranteed that as we pray, His peace that surpasses our understanding shall keep us sane and safe.