The power of Prayer in the MRI Unit
The day, November 3, 2016, arrived for me to be tested for my hearing at Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. These tests were given to determine if I qualify for a Cochlear Implant.
The first series of testing was with an audiologist for four hours, listening to many little beeps, sounds and words. Sound equipment was plugged into my ears and I heard my own voice in the right ear for the first time in my life. I was previously told that my right ear was dead, with no chance of hearing.
After lunch, I met with the surgeon and team who will perform the surgery for the implant. After reading audiologist’ report, the surgeon explained to us how to get ready for the implant.
Next were the MRI and CT scans. Blood work drawn, the needle was left in my arm for injection of dye for the MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). The machine looked huge, with a small hole in the center. It looked ferocious and quite frightening.
I put on a hospital gown and laid down on the narrow table. Placing my head on a padded block, the nurse inserted ear plugs and then braced my head with wedges to keep me completely still. A mask was placed over my face and a blanket was placed on me to keep me warm. A call button was given to alert the nurse if I am in trouble. The nurse told me to lie very still.
My initial thought was, this will be a quiet peaceful time for me to pray for the next forty-five minutes. The table or bed was raised up and began to slide into the hole or chamber. Fear gripped me and I felt claustrophobic; nausea made me feel like vomiting. I tried to quote the twenty-third psalm to calm my soul.
Then suddenly a bright light came on followed by …
extremely loud noises: rumbling, grinding, banging, like I was inside a cement mixer full of gravel. The noise escalated to the level of a jet engine, a rushing subway train, sirens, hail storm and jack hammer all at once.
This mass distraction made it impossible to think, meditate or pray. The intensity of noise overwhelmed me. Horror gripped me as I remembered that I must endure this for forty-five minutes. It felt like eternity. This might be what Hell may sound like.
I found it too difficult to quote the twenty-third Psalm, so I tried to sing out loud. Next I decided to pray out loud with the intensity and urgency of a desperate person. I tried to get a message to God by shouting random prayers, but could God hear me in all this ruckus? Soon I felt a surge of power and peace, a sence of calmness in the midst of such chaos.
I recalled that most Christians would not pray for three minutes in a peaceful place, let alone any chaotic situation. We find many excuses for not praying and have lost our will to come boldly before God with our petitions. Something happened to me in those forty-five minutes that gave me a new perspective on prayer. It is possible to pray for an hour if you desire for God to bless you, regardless of the distraction.
“O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, give heed and act; delay not, for thy own sake, O my God, because thy city and thy people are called by thy name.” Daniel 9:16