When a 2-year-old boy was rushed to the hospital to treat a deadly disease just days before Christmas 2017, his parents were clearly upset. However, they learned how powerful prayer can really be when they watched a miracle unfold before their eyes after leaning on their community for support.
Joel and Janie Taylor were stunned when doctors told them that their now 3-year-old son Jaxon had hemolytic uremic syndrome after contracting an E. coli infection attacked his organs. The young boy was taken to an intensive care unit when the syndrome slowly began to take his life.
The concerned parents prayed over their son for weeks as the illness caused seizures, kidney failure and other symptoms. Joel, the CEO of Bethel Music, asked those close to him to pray for a Christmas miracle.
“Hooked up to everything, they allowed to just hold him in my arms and you could just see the light still in his eyes,” Janie recalled. “I remember just standing and declaring over him; He was going to raise up out of that grave and he was going to live.”
Even though it was tough, the couple continued to pray and trust that the Lord would do something amazing.
Finally, as Jaxon’s symptoms worsened, the doctors informed Joel and Janie they needed to perform a risky surgery, without anesthesia, and that they didn’t think he would survive through the night.
Distraught by the news, Joel and Janie reached out to a few close friends to ask for prayers for comfort as they spent what they thought would be the last night with their son.
“I thought I’m losing my son,” Janie stated. “Even if he makes it through this I don’t know if he’ll ever know me again. He was gone.”
Jonathan David and Melissa Hesler, leaders of the ministry school the 18-inch Journey, were among the friends who received the heartbreaking text. Jonathan David remembers Melissa “collapsing” into his arms as they took a moment to process the news.
Thankfully, the North Carolina couple didn’t sit in that place of mourning for too long because, through the Hesler’s heart for worship, Joel and Janie received more encouragement than they could’ve ever imagined and God moved in a miraculous way.
“Those moments, even though they’re really hard, something within us rises that only moments of trauma and intensity can call actually forth,” Melissa said. “In those moments, for us, the only option is like… we just have to worship.”
Jonathan David recalled feeling like he was standing at a crossroads in the face of unbelief that was telling him, “Your prayers don’t matter. All of these prayers don’t matter. The Lord’s not going to hear it. This is going to be like the other moments where you prayed with all your heart and then you buried your friend the next week.”
But then a song suddenly came through the uncertain darkness while he praised God. “There was something inside of me of like, ‘No!’” he said. “And the melody just erupted out of my heart, ‘I raise a hallelujah in the presence of my enemies,’”
Other lyrics of the hymm, later titled “Raise a Hallejuah,” include “My weapon is a melody” and “heaven comes to fight for me.”