Sunday, June 30, 2013

God Hears and Answers Prayers

Do you believe that? Do I believe that? 

A handful of us ladies- 4 to be exact- met yesterday morning for prayer. We told each other what we were feeling heavy about; what we would like to ask God for. 

There is a very sick young woman in our community from another state. She ended up in the hospital and has been there for a week now. She has not had the support of her parents in treating her illness. Her parents were coming to visit her yesterday so we prayed that she/they would be able to have a good time together. Especially so because any kind of negative emotional stress sets her back physically. 

Someone who knew nothing of our prayers said with a smile this morning that the young lady had a very good time with her parents yesterday! Those of us who had prayed gave each other knowing, rejoicing looks.

Is God at our beck and call? No! Does He want to give us good things? Yes! 

We had a picnic supper planned for last evening. Thomas is doing an addition for friends in the area so we invited them and his helpers and their spouses over for an outdoor meal. We have been having showers and thunderstorms nearly every day so I was a bit worried that we'd get rained out. I prayed and asked the one lady who was invited to pray too that we would have nice weather to eat outside. We had such a beautiful evening and in fact it didn't rain here all day. The one couple said they had a real downpour at their place before they came and this morning I heard from others who had rain about the time we were eating. We did get just a few drops as we were filling our plates but it seemed it was just the edge of a storm. 

God blesses us so much more than we deserve! 

Thursday night our son Christopher had severe abdominal pain. He has just come through a full treatment for Lyme disease - 30 days of Amoxicillan. I thought maybe he has appendicitis because he seemed to be in such pain. But the classic symptoms were just not there. Yet he was in such misery (writhing & in a clammy sweat) for so long that I thought, "Should we be taking him to the hospital?" 

I finally prayed, "Lord, please show us if it's appendicitis." Shortly thereafter he vomited and went right to sleep. He slept for a few hours and then the pain came on him again. It didn't seem as severe that time but still pretty bad. He vomited once more and that was the end of his pain. I still don't know what was going on but the Lord showed me in such a clear way that it was not appendicitis.  

(If you are a parent and have had a sick child I suppose you know my mental anguish. There's nothing quite like watching your child suffer and not knowing what to do to help them! He would be crying and saying, "Mama, what can I do?"; "Daddy, what can I do?" in the most pitiful voice. We could only say, "I don't know." He said he has had similar pain in the same area a few times since he was taking antibiotics. Just not as long. Advice on how to heal his gut?)

Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.  (Psalm 103:13 KJV)

The verse that the Intermediate Sunday school class had to memorize this week was James 5:16. It says "the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much". I always thought effectual meant something like effective. But one of the boys said the footnote in their Bible says it means unceasing. That was some food for thought. I'll let you think that through.

That verse is loaded! Pray without giving up until you get an answer. Pray fervently. (How do you do that?) But that is not enough if we are not righteous. Sounds to me like a lot of time and personal work. Doing what God asks of me, trusting Jesus blood to cover my sin, and exerting myself in an effort on my knees.

May you be blessed as you seek God in prayer this week!

And thou,     (your name)     , know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.  (1Chronicles 28:9 KJV)