There is power in the name of Jesus

...but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
  they will walk and not be faint. 

Isaiah 40:31

About a month ago, on an unseasonable warm evening in May, John and I found ourselves inside a large church, worshiping God among a sea of thousands. John loves listening to worship music and when he learned that one of his favorite worship bands- Jesus Culture- was coming to our area he bought us tickets and called it an "early birthday present." Early indeed! His birthday is in July.

I accompanied John to the concert willingly but somewhat mechanically. We had recently come away from our final failed IUI and I was tired. I was tired not only in body, but in spirit and in soul. I knew I did not have the spiritual or physical reserves to worship with much enthusiasm, but I also hoped that if I went and offered whatever meager worship I had in me, God would meet me there.

As I anticipated, thousands of worshippers at this concert belted out the lyrics to each song and raised their hands to the heavens a physical exclamation of faith. Two rows ahead of us, an elderly couple stood slightly stopped and raised both hands and faces as far upward as their bodies would allow. Immediately before me stood a woman whose shirt bore a silhouetted battlefield cross and a few phrases testifying to the life of her son: loved and lost less then two years ago. She turned her hands up and open in surrender. By the smiles on their faces and earnest tears in their eyes, I knew my fellow believers felt their hearts leap and their souls soar as they worshipped the God we together love and serve.

I did not feel my heart leap or soul rise. Though I sought to put off my weariness and worship as impassioned as those around me, I could not summon the energy. Too strong was the heaviness of my injured heart. Though I wanted to, I could not raise my arms in earnest.

Quietly, I offered some feeble prayers to the God. I want to… but I can't. Show me how to worship. And he answered me.

You are standing on holy ground. 

It was a still small voice inside: God meeting me right where I stood. I could not go to the heavenly heights in that moment, but even in my weary state I know I could quietly acknowledge the holy ground on which I stood.

I took off my shoes.

I stood in bare feet on the cool tile floor and worshipped my savior. I felt that God was inviting me to worship even meekly, on holy ground.

As I stood there broken in the a sea of hands raised high, I joined with a thousand voices singing, "There is power in the name of Jesus / to break every chain / to break every chain / to break every chain." As we sang I started thinking about the chain of my infertility. I have been trying so hard to accept my infertility and find peace with it, yet none has come. Maybe I've been thinking about this the wrong way, I thought. Maybe I shouldn't be spending so much time trying to accept it. Maybe I should be invoking the power of Jesus' name to break it. 

An old memory came to mind: one from the earliest days when John and I became public with our infertility journey. A pastor friend had asked if I would like to come and be prayed over at his church. On the evening which he invited me, John and I another event to attend so I declined. As I sang and reflected on that memory I began to wonder: Had I made a mistake? Had I missed out on an opportunity to break the chains of infertility that had held me captive for so long? I began to envision a group of believers surrounding me and placing their hands over me in prayer. At first I felt sad, feeling as though I had ruined my chance when I declined that pastor's offer. Then I started wondering how I could make up for my mistake…. should I ask my friends to lay hands on me and pray over me? Should I initiate the prayer myself?

No. That would be weird. Like asking someone for a gift. I felt in my heart that kind of healing prayer had to be offered rather than requested. Especially since it was not something I had ever seen my friends do before or even heard them talk about. I come from a more "reserved" faith tradition… certainly I could- and had- ask them to pray for me, but laying on of hands and praying over was a  little more bold of a spiritual move than any of us were used to. More than I felt I could ask.

I stored up that desire in my heart and asked God to make it happen if that was will for me.

It gives me chills to tell you this:

One week later John came home and said, "So I called woman named Abby from church today to ask her about serving in a leadership position. She said she would think about... and then she asked me if anyone had ever prayed over you for healing."

"What did you say?"

"I said I didn't think so. She wanted me to ask you if you would be willing but I didn't think you'd be into that kind of thing. It's totally fine if you say no."

"Tell her yes."


"Tell her yes!"

The very next evening I was lying on the floor of Abby's living room with 9 sets of hands on my body: my head, my arms, my belly, legs and my hands. Some of the hands were from women I knew. Some I had met once or twice before. Some hands belonged to women I had never met, including Abby's. All belonged to women who simply believed in the power of Jesus' name to break every chain.

The words from scripture and the prayers they prayed over me were some of the boldest prayers I have ever heard. None of the prayers were that I would accept the bondage of my infertility. All were about breaking the chains in Jesus' name. All were for healing.

As I told the women after with emotion: I have been in that position- lying on my back- searching for healing so many times before. During tests, exams, X-rays, ultrasounds, surgery, and IUIs… and I have grieved because none has come. That night, however, I knew I was lying on holy ground. I truly believe the healing I've been searching for has begun. My tired spirit is being renewed.

….more to come.



  1. Wow! I wan thinking that you should be prayed over right before I even read this. I believe with you

    1. Woah that is so cool that you were already thinking it! Means a lot to me to hear that since you are one of the most spiritually sensitive people I know! Thank you for commenting!

  2. Oh my gosh, Jill! TEARS! Thank you so much for sharing this amazing story.
    As a missionary it seems so much easier to offer up the hands to pray, especially in Africa, but here in America it's harder for some reason. It's dually harder to be the one receiving it - and I so appreciate your openness and transparency in sharing this part of your journey. I LOVE that JC song, and have had many chains in our lives broken as I proclaim that song with tears streaming down my face. I proclaim RIGHT NOW for your chain of infertility to be BROKEN to smithereens. I know we've never met but here's a virtual hug and know that I'm praying BIG, BOLD prayers for you! ::hug::

    1. I have no doubt that as a missionary you have a sensitivity to the Spirit that most of us here in the US cannot understand! I am deeply moved by your prayers and proclamations on my behalf!! Thank you!!

  3. L Motes6/18/2014

    I have also struggled with infertility. (Secondary infertility) we found out we were expecting our first 2 months after marriage. We tried for 1 year from when she was one. I ended up taking clomid & miscarried. We went to a RE for a few years & nothing worked. When our daughter was 7 1/2 we adopted our second daughter from Russia. When she was 4 we went back to the fertility clinic for 2 years. Tried IVF in Jan 2010. It didn't work. :( I was prayed over my an awesome man of God in April 2010 & got pregnant the next month! We had a son in January 2011. I got pregnant again in December 2012, but miscarried at 13 weeks. So devastating! I still was shocked I became pregnant again. I found out I'm expecting again in Dec 2013 & am due in 10 weeks with a baby girl. I'm telling you all this so you'll know healing is very possible! God still heals today. Ever since I was prayed for my cycle has been regular except while breastfeeding. I was irregular for 26 years. Sorry so long! Praying & believing for you!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story! It was not too long at all. It is absolutely amazing the work God has done in your life even after so much heartache. Praise God! What an encouragement to me to hear your story of healing!

  4. Wow! Beautiful words and experience. Thank you so much for sharing with us. A good reminder to be okay with asking for prayer - and to be aware of those around me who may be needing prayer. Love it! Thank you.

    1. Yes! I think offering prayer is an important thing in our culture. It truly is a gift, but one we will never run out of, so we can give generously! Thanks for your comment.

  5. I have seen incredible miracles of healing happen after people have been prayed over... including a woman (my sister's friend) who was literally dying of an unknown kidney disease (doctor's had turned her into a case study because they had no idea what was causing her kidney failure). She was prayed over by one woman (and they prayed together) and the next day, her kidney function began to heal. There is no medical explanation for it and now she is healthy again! I know another woman, who is elderly, who had a tumor growing on her tongue. I was in the sanctuary when a group of people prayed over her and her tumor shrunk and disappeared within two weeks! God is definitely in the business of miracles and I am going to praise God in advance for the miracle He is about to do in your life! May His miracles abound and His mercies never cease!


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