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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Calling all Prayer Warriors

My son, Davis, is 5 ½. He may be a little guy but he’s already a prayer warrior. Dan and I often receive comments from other adults about the maturity and the depth of Davis’s prayers. It makes me smile when I think about what the Lord might have in store for him one day.

The first person I can ever remember Davis praying for on a daily, consistent basis is Davis’s friend, Bennett. Davis was only a year and half old at the time of Bennett’s birth – and yet somehow he comprehended the seriousness of the situation and he knew he must pray.

Precious Bennett was born with DiGeorge Syndrome, a deletion of a portion of his 22nd chromosome. This resulted in a complex heart defect, a compromised immune system and other challenging diagnoses. As a tiny newborn, Bennett endured multiple and very serious surgeries. He and his parents spent weeks on end living in the local children's hospital. I can remember days when Bennett’s life literally hung in the balance.

And through it all, Davis prayed. Even when Dan and I forgot, Davis prayed. He prayed for healing and for protection and for mighty miracles to be worked on Bennett’s behalf. He literally prayed without ceasing.

Today, Davis is reaping the fruit of those prayers:

Today, Bennett is one of Davis’s closest friends. He is one of his most worthy and delightful playmates. Every time we are together, which is often, they have a blast.

Bennett’s parents are close friends of mine and Dan’s. Judd is the SixtyFeet board member who is leading the September mission trip. Judd is also the dear friend who flew to Uganda on Christmas night to be with Dan while he awaited completion of our adoption. These are good people.

Over the last year, Bennett has made such progress and has been so healthy that it’s often easy for me to forget that he’s still sick. It’s easy for me to go on my merry way, to go about life and to take my own children’s health for granted – until something causes me to stop and remember.

Sometimes I stop to talk with Valerie in the carpool line and I catch a glimpse of Bennett in the backseat receiving extra calories through his feeding tube. Sometimes Valerie will reach into her pantry to grab a snack for the kids and I’ll catch a glimpse of the mounds of medicine and syringes that she manages on a daily basis. And then I remember.

But today, I couldn’t forget. This afternoon, Davis and I stopped by Bennett’s house to say good-bye. He, Valerie and Judd are leaving tomorrow for Palo Alto,California. And there, on the other side of the country, away from their family, friends, church and entire support system, Bennett will undergo a very complex open heart surgery.

They may be gone for two weeks or they may be gone for a couple of months. Right now, it’s just hard to predict. Valerie and Judd must leave their older son, Henry, behind in Atlanta in the care of his grandparents. Also, Valerie is five months pregnant with their third child.

Friends, I plead with you to join me in praying for this family that is so dear to my heart. Specific prayer requests are below. Thank you for joining with me and so many others to intercede on behalf of the Harper family. "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." -- James 5:16

If you’d like to follow Bennett’s journey on your own, please visit: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/bennettharper

Prayer Requests for Bennett (from the Harper Family):

Pray that Bennett would not be fearful, especially during those times when Judd and Valerie cannot be by his side.

Pray that big brother Henry will be sustained, strengthened and comforted as he stays in Atlanta and will be understandably anxious about his little brother.

Prepare the surgeon, physicians, nurses, anesthesiologists, pharmacists, techs, etc. who will be working with Bennett. And that the hands of the surgeon will be steady and precise.

Pray that all machinery will be free from malfunction or error. Specifically  pray for the heart/lung bypass machine and the ventilators that will support Bennett’s body.
Pray for protection for Bennett’s organs, especially his brain, while on the heart/lung bypass machine.

Please pray for strength for Bennett, Judd and Valerie through the first 48 hours after surgery, which are most critical.
Please pray that our Lord would minimize Bennett’s pain and help his body to heal quickly and without infection.

Most of all, pray that the Lord is glorified through this experience. Pray that Bennett’s life would be a reflection of the Lord’s goodness and mercy. Pray that Valerie and Judd are able to rely on Him for strength and that their faith will not waiver. "I lift my eyes to the mountains, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth."

Thank you, prayer warriors, for standing with us!
"...And by His wounds we are healed." -- Isaiah 53:5


Tracy said...


Chasity said...


Mandi said...

Praying....what a precious testimony Davis has already.

Jennie said...

Sweet Davis... you have such a wonderful heart. As mommy to another little boy for whom you have prayed, I'm so thankful that God has called you to this and given you a very special gift.

Thank you for continuing to pray for Bennett. And Shelly... I'm glad to hear that you can forget sometimes about Bennett's "stuff." I appreciate when people forget about Micah's "stuff" too.

Audrey @ The Brown Brigade said...

How precious! We are praying!!

Christen said...


Sophie said...

I just prayed for this precious boy and his family. Your son is so sweet for praying for his friend.

hnjgregory@gmail.com said...

we will be praying for sweet bennett and his family. thank you for posting this.