There’s this story we like to tell here at CURE Niger. It’s the story of Naaman being healed of leprosy in 2 Kings 5. The short version is Naaman has leprosy. A servant girl says “Hey Naaman, you should go see Elisha.” So, Namaan goes to Elisha. Namaan takes a bath, then boom! No leprosy.
The thing is Naaman had his treasure here on earth. He was a big shot commander in the army. He was rich. He was popular. It is incredible that God healed him, but we like to look at the story from a different angle. For us, the young servant girl is the main character. She was the one who believed in the power of the Lord so strongly, she spoke up when no one else would. The transformation took place in Naaman and Elisha was the one who told Naaman what to do to be healed, but God used this servant girl to set the whole thing in motion.
The part that makes this story crazy in the context of Niger is that God used a little girl to set His plans in motion. In a country where women, let alone little girls, are not often valued as much as God values them, this is a big deal! On top of that, God used a girl as a living and breathing prayer of faith to bring about the healing of a decorated military commander. Prayer is a big part of Nigerien culture, but the idea that God listens to prayers and can even answer them is not.
Here at CURE, we believe in prayer. We believe that it has power. We believe that it has a purpose. And we believe that God hears our prayers no matter our station in this world.
Time and time again we see God encourage and honor all types of prayer throughout the Bible. He encourages us to unite in prayer, to collectively come before Him, no matter our class in life. He encourages us to pray without ceasing and bring our troubles before Him. He rejoices with us in our prayers of thanksgiving. He honors intercession when we lift up others before Him.
While there are certainly other types of prayer, we’re going to venture out on the theological limb and say these are the big ones, and we try to use all of them in our daily life here at CURE Niger. We start every day out with corporate prayer at our daily chapel service. Prayers of request and thanksgiving are offered up during our morning prayer rounds when our spiritual staff tour the hospital covering every patient in every section of the hospital with prayer. Finally, both our spiritual and Christian staff are in a regular habit of interceding on behalf of both our patients and our co-workers.
We believe in the importance of prayer. We believe in the power and goodness of God. And the great thing is, if you do too, you can be a part of our work whether you are here with us or not! We desperately need your help praying over our patients, our staff, and the work being done within our walls.
If you want to stay up to date on practical ways to be praying for us, you can check out CURE’s monthly prayer guides (https://cure.org/prayer-guides/) on our website or sign up to have them emailed to you each month (https://cure.org/pray/). And what makes this even better is that these requests don’t just cover us here at CURE Niger, but all the CURE hospitals across the network!