Friday, July 20, 2007

July 20, 2007


Do you believe that? Do you REALLY, REALLY believe that? I do.....with ALL my heart!

I tried to recall today when I first started praying. I can't. I do remember my mother praying with me as a child, the well-known children's prayer:

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
But the first time I really remember praying was when I was about 6 or 7 years old. I had learned a verse in Bible school "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee" Psalm 56:3. I awoke during the night shortly after that, thinking there was a bear just outside my reach next to my bed. He was roaring something fierce! I can still remember how terrified I was! All I could think of was that verse, and I began to repeat it over and over....praying scripture I guess, although I didn't realize it at the time. Slowly I began to inch my way over to the wall where my bed was built in (we lived in a house trailer). I just knew that at any second he was going to put his big old paw through the gate that kept me from falling out and get me. Soon it got quiet and after a while, I got up my courage to begin to inch back over, trying hard not to make the mattress squeak even a bit. Then I really got up my courage when I poked my hand through the gate and began to feel for fur. Of course, if I had felt any, I would not be writing any of this today! When I finally felt the coast was clear I ran and jumped into bed with my parents. Then I knew I was safe. The next morning my mother asked me why I had come and gotten in their bed. I told her about the bear. I couldn't believe she had not heard him. She had. She told me it was my father snoring!!!!!!!!!!!!
Funny? Yes. But I learned a valuable life lesson that night that has NEVER left me. I learned the validity of scripture. What time I am afraid....and there have been MANY times since then I have been afraid....I CAN trust in the Lord! I also learned that I could take anything to Him in prayer. He is always there.
Prayer has been a very real part of my life ALL my life. My prayer life has matured and deepened. I owe a LOT to many who have taught me so much about prayer. I am still learning and still praying. I will share more about that at another date. But today I want to ask you to rejoice with me because of some very important ANSWERED prayers!

There is nothing quite so exciting as to pray and pray for someone and then to see God work in their lives. And have you noticed that we always act so surprised when He does? When will we learn?????????
I shared with you earlier this week about a little boy named Kyle who will be celebrating the end of his chemotherapy for leukemia tomorrow at a NO MO CHEMO party!! That is such a HUGE praise. This little boy's life literally hung in the balance. No one really knew if he would make it or not. He has struggled and persevered, and God has blessed! Oh the prayers that so many prayed for this little boy and his family. Many prayed who do not know him and will never meet him. That to me is such a mind-boggling thing!! And each one of those who prayed...many of you who are reading this today included....have had a part in that! SO I want you to rejoice with me and give thanks to the Lord, for HE is good!!
Another huge answer to prayer is for two of my daughter's friends who have longed for a baby. They have tried and tried to no avail. Many tests, procedures and negative pregnancy tests have produced tears and anxieties and heartaches...but no babies. But just in the last several months BOTH of these women have experienced the joy of becoming with twins!!!!!!!! Now they can both proclaim to the Lord with Hannah "For this child I prayed and the Lord has given me my heart rejoices in the Lord....there is none holy as the Lord, there is none beside thee...neither is there any rock like our GOD!" I Sam. 1: 27, 2: 1,2
Finally, we have a dear friend who was critically injured in an accident over a year and a half ago. He suffered some paralysis, a stroke and many other problems that left him in a wheelchair and unable to do the things he always enjoyed doing....leading worship at his church, hunting, playing ball, etc. He also was unable to return to work. This past year he suffered with some other serious problems that threatened his life more than once. I cannot tell you the prayers that have been uttered on this man's behalf. The fact he lived was a miracle in itself. But there have been many miracles. And God is not finished with him yet!

Today I talked with his daughter. She told me that he is laughing, smiling and talking like she has not seen him since the accident! He is making jokes. He wants to go to a ballgame. He and his wife took a trip to Atlanta to visit their other daughter and only granddaughter a few weeks ago. They came back through Gatlinburg and stayed where they had stayed before. He remembered it!! He said "That is where we stayed before" and then pointed out some things he remembered! The old Ray is emerging!!!!!!!! Oh won't you please praise and glorify the Lord with me today!!?
God DOES answer prayer! He does not always answer it in the way we want. He does not always answer it WHEN we want. Some times He answers speedily...sometimes He delays, but He always answers. And PRAYER does matter! "The effectual, fervant prayer of the righteous avails much!" James 5:16 MARK THAT VERSE...HIGHLIGHT IT...MEMORIZE IT! PRAYER CHANGES THINGS!!!!!!!!!
Just ask Kyle, Alecia, Lydia and Ray. Just ask their families.
"Oh God we bow before you today in awe and adoration. You are SO awesome!! Thank you for the way you have moved in the lives of these. We thank you so much for your faithfulness, especially when our faith wavered. You had a plan and a purpose in each of these lives. It is right on schedule! Thank you for all those who have prayed for these. Thank you for the miracles you have performed!! Thank you for the ways in which you have blessed!

Thank you for these precious babies...these new lives. Oh God, may they rise up and call you their Lord and Savior one day! May their parents always give you all the praise and glory for these miracles!! We rejoice with them and ask your protection over them and over every stage of their pregnancy. Shield them from harm. Keep their moms healthy and strong. Bless O Lord!!
We thank you for Kyle and for how you have preserved this little life. Oh how grateful we are to you for your mercy upon this family, not only to help Kyle but also his dad. Thank you Jesus!! Bless their day of rejoicing and celebration tomorrow with all the friends who are coming to give glory and praise to YOU. Thank you for this young mother who never lost faith in you....who always trusted you and leaned on you, even when the going got really tough. Bless her Lord for her faithfulness in you. Bless this family with MANY years to enjoy together. Bless their move. Bless their jobs. Continue to keep Kyle healthy and strong and may he grow to be a young many who gives his life totally to you!

Oh how we praise you for what you have done in Ray's life and what you are STILL doing!! Only YOU alone, God, could have raised him up. Only YOU alone could give him back to those he loves. We praise you. We worship you. We give you ALL the praise, honor and glory that is due to you and you alone. May Ray one day STAND and sing for you again....that is the desire of his heart!! There is NONE like you Lord...there is NONE like you!!!"

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