When We Pray Without Ceasing

Rachel Chimits

God brought new life to a newly converted woman in more ways than one as she asked him to heal her from years of paralysis.

Phen Maw, a lifelong resident of Northern Cambodia, was not only the mother of three but also paralyzed from the waist down. She was often deeply frustrated by the limitations that not being able to walk placed on her while caring for her children. At times, she felt overwhelmed by despair, left wondering how she would overcome future obstacles in their lives.

So much changed when one of World Challenge’s partners and a volunteer trainer named Seak Ta visited Phen Maw’s village and shared the gospel with her. The news that there was a God who loved her and who was able to heal the sick struck a cord in Phen Maw’s heart.

Immediately upon hearing this, she decided to accept Jesus Christ into her life. She began praying without ceasing for God to have mercy on her and heal her body.

In spite of strict COVID-19 restrictions, the team visited her nearly every day, discussing scripture with her, pouring into her life, praying for her healing and welcoming her into a community of truth and hope.  

Asking the Lord to Move

Despite still not having been healed, Phen Maw decided that she wanted to be baptized, a very public sign of her faith to the surrounding villagers in her tiny mountain town. She explained, “I have had hope since the day I accepted Christ. I could eat well, sleep well and was able to smile to others around me.” 

Pastor Daly and Seak Ta came to her house to conduct the baptism. Since Phen Maw was still unable to walk, they brought a large bucket of water to her bedside on the porch of her house and poured the water over her head with a pot.

The air was filled with hope, particularly with the presence of Pastor Daly who had been hospitalized earlier this year with a severe case of COVID. The church had gathered to pray for her healing, and she had been restored and finally released from the hospital, well once more. Now, they would pray again for God’s hand to move and miraculously restore one of his children’s bodies.

“Ten days after I got baptized,” Phen Maw shared, “I was able to stand and walk! I thank God and the team that brought me to know God and his love for my life. Nothing can compare to what I encountered with God.”

The miracle that has allowed her to stand is a great testimony for the church in Northern Cambodia. Our team emailed us, jubilantly writing, “Praise the Lord for his mercy and healing upon Phen! What a wonderful God we serve.” Nothing could be more delightful and true.

Only One Part of Reality

In his book Miracles, C. S. Lewis wrote, “A miracle is emphatically not an event without cause or without results. Its cause is the activity of God: its results follow according to Natural law….

“And this is just what some people find intolerable. The reason they find it intolerable is that they start by taking Nature to be the whole of reality. And they are sure that all reality must be interrelated and consistent. I agree with them. But I think they have mistaken a partial system within reality, namely Nature, for the whole.”

The world and our physical bodies within it are only one facet of a much larger reality, one whose laws we only partially understand. As Lewis meditated on this truth, he noted, “Everything is connected with everything else: but not all things are connected by the short and straight roads we expect.” What does not make sense to modern science is a delightful but not unheard-of experience for God’s children.

God raised Phen Maw up from her bed with new life and new hope first spiritually and then physically.