Over the past few months, I've received letters and email from a number of people going through heart-related illnesses. I received one a few days ago that caught my attention.

John is in the U.S. Air Force. He recently finished his Air Force Physical Fitness exam and discovered he was in big trouble. His aortic heart valve needed to be replaced.

Needless to say, it was a pretty stunning discovery. John is six feet, five inches tall, played football, wrestling, baseball and has a 10-handicap on the links. He felt like he was in perfect shape. Now, his entire life is about to change.

I was especially touched by his devotion to his wife and their little boy.

"Will I be able to play all those sports again? I have a 3-year old son that will depend on his daddy to teach him all the sports he can handle and a very supportive military wife with 2 moves under her belt in 3 years who needs me!"

Tough stuff, folks.

Admittedly, John expressed some great reservations about his quality of life post-surgery and I've done my best to assure him that open heart surgery is the best thing that happened to me. We've never met -- but through our correspondence, I've developed something of a kinship with this man who is defending our country.

Next Wednesday, John will undergo surgery at Walter Reed in Washington, D.C. Would you join me in praying for John, his wife and their little boy? Pray that God will guide the surgeons as they repair his heart. Pray for a speedy recovery and pray that the Lord gives his family peace that surpasses human understanding.

Lord,

Thank you for our friend, John. Thank you for the courage he demonstrates by protecting our nation. Thank you for the dedication he demonstrates to his wife and child. We pray that you would watch over and protect him. We pray that you would use the doctors and surgeons at Walter Reed to heal his body. We pray that you would bless John and his family, that you would shower them with your love and care. Amen.