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Powerful Names

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There it was again. Another TV report about Jesse, a 2½-year-old who drowned in a pond and had been brought back by paramedics. A patient at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, he clung to life. Each time I heard another TV report the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, “Write his mother. Tell her to ask the prayer team to come pray for her son.”

Each time I resisted. Finally, I dashed off a quick note. “There, Lord. I’ve done it. Do with that letter whatever You will, Lord.” I dropped the letter in the mailbox.

A few days later, I got a call from our prayer team captain.

“Sally, would you and your friend Albina go to Children’s Mercy? We’ve received a request from a mother of a boy named Jesse. She said you wrote her about our prayer teams.”

I swallowed hard and squeaked out a “Yes.”

“Lord, I didn’t expect my team to get the call! Who are we to go pray for this child?”

The Holy Spirit calmed my spirit. I took a deep breath and called Albina to see when we could go before I set an appointment with Jesse’s mother.

The next day, I looked up what Jesse’s name meant in a Biblical name book. I knew Jesse in the Old Testament was the father of King David, but what did the name mean? “Extant.” What the heck does “extant” mean? I looked up “extant” in the dictionary. “Survivor.”

Hmmmm. Survivor. Suddenly, I realized this child was a survivor, even though he had been underwater for at least 20 minutes. No matter what condition we found him in, God had caused his mother to name him Jesse. Survivor!

The morning we were to go pray for him, fear and doubt began to bite at me. “Who do you think you are to pray for this child? You know nothing will happen. Why were you so stupid to write his mother?”

I prayed silently. “Lord Jesus, this morning I’m a little like Moses. If You don’t go with me, I’m not going.”

Suddenly, my youngest son, age five, wandered into the room. He mumbled something over and over under his breath. I bent down to hear what he said.

“Shammah, Shammah, Shammah.”

Shammah. That was one of the names of Jehovah in the Old Testament. I dashed into the living room and looked in the back of my Bible. There it was. “Jehovah-Shammah; the God who is there.”

I laughed. “Okay, Lord. If You’re already there, then I know You’ll stick around till we get there to pray.”

When Albina and I entered the room, we found a pitiful child. One side of his body was drawn up tight as if he’d suffered a stroke. He screamed incessantly.

I shared with his mother about the meaning of her son’s name. As we prayed for him, I felt drawn to pray for his ears, which at the time, seemed the least of his problems.

“Ask the doctors to check his ears,” I said.

We visited again the next week.

His mom informed us the doctors found he had a raging ear infection from the pond water. In all their exams, no one thought to check his ears. His screaming had stopped, but his one arm and leg were still drawn.

We visited him every week. After a couple of months, the doctors wanted to cut his stomach off permanently and insert a feeding tube.

They told his mother, “He’ll never recover. You need to take him home. One day he’ll get pneumonia or the flu and die. There is nothing more we can do for him.”

Jesse’s mother refused to let them cut his stomach off. She took him home, still drawn. We visited him every week for prayer.

One day, I took him a little lamb that played the music of “Jesus Loves Me.” I wound it and placed it by his head. As he reached for the lamb with his tightly clutched hand, his fingers unfolded. Over the next few months, he made rapid recovery. His limbs loosed. He began to eat normally. The last time I saw Jesse, he peddled his tricycle down the street after his brothers.

OPEN VERSE IN BIBLE (nlt) (NASB) “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

OPEN VERSE IN BIBLE (nlt) a (NASB) “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us,...”

Copyright © Sally Jadlow. Used by permission.

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About The Author


Sally Jadlow is the author of a three book series entitled God's Little Miracle Book, available at and Barnes & Noble in paperback and e-reader editions. Sally and her friend, Ardythe have a daily devotional book, Daily Walk with Jesus. She currently serves as a chaplain to corporations with Marketplace Chaplains, Inc. in the greater Kansas City area. Her website is

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