“Gray Matter” by David Levy

Although never recommended this book by anyone in particular, I saw it everywhere when looking through books regarding medicine from a Christian perspective. Not knowing what exactly to expect, but feeling intrigued by the back cover teaser, I decided to purchase it. Upon receiving my shipment, this was the first book I began and finished reading.

The book explores the events that unfold after neurosurgeon Dr. David Levy decides to begin asking his patients if he could pray for them during the pre-operation period. His convictions to do so, wavering at first, are solidified throughout the book as he experiences the powerful effects of prayer and forgiveness on his patients, the nurses, his colleagues, and himself.

The novel calls for a greater reliance and worship of our gracious God. Even when trials arise, with unexpected complications and circumstances causing stroke and permanent brain damage, Levy shows his daily dependency on our sovereign Creator through constant prayer. Even though there were times when he felt angry at God for allowing his inadequacies to cause his patients suffering, the ultimate response is praise to our Father, who holds all things together for His own glory (Col. 1:17). We just need to trust Him.

Reflecting upon finishing the book, I definitely had moments that caused me to worship Him all the more. A sudden and dramatic turn of events or unexpected responses led me to praise Him for His sovereignty. One such moment (hopefully without giving too many spoilers) is when Levy is confronted by one of the nurses after he decides to begin praying for his patients in their presence. Instead of receiving negative criticism, she asks him to let her and other nurses know whenever he begins to pray for a patient. Moments like those held my breath until I realized the power of prayer and the power of our sovereign God, and then I’ll release it comforted in that knowledge of the most High and holy.

The book reminded me to constantly bathe everything in prayer, showing our ultimate dependency in our daily lives on our sole provider, Jesus Christ (Phil. 4:6). In the end, whether the outcome is good or bad, it’s all for His increased glory, honor, and praise.


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