When a 2-year-old boy was unexpectedly rushed to the hospital just days before Christmas 2017 to treat a deadly disease, his parents were understandably distraught. After leaning on their community for support, however, they learned how powerful corporate prayer can truly be as they watched a miracle unfold before their eyes.
Joel and Janie Taylor were blindsided when doctors told first told them their now 3-year-old son Jaxon was suffering from Hemolytic-uremic syndrome after contracting an E. coli infection that was attacking his organs. The young toddler was airlifted to an intensive care unit as the syndrome began to slowly take his life.
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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 difficult, the couple continued to pray and trust that the Lord would do something amazing.
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Here’s a picture from today just after Bill & Brian and the Cunnington’s separately (unknowingly) showed up at the EXACT same time to pray and witness a miracle. This was right after praying and taking communion together over Jaxon. Before they came, I told Bill he didn’t need to come on Christmas, and he said (as only he would) “We can’t stay here knowing what you’re facing. We’ve got to be there for the Christmas miracle”…like a miracle was inevitable and he didn’t want to miss it. God timed it all so perfectly. Jaxon still needs full recovery but things are now going the right direction and God is in control. Thank you for your continued prayers and support. You all have been our lifeline. #christmasmiracle #HealJax
Eventually, 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.
Devastated by the news, Joel and Janie texted 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 said. “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 worshipped. “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 song, later titled “Raise a Hallejuah,” include “My weapon is a melody” and “heaven comes to fight for me.”
He recorded the spontaneous song with his community and sent it to Joel who then played it over his son again and again. The lyrics struck a chord with the weary father, who said he felt like he was in the middle of a battle for his son’s life.
“I didn’t have any prayers left to say, but I could feel and see and hear the prayers being said on my behalf,” Joel remembered.
Slowly Jaxon began to show significant improvements — improvements that at one point seemed impossible. He began speaking and his sweet personality shone through despite all of the tubes and IVs.
“God timed it all so perfectly,” Joel wrote on Instagram on Christmas Day. “Jaxon still needs full recovery but things are now going the right direction and God is in control.”
Although it hasn’t been an easy road to recovery, as young Jaxon has been in and out of the hospital for the past year, his family and those who have followed his story from the beginning can’t ignore the miraculous healing that he has gone through.
Now, just over a year after he first went into the hospital, Jaxon is home and his story is inspiring thousands of people.
As Bethel Music goes on “The Victory Tour” in 2019, they plan to share the story behind “Raise a Hallejuah” to show how God can respond when we let Him fight our battles and to show the power of allowing our communities to pray on our behalf.
“I wasn’t alone. I had people who were literally making weapons, writing songs, and sending it to us,” Joel said. “It still humbles me and baffles me, the power of global prayer, the power of community, the power of believing together.”
Jaxon’s life will always be marked by this incredible story and according to his mother, “The world will know that miracles happen.”
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