UPDATE 2: Zach has a condition called Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). It is from the virus that attacted him. The virus is gone but the ITP is still there. The condition is not too serious, we just have to make sure his blood platelets rise soon. This comes through diet (eating meats and food high in iron rather than popsicles!). Zach, like the rest of my children hate to eat (they did not get it from me!). Anyway, as long as he does not have any injuries (especially head) he should be OK. The only danger is him bleeding really bad. Thank you all so much for your prayers. I don’t think I have ever had such a discouraging and encouraging day at once like that. You all are wonderful.

UPDATE: Just got the word. Zach does NOT have leukemia! The whole doctors office thought he did. I think they were a bit surprised! He does have low blood platelets which are a cause for concern, but I will take that any day over what we were thinking. I am exhausted, drained, beat, and relieved. Thanks so much for stepping in and praying for me when I could not.

Zach, my 2 year old son, just went to the doctor. A couple of weeks ago we discovered that there were many bruises all over his legs, much more than normal. There were also some large bruises on his back. While this made my wife very nervous, I did not think much of it since Zach is so active (he climbs on everything and fall 27 times a day). My wife searched the internet and found out that these are symptoms of leukemia. This had her very worried as you might imagine. We took him to the doctor who said that he thought it was a virus and to wait and see if the bruises come back.

Last week the bruises went away (for the most part), but there were blood capillaries that were all over his back (another sign of leukemia but also of the virus).

This week the bruises came back. We took him back to the doctor and he said that he thought it was leukemia. He ordered blood work. We should know in the next few hours.

I am really scared to pray. I don’t know why. I feel as if I am back in this place of dread that I have found myself in twice over the last five years, once with my sister and once with my mother. Neither of those turned out too well. I don’t know what the Lord has planned, but I fear the worst. When I try to pray I cannot complete my request. I think it is because I am afraid of being disappointed again. I am afraid that the Lord may have the most dreadful plans that I can imagine. I am too afraid to say, “Your will be done” since I have experienced what his will is for us in these times of dread.

Can you pray for Zach?

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Find him everywhere: Find him everywhere

    53 replies to "Too Scrared to Pray"

    • andy

      I can identify with that fear – praying for Zach and the family and hoping for the best.

    • Martin Pitcher

      We are praying.

    • JohnO

      I can’t begin to imagine what you’re going through just now, but I do indeed pray that you will sense God’s love for you and for your family.
      May you and Zach know His blessings and comfort.

    • Wm Tanksley

      Yes. I’ve told God that his child feels alone and needs reassurance.

      Don’t be afraid to ask God for what you want — when you ask God for what you want, you’re glorifying Him as the King of the Universe and the only one who could give you what you want.

      I’m in a similar boat — my youngest son just had confirmatory diagnosis of an unknown metabolic disorder (related to the breakdown of BCAAs). I’m going in Thursday to hear exactly what we’re going to do next. I’m also concerned because the initial tests showed my oldest as having a similar problem, with my youngest showing only faint signs; this test had my oldest having no signs, but my youngest having a clear problem. Clearly more testing is needed.

    • Scott

      I will most definitely pray for your son’s health. I will also pray that God will provide you and your family comfort and strength in this trying time.

      I can’t even imagine how scary and hard this must be, but remember God is ALWAYS faithful to us. Even when we don’t understand his plan we can always be assured that he is on his throne and he is in control.

      Here are a few scriptures that I have found useful in trying times such as these.

      Lamentations 3:32

      Psalm 31 (I know it’s about David being rescued from his enemies but really whatever your son is facing is an enemy, right?)

    • Michael L

      Prayin’…. hard… for strength….

      In Him

    • cheryl u

      Michael and Wm Tanksley,

      May God’s peace fill the hearts of you and your families. And I will pray for your children.

    • Michael,

      I have just prayed for you, your son, and the rest of your family and will continue to do so.

    • Steve in Toronto

      Yes of course I will pray for you and Zach (and ask my fellow parishioners’ to join me). Its at times like this that Theology fails us and we must simply bow to Christ wisdom and mercy. Wherever he takes us however we know that he is with us and he will not give us a burden to bear that he will not also give us the strength to perceiver through.

      God Bless you and your family and thank you for your honesty

      You’re Brothering in Christ

      Steve in Toronto

    • mbaker


      Please do not be afraid. The Lord is with you, and so are our prayers.

      Many years ago, when my daughter was only four, the doctors diagnosed me with stomach cancer. A friend sent me a get well card with the verse from Jeremiah 29:11-13 on it. What a promise!

      I too was afraid to pray that God’s will be done. So I opened my Bible to that verse and just slept with it across my stomach.

      Twenty four years later I am fine. It turned to out to be a gall bladder problem instead.

      Also my nephew, who is is six months older than my daughter, was diagnosed with leukemia when he was ten. He is also doing great at age 28. Even if it should turn out to be leukemia there is so much they can do nowadays.

      So keep the faith.

    • Ruben

      I’m praying too, I know how hard it can be to turn to God after he allowed something terrible to happen to you. We had a miscarriage 6 years ago and until now I still feel very cautious, afraid of something terrible happening again. I’m aware of times when I felt that God was telling me that I can trust again and the hard times have passed by, and I struggle to lay hold of that – but my fear and depression still dominate. It takes a lot of faith to recover sometimes, I can blog about spiritual matters and study the Bible and defend the faith against atheists but deep inside I have these hurt feelings toward the Father that have not been fully addressed or let go of.

    • Thomas

      I’m with you Michael and will be praying for Zach. My sister committed suicide with a gun as well so I saved your post about that. What can I say other than circumstances suck but God is Good. I should add Romans 8:28. Let us know how the tests turn out so we can keep praying. Yours in Him, Thomas.

    • Dr Mike

      I can pray and will pray for you, your wife, and all your children.

    • Terry L Fritts

      Praying for you.

    • John Umland

      I will pray. It is also treated with much success these days.
      God is good

    • Mike

      Job 36:15 has been an encouragement in recent days.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Praying for little Zach Patton and the Patton family.

    • Brian

      Michael, I stopped reading and prayed for you, your wife and Zach. I want you to know that you are a great blessing to me.

    • Jason Fritts

      Praying for Zach, you and your family.

    • C Michael Patton

      Thanks all…still no word. Hope to hear something today.

    • Jim Darlack

      I am and will be praying for you and your family.

    • Greg


      I am praying! I forwarded your note to our TTP friends here in Columbus, Georgia. They are strong prayer warriors who take praying for others seriously.

    • NorbertJ

      Of course I will pray, Michael.

    • John Shapiro

      I am praying for you, your family, and your son. I am so sorry you are having to walk through this.

    • Ron

      I understand. I will lift you,Zach, your whole family up in prayer.

    • Ed Komoszewski

      Michael, I felt similar when our youngest daughter, Emily, had very risky open-heart surgery. But the Spirit brought me to the place of abandonment in God’s sovereignty. I am confident that he’ll do the same for you. Of course, I’ll be praying fervently for Zach, you, Kristie, and the entire family, brother.

    • stuart mcdowall

      I saw on Theoligica about your son’s leukemia and was about to assure you of my prayers. Then I saw that tests are negative so my prayer has turned to praise. Will continue to pray that whatever is causing platelets will be discovered and treated effectively.

    • Nick

      You Baptist folks can go ahead and laugh at this, but in all seriousness I hope and pray you have the child Baptized. With the powerful graces received through this Sacrament, the child’s soul will be enabled to grow in righteousness as he bears this cross. You could not give a better gift. And this suffering both on the part of your son and you and your family will not be in vain but rather efficacious and redemptive (Col 1:24).
      (If it were a Catholic home, there is also the Sacrament of Extreme Unction: James 5:14-15.)

    • DJ and Harriet

      We’ll definitely lift you and your family up in prayer!

      And just to help you remember:

      Rom 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

      In Him,
      DJ and Harriet
      the Netherlands

    • Ed Komoszewski

      Thanks be to God for that update!

    • John from Down Under


      Great to hear your update. Praise God!

      I know of a family that lives not far from Norman (Washington OK) whose 3 year old daughter has been battling a very aggressive leukemia treatment. Their testimony is here http://www.riggsfamilyblog.com/2009/01/about-abby.html (I know it sounds weird having a guy from Australia pointing you to someone who lives not that far from you)

      Brent Riggs (the dad) has a great online bible teaching ministry (www.seriousfaith.com) as well and their story has been a great source of encouragement for many.

    • Derry Myers

      Michael, Debby and I are praying for you. We not only pray for good news for Zach, but for peace and strength for you.


    • cheryl u


      I am so glad to hear your good news. I join you in praising God.

    • Michael L

      Just got the blip on the update.

      Praise Him for He is good !! PS 100:5 or PS 106… not sure which one is more appropriate 😉

      Will keep praying for the platelets though… really glad He made this cup pass.

      In Him

    • Chris Skiles

      Michael, so glad to hear that Zac does not have luekemia. I somehow missed your initial post about the Dr visits. Not sure how that happened since I am on your site almost daily. Anyway, I can imagine your relief. I have 2 children (both now teenagers) and I know the feeling of worrying about their well being. I will continue to pray that the blood platelet issue will be resolved as well.

    • mbaker

      Oh, Michael what relief you must feel! We all join you in thanking God for this wonderful news. We also pray that the low blood platelets not be a serious issue either.

      God bless.

    • Lisa Robinson

      Michael, that is a relief. Unfortunately, I know exactly what you are talking about. Praying for you, my friend, to truly relish the access that He has granted us, peace with His sovereignty and for positive outcomes regarding the platelets. Disappointments can be a dog but God is faithful and good!

    • John Newsom

      Jason Fritts passed this on to me. So thankful to know it isn’t Leukemia. Will be praying about what it is. Now I also know about this blog.

    • Jay C.

      Praying for you, Zach, the wife and family. Thank you for sharing your heart and the recent news. Will continue to pray, brother.

    • FromTheBalcony

      The exact thing happened to my daughter in second grade. Her doctor diagnosed it as Henoch Scholein Purpura Syndrome (a rare, understudied syndrome that sometimes follows an infection like strep but not always). Purpura = bruising. She also had petechiae all over (the red stuff). This syndrome also gave her arthritis like symptoms for awhile. We also had to test her for leukemia and I remember waiting for those test results.

      Now, she is 29 — she does have immune issues that I think are from that episode, but they are handled for the most part. Most docs don’t diagnose this syndrome — I had an unusually great doctor at that time.

      Hope Zach is 100% soon. I will pray for wisdom in diagnosis.

    • TonyF

      Thanks, Michael, for being honest and open. My wife and I have a severely handicapped son, nearly 35 years old, whose condition has not changed because of prayer, at least not how we would like it to change. Instead he has always been cared for in various places by people who love him. God’s answer was to give Christopher this ability to draw out love. But for years I also felt unable to trust God for his decisions, meaning I could not pray without wanting to add my own terms and conditions. It’s getting better, though. I pray health for Zach, peace and joy for you and your wife.

    • Paul Sunde

      I have cancer and I myself am at peace but my wife is in exactly the same position that you are in. She is scared to pray and says she cannot pray, “Thy will be done” for fear that God will aswer that prayer by taking me to Heaven in the very near future. Daily, I try to somehow comfort or encourage my wife but it seems to do no good. When I told her about your post she asked me to please leave a comment and that she would be praying for Zach. (The reason I am writing this rather than my wife is that she is Japanese and finds it hard to write in English-also she hardly ever touches her computer.)

      We will be praying.

    • Paul Sunde

      My wife and I just read your update. Praise the Lord! We will change our prayers to prayers of thanksgiving and praise.

    • Michael, this is not the first time I wrote to you. My daughter have the same problem in her skin. She has go pass by several blood works, and doctors don’t know what is happening with her. She is now in a “platelete curve”, they will take her blood for 10 weeks, in order to know if she has “lupus” I know it is difficult to say “Your will be done” , but we must say it, because Lord knows what is the best for everyone of his children.

      Zack will be in my preayers, as you and your wife too.

      God bless you Michael

    • Christy

      Praise God, No leukemia! My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your family. You and this ministry have been a huge blessing to me.

    • Robin Bayne

      So glad to hear it’s not that! Praise and more praise : )

    • steve martin

      Thanks be to God that your son does not have leukemia!

      I pray the doctors will soon figure out what is going on and are able to get him back to normal.

    • TonyF

      Michael: This is not really for the public blog, but just wanted to tell you that 9 of us at our church prayer meeting this evening (UK time) prayed for Zach, you and the family. Blessings, TonyF.

    • cheryl u


      I am glad that you got a diagnosis on what is going on with Zach. I am praying that he will be kept safe from injuries until that platelet count can come back up. Since he is a picky eater, would some kind of vitamin-mineral supplements be helpful at this time to help get him back on track? Maybe you are already doing that. It is just a thought that came to me as I reread what the cure for the problem is.

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