Adele's lyric seems appropriate as an opening line for my first blog in several months. Ashley and I recently attended her concert, which was amazing, and ever since these words have been echoing in my heart.
I feel as if I am greeting you "from the other side." I've had a red sea experience passing from death unto life.
I am so happy to report that my health continues to hold strong and that my tumor markers are normal. There is no disease in my body and I have been able to continue my treatment with no breaks or huge concerns. I continue treatment and I am working on getting stronger and more stable in my overall health. I've come through a life-threatening, difficult season and I am so grateful to simply be alive.
While I've been improving, many friends and family have experienced devastating and difficult issues of their own. A close friend was just diagnosed with breast cancer and another friend succumbed to this disease. A beautiful young mom was suddenly and unreasonably taken from her family and at our local high school two young men have taken their own lives. A good friend's husband has experienced one health crisis after another and she is weary and discouraged.
I've been considering how we get through such difficulties and trials. Of course, my answer is leaning upon Christ and our eternal hope in Him, but there is something more we do.
Prayer is an immeasurable, unknown governor in our lives. We petition our maker, we offer our love and we stand in the gap in such difficult seasons.
Yet we struggle to know it's true value, impact or affect.
Another good friend and I have been talking about prayer. She's at the moment when she's wondering if prayer really makes a difference. Why do I pray if the results never seem to change? Does prayer work?
How I wish I could offer measurable charts, graphs and results to encourage her heart. For every victory we can point to what seems like defeat to us. We wonder if there is a "trick" to prayer, a checklist or a key to "make it work."
No such comfort exists.
Rather by faith, we hold fast to a conviction that something significant, powerful and important happens when we pray. Despite what we see or understand, God is moved by our compassionate intercession. Prayer is the full-time job of Christ. He sits at the right hand of the Father and intercedes for us. If Christ is praying for us, then surely it matters when we pray.
Prayer is like a waltz to me. One-two-three. One-two-three.
- I begin by getting face to face with my partner. I put my attention on His face and I offer my gratitude for my salvation. I use my prayers to release His will and to build His kingdom. I listen for His voice and I agree with Him about everything that is a concern to me.
- Then I turn my attention to the spiritual heavens all around me and I begin to use my weapons of war to destroy darkness. I understand my authority and use the keys of binding and loosing to devastate the enemy's secret schemes and to possess my spiritual inheritance.
- Finally, I speak to myself. I remind myself who and whose I am. I prophecy to my soul and command it to come into order with the will and purposes of God in my life. I remind myself that my circumstances may be bad, but He is good. I take courage, I press on, and then I repeat.
I want to share a specific prayer strategy from a sweet intercessor in my life, Gail Patterson. Gail recently shared with me that she's been praying consistently over my life this year. (This happens to me often. So many lift my need on a consistent basis. I am humbled by your hearts and faith. I am forever blessed.)
Gail prays daily for many who struggle with disease. Here's her personal prayer strategy (primarily step 2 above) to overcome cancer. (This format is taken from Charles and Francis Hunter's book Handbook for Healing on how to pray for cancer.) I hope you adopt it and modify as a weapon to overcome any wicked fruit in your life.
- Bind and cast out the spirit of cancer
- Curse the seed, root and cells of cancer
- Command the body's defensive "killer" cells to multiply and attack all cancer cells
- Lay hands on the affected areas and command every cancer cell in the body to die
- Command the bone marrow to produce pure and healthy blood
- Command healing to all the organs and tissue affected and restoration to the body
Once you've finished your waltz, then rest. Rest well. Rest often. Rest in peace.
"Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in His commands...Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous. Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice. Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord." Psalm 112: 1, 4-7
Thanks to each of you for your continued intercession over my life. Surely my prayer bowls are full and my health is the fruit of many agreeing with the will of God over my destiny. I am forever grateful.
If you find yourself weak this morning please receive our prayers for you.
We are blessed by your faithful care and concern for us. Thank you for hearing our prayers and heeding our requests. We believe and agree that your desire is for us to be well to live abundantly. We bind the work of the enemy in our lives and loose every heavenly blessing over our bodies, homes and families. We command our own souls to be lifted up and to celebrate your good will in our lives.
Amen and Amen