My Middle of the Night Prayer

Over the past couple of weeks, my mother’s had some medical tests. Friday, fear got the best of her.

Jennifer my sister, me, and Mother

Her mammogram and ultrasound were clear, but an MRI showed a possible abnormality. She’s scheduled for a surgical breast biopsy February 3rd. My grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer at my mother’s age. She had mastectomies.

Mother sounded like she was covered in cold clammy fear. She wasn’t eating. Didn’t want to walk the dog–afraid she’d miss her doctor’s call.

Fear is an emotion I understand. I’ve been there plenty of times. Fear can take me under.

We talked about a book she’s written, The Nevertheless Principle. It’s the story of how she rose above fear during the last few weeks of my father’s life. He died from a brain tumor.

I reminded her of “The Island of Trust”  she describes in her book–a warm, wide, safe place where she finally let go and trusted God with everything.

She didn’t want to hear about the Island of Trust.

I told her I’d pray for her.

For a few minutes during the middle of the night, between sleep and wake, I prayed.

I’d never prayed like this before.

I imagined the Island of Trust and visited it in my mind.

Sat beside a palm tree.

Squinted at the bright white sand.

Put my toes in the clear-blue waters.

Felt the sun on my back.

Inhaled the scent of suntan oil.


Help her get to the Island of Trust, Lord.

Saturday morning she called. “You’ll never believe it. I woke up between two-thirty and three during the night. The giant fear monster was gone! I made it to the Island of Trust. Why would I ever go back into the shark-infested waters of fear?”

I have no idea how or why this prayer worked, but I know there’s an escape from fear.

If you’re afraid, I understand. Let me know, and I’ll pray for you.

(lower photo courtesy of



I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of love, and of power, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJ)